Microsoft Word users have been relying on third-party plugins and services to check their work for similarity issues. However, the tech giant recently announced that plans are underway to include an in-built plagiarism checker in its Word program. How will this improve your writing experience?
The internet has provided a broad range of reference material to the present-day content creator, from students to career writers. In the same breath, we cannot fail to acknowledge that identifying contents that need attribution and how to cite them properly has gotten more challenging.
Microsoft Editor’s Similarity checker feature not only helps you identify plagiarism issues but also suggests solutions. It is designed to recommend correct ways to attribute contents to their sources. The fact that it does all these during the writing process enables you to write more confidently. You can now concentrate more on the quality of your work as the Editor does the rest.
How Does The In-built Microsoft Word’s Plagiarism Checker Work?
Bing Search powers the Editor’s Similarity checker in Microsoft Word. It helps writers achieve originality in two simple steps:
- Scanning Word documents for similarity to other content on the internet.
- Where the tool identifies plagiarism, Bing Search suggests appropriate insertions of relevant citations.
This is a departure from traditional similarity checkers that are more punitive than corrective. The in-built Word’s plagiarism-checking software does not function to ‘punish’ you for getting your content elsewhere. It seeks to help writers find their voices by building on similar works done before, leveraging appropriate attributions and citations. So, your focus shifts from the mechanics of writing to the quality of the content.
Getting Started With Microsoft Editor’s Similarity Checker
The tool was officially announced on March 30, 2020. Since then, Microsoft has launched it in phases, with the initial beneficiaries being users of premium Microsoft 365 Education. Soon, the feature will also be available to Microsoft 365 Home and Business subscribers. Currently, it is only usable for English language texts. Given that it’s a megaproject, covering millions of Word users globally, it may take some time before it finally reaches your account.
Having a plagiarism checker that works alongside MS Word improves the usability and user experience. To enable the feature:
- Choose Editor on Microsoft Word’s Home tab.
- Select Similarity on the Editor pane, then tap/click Check for similarity to online sources. The tool automatically begins an in-depth plagiarism check. Once done, it shows you the percentage of your text similar to other content on the internet. The search results also indicate the number of individual passages in your document that should be reviewed.
- To amend the passages, click on Similarities reviewed. The tool takes you from one passage to the next, suggesting where it would be appropriate to insert a citation. It also includes links to the online texts for you to decide whether attribution is necessary or not. In some cases, you may choose to Ignore.
After a paragraph has been edited, it is underlined in green. You can always revisit it, re-read the online sources, look at the citation suggestions, and even add attributions to texts you previously chose to ignore.
How Do You Insert Citations?
You can use either APA, Chicago, or MLA citation style based on your preference or the type of content you’re working on. When you switch from one style to the other, the Editor won’t automatically change citations already in the document. You can update an existing citation by deleting it and starting the attribution process afresh.
All you have to do is to instruct the software to place a citation just after the passage. At times, the Editor’s AI systems will automatically add quotation marks to a passage. Again, you have the discretion to retain or delete them.
In case you decide to add a citation to a passage of more than 40+ words, the tool formats it into a block-quote. Here, you have the volition to add an introductory statement or an ending commentary of your own words to the passage.
Are you creating a bibliography to cite all the works done? Well, you can make use of Copy full citation. This feature allows you to copy and paste links to all attributed works at once.
Microsoft Editor’s Similarity checker works just like other conventional tools, and better. If well implemented, it will sure give the likes of Grammarly a run for their money.