How Do Plagiarism Checkers Work? | With Example

A plagiarism checker uses advanced database software to scan for matches between your text and existing texts. They are used by universities to scan student assignments. There are also commercial plagiarism checkers you can use to check your own work before submitting.

Behind the scenes, plagiarism checkers crawl web content and index it, scanning your text for similarities against a database of existing content on the internet. Exact matches are highlighted using keyword analysis. Some checkers can also identify non-exact matches (paraphrasing plagiarism).

On the user end, the checker typically provides you with a plagiarism percentage, highlights the plagiarism, and lists the sources. You can get an interactive look at the Scribbr Plagiarism Checker below.

Interactive Scribbr sample report

Continue reading: How Do Plagiarism Checkers Work? | With Example

What Is Self-Plagiarism? | Definition & How to Avoid It

Plagiarism often involves using someone else’s words or ideas without proper citation, but you can also plagiarize yourself. Self-plagiarism means reusing work that you have already published or submitted for a class. It can involve:

  • Resubmitting an entire paper
  • Copying or paraphrasing passages from your previous work
  • Recycling previously collected data
  • Separately publishing multiple articles about the same research

Self-plagiarism misleads your readers by presenting previous work as completely new and original. If you want to include any text, ideas, or data that you already submitted in a previous assignment, be sure to inform your readers by citing yourself.

To ensure your text doesn’t contain unintentional self-plagiarism, get your document checked before submission by specialized self-plagiarism software, such as our Self-Plagiarism Checker.

Continue reading: What Is Self-Plagiarism? | Definition & How to Avoid It

Unstructured Interview | Definition, Guide & Examples

An unstructured interview is a data collection method that relies on asking participants questions to collect data on a topic. Also known as non-directive interviewing, unstructured interviews do not have a set pattern and questions are not arranged in advance.

In research, unstructured interviews are usually qualitative in nature, and can be very helpful for social science or humanities research focusing on personal experiences.

An unstructured interview can be a particularly useful exploratory research tool. Known for being very informal and flexible, they can yield captivating responses from your participants.

Note
Unstructured interviews differ from other types of interviews because none of the questions are predetermined in topic or order. The other three most common types of interviews are:

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Semi-Structured Interview | Definition, Guide & Examples

A semi-structured interview is a data collection method that relies on asking questions within a predetermined thematic framework. However, the questions are not set in order or in phrasing.

In research, semi-structured interviews are often qualitative in nature. They are generally used as an exploratory tool in marketing, social science, survey methodology, and other research fields.

They are also common in field research with many interviewers, giving everyone the same theoretical framework, but allowing them to investigate different facets of the research question.

Note
Semi-structured interviews are a mix of structured and unstructured interviews. While a few questions are predetermined, the others aren’t planned. The other three most common types of interviews are:

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Structured Interview | Definition, Guide & Examples

A structured interview is a data collection method that relies on asking questions in a set order to collect data on a topic. It is one of four types of interviews.

In research, structured interviews are often quantitative in nature. They can also be used in qualitative research if the questions are open-ended, but this is less common.

While structured interviews are often associated with job interviews, they are also common in marketing, social science, survey methodology, and other research fields.

Note
Structured interviews differ from other types of interviews because the questions are predetermined in both topic and order.The other three most common types of interviews are:

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What Is Peer Review? | Types & Examples

Peer review, sometimes referred to as refereeing, is the process of evaluating submissions to an academic journal. Using strict criteria, a panel of reviewers in the same subject area decides whether to accept each submission for publication.

Peer-reviewed articles are considered a highly credible source due to the stringent process they go through before publication.

There are various types of peer review. The main difference between them is to what extent the authors, reviewers, and editors know each other’s identities. The most common types are:

Relatedly, peer assessment is a process where your peers provide you with feedback on something you’ve written, based on a set of criteria or benchmarks from an instructor. They then give constructive feedback, compliments, or guidance to help you improve your draft.

Continue reading: What Is Peer Review? | Types & Examples

What Is a Focus Group? | Step-by-Step Guide & Examples

A focus group is a research method that brings together a small group of people to answer questions in a moderated setting. The group is chosen due to predefined demographic traits, and the questions are designed to shed light on a topic of interest.

Focus groups are a type of qualitative research. Observations of the group’s dynamic, their answers to focus group questions, and even their body language can guide future research on consumer decisions, products and services, or controversial topics.

Focus groups are often used in marketing, library science, social science, and user research disciplines. They can provide more nuanced and natural feedback than individual interviews and are easier to organize than experiments or large-scale surveys.

Continue reading: What Is a Focus Group? | Step-by-Step Guide & Examples

Exploratory Research | Definition, Guide, & Examples

Exploratory research is a methodology approach that investigates research questions that have not previously been studied in depth.

Exploratory research is often qualitative in nature. However, a study with a large sample conducted in an exploratory manner can be quantitative as well. It is also often referred to as interpretive research or a grounded theory approach due to its flexible and open-ended nature.

Note: Be careful not to confuse exploratory research with explanatory research, which is also preliminary in nature but instead explores why a well-documented problem occurs.

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Explanatory Research | Definition, Guide, & Examples

Explanatory research is a research method that explores why something occurs when limited information is available. It can help you increase your understanding of a given topic, ascertain how or why a particular phenomenon is occurring, and predict future occurrences.

Explanatory research can also be explained as a “cause and effect” model, investigating patterns and trends in existing data that haven’t been previously investigated. For this reason, it is often considered a type of causal research.

Note: Be careful not to confuse explanatory research with exploratory research, which is also preliminary in nature but instead explores a subject that hasn’t been studied in depth yet.

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Plagiarism resources for educators

Plagiarism can be a tricky subject to teach. Students may think of plagiarism as a deliberate action—e.g., copy-pasting something from Wikipedia or turning in a paper they didn’t write—but it’s important to communicate that plagiarism often occurs accidentally.

We have compiled a variety of resources targeted at educators and professionals seeking to teach high school or college students about plagiarism. These include sample lecture slides, videos, in-depth examples, quizzes, and downloadable worksheets.

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