What is an acceptable percentage of plagiarism?

Your work should not contain any plagiarism. This means that even a score of 1% is too high.

However, contrary to popular belief, plagiarism checkers do not detect plagiarism, but similarities. Not all similarities found by the Scribbr Plagiarism Checker constitute plagiarism. Our check sometimes flags the following:

  • Properly cited quotes,
  • In-text citations or your reference list, and
  • Commonly used phrases that are obviously not considered plagiarism.

Because of this, you can generally follow these guidelines:

  1. A score higher than 10% is troublesome.
  2. A score between 5% and 10% it is not bad per se.
  3. A score around 5% is reasonable.

Even if your score is 1%, you will need to review each similarity and decide whether it’s necessary to revise your work.

What should I do with a found similarity?