Have you ever come across a job application that said something along the lines of, "I run all of my articles through Copyscape…"? Most online employers use Copyscape to check the plagiarism of the work that you turn into them, just to ensure that it is in all original. Even committees for writing scholarships use this sometimes. Hopefully you create completely original content every time you write for someone, but it is still nice to understand what Copyscape is and how it works. The program is fairly simple to use, and knowing about it will help you see things from a buyer's perspective. This may make you a better writer in the future. Let's take a look at how Copyscape works so you can write around it effectively.
Copyscape is designed to compare the text of a piece of written work to work that is already on the web. If there are any word for word comparisons online, the program will pull up a link to them so you can compare the texts. Then you can see what percentage of the text is already on the web and make adjustments accordingly. The program does not look at common words and phrases you may use because those are everywhere. It just examines the primary components of an article and makes sure it isn't anywhere to be found.
How to Use Copyscape
If you want to test Copyscape out for yourself, you will need to sign up for a free account. Even though the account is free, the use of the program is not. You have to pay $.05 every time you run something on Copyscape, and you have to buy at least 100 runs at a time. Thus you need to make sure you at least have $5 to spare on a credit card or in your PayPal account before using this.
Once you have your account set up, you can go to the checker page and put information into the text box. I usually try to limit that information to about 600 words, but you can put more in. It just doesn't come up with completely accurate results that way. Once you submit the text, the program will either show you the results for the plagiarism scan, or it will say "No results." Then you can determine if you need to make any adjustments to your work.
How to Get Articles to Pass Copyscape
If you are the kind of writer that just rewrites other works online, Copyscape can help you see how original that work looks. This will prevent clients from seeing what you wrote so you don't get in trouble for the rewrite. If something doesn't pass Copyscape, compare text on the top search result to see what all is coming up wrong. Look over the highlighted text because that is the part that comes up plagiarized. Try to pick out phrases that have keywords in them or long chains of information. Those are the ones that may hold you back from passing.
When you find chains of three or more words you think may be causing you to not pass the test, you need to change the words in your article so that they don't match the original. Then you can run the new article and see if anything happens. Sometimes all you have to do is change the order of words, and other times you can't even change anything because the issue lies within a keyword. Now that you know how to use this program though, you may be able to make your writing better as a whole. It just depends on how you utilize the tools around you.