Can my teacher tell if I copy-paste?

You are working on that essay, assignment, or homework and just as you are going through the tonnes of information available online, you notice a website with what you consider to be a perfect answer to your problem.

We all have gone through this in our time in college.

With websites like Chegg, Course Hero, Quizlet among others,  you are likely to find the perfect answer to your problem.

These websites have answers to most problems that teachers give students to tackle. However, you may ask yourself: will my teacher tell if I copy-paste?

In this blog post, we seek the answer on whether your teacher can know if you copy-paste information online and use it to complete your assignment or essay.


Can my teacher tell if I copy-paste?

Your teacher can tell if you copy-paste information online and submit it as your own work. There are software’s available that teachers use to check if what their students submit is their own original work or the work is copied from the internet. 

With so much information written in the world, you would think it is an insurmountable task to for your teacher to determine whether you copy-pasted. Well, you are wrong.

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Teachers and professors have at their disposal plagiarism checkers, that they use to check the originality of their students’ work.

In addition, they are also scholars and have access to the same internet you are using. Being scholars, it means that they read a lot and there are chances the work you copy from, your teacher has already seen it.

Can your teacher tell if you copy someone’s else essay?

Yes, your teacher can tell if you copy someone’s else essay by running the paper through a plagiarism checker. Most institutions use powerful software like Turnitin which is able to check the originality of papers with precise accuracy.

Most plagiarism checking software used by institutions of higher learning are able to scan the internet and also their own repository’s to find out if a student copied someone’s else work.

Quick example: let’s say you copy your friend’s essay: when checking for plagiarism, the plagiarism checker will save the first paper checked to its database. This means, that when the other essay is checked it will come up as plagiarized.

However, if you are submitting your essay in hard copy, it might be difficult for a teacher to tell if you copied from the internet since they will be unable to check the similarity index of the paper. But don’t take any chances.

If you copy someone’s else essay that is being submitted in hard copy, chances are that your instructor will be able to tell that the work was copied.


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How do teachers know if you copied and pasted?

Teachers know if you copied and pastes by:

  • Using a plagiarism checker
  • Inconsistent tone
  • Inconsistent font
  • Inaccurate content
  • Lack of consistency 
  1. Using a plagiarism checker

Teachers have access to plagiarism checkers like Turnitin, safeassign among others, which they use to determine the similarity index of any work submitted by their students.

Most learning institutions provide these software to teachers as a way of promoting academic integrity.

Plagiarism checkers specially designed to be used by learning institutions are very powerful since they are able to determine plagiarism or similarity by checking the internet and also from their own database which they save all previously submitted essays and assignments.

2. Inconsistent tone

Teachers are able to detect an inconsistent tone when reading and grading papers. For instance, a student might decide to copy-paste a small section in their essay.

However, tying this down with the tone and theme of the general paper may prove to be hard.

Teachers are hawk-eyed and can literary “smell” an inconsistent tone from a mile away.

So, when the instructions note any abrupt changes in tone, they might suspect copy-paste activity and will defiantly investigate further.

3. Inconsistent font

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This is easy to detect. A teacher will notice a sudden change in a font in a student’s essay and it will be obvious that the student copy-pasted.

Generally, this will be a paragraph or two of the entire piece. For instance, a student will use Times New Roman for the majority of the paper. In small sections, in the paper, the teacher might note a change in the font which is inconsistent with the majority of the paper.

While most students will cover their tracks by making changing the font to match that of the paper, many forget to change the font size. While this might be difficult to spot, changes in tone might lead the instructor to conduct further investigation upon which they will notice the different font sizes.

4. Inaccurate content 

While copy-pasting students will sometimes include information that is either incorrect or is not in line with the topic they are discussing.

For instance: if a student is writing a piece on the covid 19 pandemic in the US, you might find them talking about another country that is not in line with the topic.

That information is not only inaccurate but might signal that the student is engaging in copy-paste activities.

5 Lack of consistency 

Most students will definitely find a way to cover their tracks but ensuring the paper is consistent in terms of theme, font, and font size.

However, a hawk-eyed professor will definitely notice one or two areas that are not constant with the rest of the paper.

This might be the case for a student copy-pasting from various sources. The teacher can tell that the paper is all over the place and the student does not take time to develop the paper.


How to copy-paste without plagiarizing?

You can copy-paste without plagiarizing by using quotations and citing appropriately, paraphrasing by rewording, using synonyms, using correct references, or hiring a legit essay writing company to write your paper from scratch. 

The best way to copy-paste without plagiarizing is to cite appropriately. You can use quotations and cite to show that indeed the work is someone’s else intellectual property.

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Remember using quotations is allowed in academic writing.

In the event your teacher discourages the use of quotations, you can paraphrase and ensure that you cite and reference appropriately.

Also: Is paraphrasing wrong in college?

If none of the above works you can use synonyms or hire a website that writes essays at a fee.

A legit essay writing company will write your paper from scratch and will cite all sources used.

How do you copy someone’s essay without getting caught?

You can get away with copying someone’s else essay by paraphrasing their work, hiring essay writing services or using a lot of quotes.

Copying someone’s essay word for word is not wise and chances are-you will be caught on your tracks and the consequences of academic dishonesty might be severe.

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As such, you can choose to paraphrase their work. You can reword and use your own words before submitting the essay.

Using a re-writing tool might not be a good idea as instructors will be able to tell since such papers do not flow logically.

Another option would be to seek the services of a cheap essay writing company that will you a plagiarism-free essay from scratch, even on a short deadline.


Bottom line

So, Can my teacher tell if I copy-paste? Teachers can tell if you copy-paste using plagiarism checkers and by checking the use of fonts and consistency in their student’s papers.

It is possible to copy-paste without plagiarizing by paraphrasing or hiring the services of an essay writer.