Corinne Hoisington is the Professor of Information Systems Technology at Central Virginia Community College.
We all have our fair share student essays and papers as instructors. Sometimes we wish we could confirm that the work they have written is original. Microsoft Word online now offers a similarity checker tool. This shows you how original the content is in your student’s document. It makes it easy to insert citations using MLA and APA when necessary. Plagiarism is a serious offense to academic ethics. You can run the Microsoft Word plagiarism checker on any Word document you receive that is not “original”.
Open a Word document in Office Word Online. To do this, go to and select Word. Select Editor (Figure 1) from the Home tab.
Figure 1

Click on the Editor pane to find Similarity. The Similarity Checker will show you how much of the document matches an online site. Copy passages will be highlighted with a blue underline that shows the source. If the similarity percentage exceeds 10%, the document must be properly cited (Figure 2).
Our students can become stronger writers by having them review their papers before they submit them.
Figure 2

The following video will show you how to use Similarity Checker step-by-step.

Use this URL to share the video with your students so they know how to use the feature, too:

Microsoft Word Plagiarism Check