Google and Plagiarism


You can use Google to search for particular phrases contained in either web pages or articles in a few easy steps.

  1. Point your web browser to or Google Scholar.
  2. Find a phrase that is uncharacteristic of the student's normal writing style.
  3. Copy that phrase, enclosed in quotes, into the google search box and hit enter. If you do not receive any or many results, remove the quotes from the phrase and try again.

The examples below incorporate Google Scholar and were taken from random articles pulled from the OhioLINK Electronic Journal Center (EJC). This is by no means a comprehensive or fool-proof method of uncovering possible plagiarism, but may help flesh out a problem.

Example 1 - with quotes

Google Scholar

Aristotle, in his sober analysis of the prodigal, isolates a fascinating feature of the relentless spendthrift. The resolute prodigal requires an irrational balance of motivation. In fact, an assessment of motivation is elemental to Aristotle’s analysis of the moral virtues in general.

Hadreas, Peter. “Aristotle on the Vices and Virtue of Wealth,” Journal of Business Ethics, 39 September 2002, 361-376.

Example 2 - without quotes

Google Scholar

In Afghanistan, however, women are facing an entirely different situation, not only in comparison with women in the Western world, but also with their sisters in other underdeveloped countries. In Afghanistan, the immediate issues for women no longer concern basic social and political rights or lifestyle choices. The key issue now is that of women’s very survival in general and their right to exist. They are not talking about different kinds of bread, but bread itself. They are not demanding victims’ rights in the case of rape, but rather they live in constant fear of rape by men wielding a gun in one hand and the Qur’an in the other. They no longer have a choice in the kind of food they can obtain, but are prepared to die for any kind of food that will prevent their children from going hungry.

Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan. “Shoulder to Shoulder, Hand in Hand: Resistance under the Iron Fist in Afghanistan,” Radical History Review, 82 January 2002, 131-140.