Plagiarism Checkers vs. Human Grading: Which is Better for Assessing Student Work? A Comparative Analysis

Let’s compare the effectiveness of plagiarism checkers and human grading of similarity in assessing student work, considering factors such as accuracy, efficiency, and fairness.

Assessing Student Work: The Pros and Cons of Plagiarism Checkers vs. Human Grading

When we use technical means to check plagiarism, we save teachers’ time and, accordingly, the resources to pay for their additional work. After all, teachers do not spend their precious hours evaluating unoriginal works that will turn out to be plagiarized. In addition, teachers are not required to manually search for signs of plagiarism in every student’s work, copy pasting to Google, compare texts for similarities, and create reports with links. Using plagiarism checker tools makes this process faster (in a matter of seconds) and more comprehensive.

At the same time, plagiarism checkers will not be able to replace the analytical abilities of teaching staff completely. In some cases, testing with tools can give false positive results, and only the teacher can analyze all factors to make a final decision.
While plagiarism detection accuracy, fullness, and speed are higher in plagiarism checker tools, grading accuracy, depth of analysis, and reliability are advantages of human grading. However, the subjectivity of human grading remains a potential disadvantage for evaluation ethics.

Plagiarism checker vs human grading: Pros & Cons

Plagiarism checker 

Human grading

✅ plagiarism detection accuracy

✅ grading accuracy

✅ objectivity

✅ personalized grading

✅ fullness

✅ depth of analysis 

✅ speed

✅ reliability

Comparing Accuracy and Efficiency of Plagiarism Checkers and Human Grading

Plagiarism grading by human

Reliability of human grading is mostly higher, but the subjective factor must be taken into account, so the work is cross-evaluated by several people. Mandatory establishment of inter-rater reliability – the degree of agreement or consistency between two or more raters who are independently rating the same paper. There are different statistical measures that can be used to assess inter-rater reliability, such as Cohen’s kappa, Fleiss’ kappa, and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Grading consistency by humans takes longer and requires significantly more resources.

Plagiarism grading by checkers tool

Reliability of plagiarism checkers is lower, due to the possibility of false-positive results. However, plagiarism detection consistency is achieved faster and more accurately thanks to always objective technological methods.

The tool does not form the final verdict “Plagiarism”, this decision is always up to the person. All plagiarism checkers give a percentage of text similarity, an exact match of 3 words in a row – compared to millions of works the software will find in its databases or on the Internet. At the same time,, for example, will analyze and highlight literally identical parts in red (percentage of identical matches relative to the entire text) and paraphrased text in orange (percentage of changes). Also, this tool is able to determine specific signs of AI use and authenticity of authorship (similarity of text style to other works of the same student and individual style).

Accordingly, the total percentage of similarity will be formed – and if it is higher than 25% – the work may be marked as plagiarism. The upper limit of similarity is different for different institutions, but in general academic integrity, policies usually allow 0-5% similarity. Such precision and completeness of analysis are not available during human grading.

The Impact of Plagiarism Checkers on Grading Practices

Today, ensuring academic integrity and plagiarism prevention is of utmost importance in the evaluation process in most institutes. Only after determining the level of probable plagiarism, teachers begin to evaluate the work according to all other criteria. Originality checks changed the evaluation process in general.
Top impacts:

  • Increased focus on critical thinking skills;
  • Development of academic writing skills;
  • Improvement of writing proficiency;
  • Plagiarism detection precedes other criteria.

Human Grading vs. Plagiarism Checkers: Which is More Effective?

So, what is more effective? Human assessment or tool use?

Educator efficiency decreases significantly when the grading workload and plagiarism checking workload increases, especially during final semester periods when thousands of papers need to be carefully checked and graded while ensuring reliable reporting.

Plagiarism detection automation allows partial grading automation. This will add speed, transparency, and accuracy and significantly save resources.

Plagiarism checker vs human grading

Plagiarism checking

Human grading

Fully plagiarism detection 

Correctly reports interpretation and final  personalized grading 

Detection of AI writing, including Chat GPT  

Subjective feedback

Automatic authorship verification

High reliability

Semi-automated improvement of grammar and citations

Depth of analysis

A Comprehensive Look at the Benefits and Limitations of Different Assessment Methods

On the one hand, the human eye has a subjective factor, it can break the trust between the teacher and the student, and also increase the tension during learning.


But on the other hand, it is worth remembering that well-known things and facts, such as “London is the capital of Great Britain” – can get into the similarity report. Such a phrase will be found in many sources without citation, but it is not at all the fact that this statement is copied. Professors of scientific disciplines, for example, medicine, physics, and biology, understand the difficulty of paraphrasing in such tasks, so they offer their acceptable level of similarity, as well as the level of density of verification. False positives are extremely rare, but are the biggest challenge when assessing plagiarism with tools.

Therefore, only the combination of software with human assessment and correct interpretation of technical reports is the most effective practice, which will ensure not only high-quality plagiarism detection and academic integrity in particular but also in general:

  • to improve the efficiency of the educational institution
  • higher quality of learning and writing
  • higher academic achievements and rating
  • saving resources and money
  • optimal management and favorable mood for development in the teaching staff
  • a pleasant learning environment for students, due to transparency and higher trust.

So, it is worth considering the benefits and limitations of different types of grading: full and objective grading with plagiarism checkers vs subjective feedback and personalized grading, which can only be provided by humans.


What are the benefits of using human grading over plagiarism checkers?

Human assessment takes into account all the specifics of the task, is more reliable, and does not give false-positive results.

How do educators determine whether to use plagiarism checkers or human grading?

Many homework assignments, which are of small volume and simple topics, can be pre-assessed for plagiarism by the teacher and selectively checked with plagiarism checkers for reliability and in case of suspicion. Final works, for which exact and complete determination of similarity is mandatory, are fully checked with the help of tools.

Are there any instances where plagiarism checkers can be more reliable than human grading?

Depending on the level of expertise, available resources, or ethical principles, teachers may not notice plagiarism or similarities where plagiarism-checking tools would.

Can plagiarism checkers and human grading be used together in the same assessment?

Yes, even necessary! After checking the plagiarism checkers, it is always appropriate to analyze the work of a person. This will make it possible to use the advantages of both methods and eliminate the disadvantages of each. helps teachers and students to elevate their working routines. Try our Chat GPT checker and plagiarism check tool now!