Writers today, both students and working professionals, have an incredible array of reference material available. It can be confusing to know when content requires attribution and how to cite it appropriately – these are learned skills that can be time-consuming to teach and difficult to remember.
From discussions with students and teachers, we know that writing tools today do not alert students to the need for a citation or help them add citations early enough in the writing process.
“There have been a lot of changes lately in how we teach plagiarism and make it more of a learning process rather than a gotcha. The fact that this can catch things as students are writing is excellent.” – High School Teacher, History
We are pleased to announce that Editor’s Similarity checker feature, available in Microsoft Word for Microsoft 365 EDU A3 and A5 customers, is currently available in Office preview builds. The feature will release to general availability in July.
Powered by Bing Search, the Similarity checker can identify and help writers with originality in their writing and learn more about appropriate attribution through tools that facilitate the easy insertion of relevant citations. This can aid writers in focusing less on the mechanics of writing, and more on the content.
Critically, the Similarity checker makes this functionality available to students while they are still in the writing process. While in the past teachers viewed plagiarism-checking software as a punitive/”gotcha” moment at submission time, teachers are trending towards empowering their students to find their authentic voice while leveraging citations as appropriate. Coupling similarity detection with citation tools presents an opportunity to provide guidance when it will be most effective to improve writing outcomes.
“At the end of the day, no teacher wants to fail a student for plagiarizing. I think of it as my own failure when a student fails. Most teachers would feel glad to know that students have a bit more empowerment.” – High School Teacher, English
To learn more about Editor’s Similarity checker in Microsoft Word, visit https://aka.ms/similaritychecker.
To learn more about Microsoft Editor, visit https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/microsoft-editor.
Microsoft Word Program Manager