Scribbr Plagiarism Checker Review:
based on real mystery shopping

A*Help Score: 58.6/100
🔥 published August 9, 2023 - updated June 3, 2024

Scribbr is an online proofreading and editing service primarily designed to assist students in improving the quality and integrity of their academic work. Users can benefit significantly from working with the service, as it can help them ensure originality and enhance their papers by using the power of Scribbr’s two separate tools – a plagiarism detector and a grammar checker. We applied different testing scenarios to check how well the service performs in these two areas.

TOP services Our verdict AHelp Score 🔥 Updated January 2024
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AHelp Plagcheck
Best plagiarism detector 86.5/100 Get free access
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Best experience 86/100 Read review
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Best features 85.1/100 Read review
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Originality AI
Best free trial value 79.1/100 Read review
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Best price 78.6/100 Read review


🌟A*Help score58.6/100
✅ Quality of help31.6/50
💲 Price$19.95

Scribbr’s plagiarism detector leverages the technology of TurnItIn, with whom it is partnered. Yet, only a partnership with a reputable industry player does not necessarily ensure the product’s flawlessness. In our analysis of four different texts, only half yielded accurate outcomes. The tool correctly identified the entirely authentic document written by a human, detecting no plagiarism, and it also accurately recognized character substitutions in another document used for testing. Nonetheless, its performance faltered with paraphrased material and essays sourced online, where it delivered subpar results.
⚖️ Our verdict
Can’t assure the detection of plagiarism, particularly in texts that have been extensively paraphrased.
A screenshot of the homepage of Scribb's plagiarism checker

Scribbr Plagiarism Detector – Quick Overview

Scribbr performs its functions as a plagiarism detector. However, the variability of certain results, particularly heavily paraphrased texts, as well as the lack of an option to try without a subscription, leads us to believe that this tool is unlikely to be among the best plagiarism checkers. The verdict: Scribbr needs to enhance its plagiarism detection feature

The Good
  • Access to a massive database of publications
  • Downloadable report
The Bad
  • Inadequate plagiarism detection accuracy
  • No trial period
An infographic with a short Scribbr review describing the ways it was tested and how it received an A*Help Score: 58.6/100

The legend of rock music, Freddy Mercury once said, “You can do anything you want with my music, just don’t make it boring.” Vanilla Ice, of course, didn’t consider the music he was making boring, and that must have been one of the reasons why he incorporated the bass line from the Queen’s “Under Pressure” in his 1990 smash “Ice Ice Baby.” Vanilla didn’t get away with the theft and ultimately settled for a certain compensation after “The Queen” sued. In 2018 Radiohead threaten legal actions agains Lana Del Ray, whose song “Get Free” bore a striking resemblance to the band’s huge 1993 hit “Creep.” Another popular musician, Ed Sheeran, was also involved into a number of copyright infringement disputes.  

Music, literature, and cinematography have all been tarnished by conflicts involving copyright violations. Whether or not these concerns escalated to legal battles, they posed difficulties for everyone involved. In the academic world, plagiarism is considered a serious offense, often resulting in severe consequences. To protect your academic path and make sure your essay stands up to scrutiny, try to use Scribbr’s plagiarism detection tool.

Scribbr Plagiarism Checker: Mystery Shopping

When Sheeran was accused of copying another artist’s tune for his song, he made a valid point that all musicians draw from the same pool of notes and that a handful of chords form the foundation of most pop songs, making some degree of similarity inevitable. This situation highlights the need for a systematic or technical approach to confirm or deny claims of plagiarism in creative works. In education and scholarly writing, detecting plagiarism is straightforward, and students used to find themselves at a disadvantage against educators equipped with sophisticated software designed to detect elements of academic dishonesty. Now, tools like Scribbr allow students to ensure their work adheres to the high standards of academic integrity. To verify the effectiveness of these tools, we put one of the top contenders in the plagiarism detection market, Scribbr, to the test through our personal usage. 

For this purpose, we prepared five different essays on “Characteristics of a Leader.” The first was an original piece, while the second was sourced from the internet. The third and fourth essays underwent rewording by tools like Quillbot and ChatGPT. Finally, the last piece had certain characters manually altered by replacing them from other alphabets . We believed this varied set of modifications would effectively showcase the capabilities of a plagiarism detection tool in spotting different types of unnatural edits of the text. We ran all these samples through Scribbr’s engine, analyzed the outcomes, and reported our findings in the section dedicated to assessing the Plagiarism Detection Accuracy section of this review. If you’d like to learn more about our methodology, see how we test plagiarism checkers for more details about our testing approach.

StatusIdeal Results
✍️ Written from scratch
🔍 Found online & submitted
🤖 ChatGPT-paraphrased
🤖 Quillbot-parapharsed
🔠 Online text with interchanged letters❌ / ⚠️

Furthermore, in our quest to find out “is Scribbr the same as Turnitin” from a plagiarism detection standpoint, we looked at the service from a user’s perspective to determine its cost-effectiveness and whether it lived up to user expectations regarding overall experience. These evaluations contributed to our comprehensive review and led us to formulate the A*Help score for Scribbr, which serves as an objective measure of the service’s general quality and efficiency, particularly in comparison to Turnitin’s offerings.

Trying Scribbr's plagiarism checker
Trying Scribbr’s plagiarism checker (click to see a bigger picture)

Scribbr Plagiarism Checker: Detection Accuracy – 31.6/50⭐️⭐️⭐️

Ed Sheeran’s legal battle ended well for him when the UK Supreme Court ruled in his favor, stating that he had not intentionally plagiarized another musician’s song. While the specifics of the trial and the defense’s arguments are not public knowledge, this result stresses that an accusation of copyright infringement and a court case don’t automatically mean that an artist is guilty. It also doesn’t imply that someone else was acquitted even though they consciously sought “inspiration” in other people’s work.

In the academic world, plagiarism disputes don’t reach a courtroom, but rather, they are handled within the educational institution, with the college acting as the plaintiff and the student in the role of the defendant. Hence, neither side can simply claim that any potential plagiarism was “intentional” or “accidental.” In other words, students must be certain that their papers are plagiarism-free and will withstand scrutiny.

With this in mind, let’s examine how Scribbr performed when we tested it with our documents.

A screenshot of plagiarism detection results at Scribbr
Plagiarism detection results at Scribbr (click to see a large image)

The first text we checked was written by a human, and it didn’t contain any plagiarism. Scribbr quickly spotted and verified this, so the start was promising. 

The next paper was an essay downloaded from the Internet, and as such, we expected the plagiarism detection tool to flag it accordingly with a score indicating complete plagiarism – 100%. Nevertheless, the tool fell short of these expectations, registering only a 25% detection rate.

The next two papers, having been altered using two AI tools, were anticipated not to pass the plagiarism check either. Yet, the results were mixed: it identified 36% of the text as plagiarized but failed to detect any AI involvement. This is in stark contrast to the reality, as the entire document had been revised by AI.

Scribbr worked remarkably well in our last test document, an essay taken from the internet with certain letters carefully swapped with comparable symbols from various alphabets. It correctly identified the content as fully plagiarized and also detected the character changes.

In conclusion, the effectiveness of Scribbr’s plagiarism detection raises questions. The service proved itself capable of identifying authentic text as original and was smart enough to detect full plagiarism even when characters were substituted with similar symbols from different alphabets. However, its performance was worse when it came to texts with partial alterations and AI-revised documents. The 25% detection rate for the internet-sourced essay and the incomplete recognition of AI involvement in the altered document highlight potential areas for improvement. It remains essential for users to be aware of its limitations and consider supplemental checks when comprehensive scrutiny is required.

Find a detailed plagiarism detection report below:

> Text> Best result> Acceptable result> Scribbr result
Human-written text100% free of plagiarism10% margin of error100% free
Internet sample100% plagiarism detected10% margin of error25% detected
AI paraphrase (2 texts)100% free of plagiarism10% margin of error32% plagiarism detected
Replaced characters100% plagiarism detectedFlagged character replacements99% plagiarism detected

Scribbr Plagiarism Checker: Value for Money – 13/25⭐️⭐️⭐️

Scribbr understands the critical importance of plagiarism detection in academic submissions. This probably explains why the service opts for a straightforward pricing model, refusing to offer trials or free versions of software. Customers are presented with three pricing levels based on the length of the document they wish to analyze: a fee of $19.95 for documents up to 7,500 words, $29.95 for documents up to 50,000 words, and $39.95 for even longer texts. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for promotional deals to catch a discount.

The service is designed exclusively for document uploads, meaning users cannot check snippets of text or URLs directly. Scribbr also offers a specialized academic proofreading module that surveys the text for proper citation and formatting, culminating in a formal report detailing the findings.

A screenshot of the uploading documents for scanning window at Scribbr
Uploading documents for scanning at Scribbr’s pagiarism checker (click to see a large image)

Scribbr’s scope includes searching the Internet and, thanks to the tool’s authorized partner, Turnitin, the world’s largest database, covering billions of web pages and millions of publications in 20 languages. Optionally, users can also compare their submissions with their previous assignments or classmates’ papers, making sure there isn’t any unintentional plagiarism. 

Students should also like to learn, that Scribbr extends its capabilities beyond standard plagiarism detection. It provides services for improving their academic writing, more precisely by identifying mistakes with their grammar checker. The paraphrasing tool and summarizer may also serve well for those people who look for more flexibility or inspiration. 

Summary-wise, Scribbr delivers average performance regarding value for money. While it includes essential features like an academic proofreading tool and detailed reports, it lacks broader document-handling capabilities. The absence of a free trial also diminishes its appeal as a go-to plagiarism detection tool for ongoing use.

Basic features
Price & special offers

Scribbr Plagiarism Checker: Overall Experience – 14/25⭐️⭐️⭐️

Checking your essay for plagiarism and anticipating the result can indeed be tense. A quality plagiarism checker should prioritize user experience, ensuring the service is user-friendly and contributes to a positive experience rather than increasing stress levels. It should aim to provide a seamless and reassuring process that alleviates concerns about potential plagiarism rather than exacerbating them. Therefore, we always pay close attention to what we experience as customers during work and include our impressions as criteria for the A*Help score.  

The website is easily navigable and operates exclusively as a web-based application, meaning there’s no option to download and use it as standalone software. This could be a limitation for those who prefer an app that integrates with their desktop environment.

A screenshot of the dashboard at Scribbr's plagiarism checker
Dashboard at Scribbr’s plagiarism checker (click to see a large image)

To begin using the service, you must sign up and create an account. The registration process is short, offering traditional email sign-up as well as the convenience of using existing social media accounts for quick access. A phone number is not required during registration, which is a plus for those concerned about privacy and security.

The actual process of checking documents for plagiarism is quick, typically taking no more than a minute for documents of regular length. The interface is intuitive, but should any questions arise, there’s readily available online support and a text guide for assistance. Another convenient feature is the ability to make payments instantly using a variety of common digital wallets.

Overall, Scribbr is a reliable tool without any unexpected downsides. However, one notable disadvantage is the lack of a browser extension for quicker scanning for plagiarism, which might greatly streamline the process for many people.

User experience & registration


Scribbr as a plagchecker left a mixed bag of impressions. On the one hand, it appears that the tool has a robust technological foundation to efficiently meet the diverse demands of users. However, our investigation provides a less-than-rosy picture. While the service correctly identified the author’s content, it worked out weakly when the maximum performance was predicted – texts containing plagiarism. The A*Help score of 58.6/100 illustrates these arguments and suggests that while people can consider Scribbr as a practical plagiarism checker, it may be worthwhile to explore what alternatives provide for more accurate results.


Scribbr Reviews

At AcademicHelp, we always test tools ourselves before recommending them. When working with Scribbr we used the same pattern and approach. Before conducting mystery shopping, we researched user reviews on Reddit, Sitejabber, TrustPilot, and for honest feedback. We used these reviews to form our Negativity rank and put these voiced concerns to the test.

Is Scribbr a Scam?

Scribbr isn’t a scam. We at AcademicHelp tested it with five documents and didn’t find any suspicious activities. In the long run, we received plagiarism detection results for all five essays.

Is Scribbr Legit?

Yes, Scribbr is a legitimate plagiarism checker. We didn’t encounter any questionable activities or requests from the service. So, we can confidently say Scribbr is legit.

Is Scribbr Safe?

Yes, Scribbr is safe for both students and educators. It doesn’t ask for intrusive information or invade your privacy, so it’s secure to use. When using the website, creating our personal account, and scanning essays our experts did not notice any fraudulent activities.

Is Scribbr Trustworthy?

Yes, after using Scribbr to check five essays and receiving valid results, we can say it’s a trustworthy plagiarism checker. Our mystery shopping confirms this.

Is Scribbr a Good Service?

We used Scribbr to check five essays for plagiarism. Our assessment gave Scribbr a score of 52 out of 100, considering plagiarism detection quality, cost-effectiveness, and overall experience. Having conducted our mystery shopping, we believe that this tool needs to undergo several boots and advancements to be truly useful for students.

Scribbr’s Plagcheck: Specs

> Features
Check files
Insert text
Receive report
Word limit
Academic proofreading module (check citations and etc)
Check for free/trial
Number of free checks available
Spelling check
Grammar check
> Advanced features
Detect AI content
A separate tool
Cross-language search
Text compare
OCR scan
> Sources
Current Batch Files (your own docs)
Plagchecker’s database
> Price & special offers
Paid plansCheap
Easy to use website
Desktop version
Trying before registration
Browser extensions
Account (do users have an account?)
Time to check workup to 1 minute
Need email to register
Need phone to register
Third-party registration methods
> Support
Onboarding (how to use plagcheck)
Support chat
> Payment
Wallets (ApplePay, GooglePay, Paypal)

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