Which free AI detection tool can you use if you suspect a student has plagiarized using Generative AI?

Tags AI plagiarism

The top three recommended tools for educators as of January 2024, include ZeroGPT (not to be confused with GTPZero), Winston AI, and CopyLeaks.

NOTE: Each should be used with caution due to differences in accuracy and reliability, false positive classifications, and word or page limitations.

Mindful of these limitations, the Center for Teaching and Learning identified the ZeroGPT tool as the best free option that can be used extensively in higher education.


  • Mixed accuracy and reliability: 20% margin of error for false positives (i.e. false accusations of plagiarism)


  • Developed for academic settings,
  • Free version available,
  • Probability report,
  • Highlights suspected text,
  • Batch-file uploads (no limit),
  • Chrome Extension

Recommended Syllabus Policies and Notices

  1. Before proceeding with any plagiarism checker, AI or otherwise, we recommend that all faculty review the Academic Integrity policies and guidelines for using these tools and dealing with these issues

Step by Step ZeroGPT Guide

  1. Access ZeroGPT
  2. Copy and paste the suspected content into the text box or upload a file
    Note: For copy-pasted content, there is a 15,000-character limit for the amount of content it can review in the free version. For file uploads, only a single file can be uploaded at one time. Microsoft Word documents work the best compared to PDF documents

  3. Click the Detect Text button
    ZeroGPT First Screeen
  4. Review the percent probability at the top of the screen. This percent represents the likelihood that the highlighted text is AI generated
    1. ChatGPT generated text
      ZeroGPT Report
    2. Human written text
      Human Written Report
  5. Interpret the results carefully by reviewing the content highlighted in yellow and taking note of the reported probability of AI-generated content
  6. Have a conversation with the student using the generated report. Use this teaching guide on classroom communication to help
    NOTE: AI detectors should not be used as the sole indicator of student misconduct since they may incorrectly flag human-created content as AI-generated content (i.e. false positives). It is recommended that AI detection scores are leveraged as supporting evidence in situations where plagiarism is suspected 

  7. You can seek additional guidance by contacting the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (OSCR)

    1. Email accountability@charlotte.edu  and include the student’s name and their student ID# OR

    2. Call 704-687-0336 from a university-provided phone number
      NOTE: Due to FERPA, the SARC office will not release student information if someone calls from a non-university number (like a cell phone)

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Article ID: 2787
Tue 1/9/24 1:42 PM
Tue 2/20/24 10:37 AM