Have you ever wished there was an easy way to compare a student’s draft version of a paper with their final version to see highlight the changes? This is where DiffChecker can satisfy that craving.

diffChecker logo
What is DiffChecker? DiffChecker.com is a free online tool where you can copy/paste text into to two panels and compare the highlighted differences.

Why would you need DiffChecker? When DiffChecker shows you the highlighted differences, it is easier to see what changes the student has made since the original draft was submitted. This enables you to focus on the improvements without having to re-read the entire final version and looking for differences by sight.

How are faculty using DiffChecker? DiffChecker is useful in courses where students submit one or more draft versions of a paper leading to a completed final version.

The DiffChecker Recipe

  1. Open the two versions of the paper you want compare in MS Word (or whatever word processor you are using). You will be selecting all of the text for each of them and copy/pasting them into the DiffChecker panel.
  2. Go to DiffChecker.com [ https://www.diffchecker.com/ ]. You do not need to log in or create an account.
  3. Copy all of the text from the DRAFT version of the paper and paste it into the left “Original Text” panel on DiffChecker. (You can make select partial selections of the draft paper if you want, but you will need to make the same selection in the FINAL paper as well).
  4. Copy all of the text from the FINAL version of the paper and paste it into the right “Changed Text” panel on DiffChecker.
  5. Click on the green FIND DIFFERENCE! button. Do not change the default menu selection labeled “Do Not Store”. Leave this as-is.
  6. You will then see a comparison of the two sets of text with differences highlighted.
  7. When you are done, just delete the text in both boxes and close out the Web page or copy/paste in another set of text.

If the two papers are formatted identically, you will see the paragraphs align between the two sets of text. However, if the formatting has been changed at all between the two, you may need to edit some of the original text or changed text to get them to align better.

This can be done by scrolling down below the comparison panels and editing the raw text in Original Text and Changed Text boxes.

From the teaching kitchen of Steve Covello, Granite State College (USNH)


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