(Paraphrasing Prevents Plagiarism)


This website is to help you learn how to avoid plagiarism for your writing assignments. You know that essays and research papers require using ideas that are not your own; you just can't copy the ideas (usually from the Internet, magazines, newspapers, or books). You have to restate (rewrite) the ideas in your own words, then cite your sources. But what constitutes 'your own words'? Well, throughout this app, you will be guided through the process called paraphrasing to prevent plagiarism.

Plagiarism: what is it? It is copying ideas in writing that are not yours. Robert Feldman, who writes textbooks for McGraw-Hill, defines it in these steps:

What is plagiarism? Plagiarism is the improper borrowing of another person's words, ideas, or methods. If you use another person's material, you must acknowledge your source. When you cite a source properly, you have given credit where it is due, and you have also given your readers a way to locate the original material on their own.
What's wrong with plagiarism? Plagiarism is a direct violation of academic code: whether you borrow a single idea, a sentence, or an entire essay, if you pass someone else's work off as your own, you risk expulsion. Also, plagiarism undermines the work you are doing as a student. You are not expected to have ideas that consistently rival those of experts and professional scholars, but you are expected to know how to find expert opinions on a given subject and how to properly cite those opinions. 
What does this have to do with the Internet? With the accessibility of the Internet comes new temptations to plagiarize. Web sites have sprung up offering for sale completed essays on any topic. The catch? Those sites are just as accessible to your instructor as they are to you. Most writing teachers are aware of what can be bought and can easily spot a "recycled" essay. Don't risk it. And don't cheat yourself out of your education.
Documentation Citing your sources properly requires following the rules: a number of organizations, such as the Modern Languages Association, the American Psychological Association, and the Council of Biological Sciences, have developed documentation guidelines for use in their disciplines. Use the documentation guidelines your instructor recommends.

(from: P.O.W.E.R. Learning: Strategies for Success in College and Life, 3/e)
Robert S. Feldman, University of Massachusetts     ISBN: 0073126403        Copyright year: 2007    Avoiding Plagiarism

Paraphrasing: What is it? 
from: http://quotations.about.com/cs/quotations101/a/aa042603.htm

What is Paraphrasing? Paraphrasing is a restatement of the quotation using your own words. When you paraphrase, you don't rely on the words of the author of the quotation to create an impact on your readers' minds. You use your own words.

Should one Always Paraphrase? The answer is no. Your objective as a writer or speaker of a quotation is to make an impact. Evaluate both choices - paraphrase and direct quote. Usually, paraphrasing makes more sense if: the quotation is long and wordy the words in the quotation are not powerful the source of the quotation is unknown or dubious you are capable of making a good paraphrase without making it seem like plagiarism.

Here is an Effective Method of Paraphrasing a Quotation: Carefully read the original quotation and make sure to understand its central theme. Note down anything that grabs your attention. If you feel that some element (word, phrase, thought) contributes to the central theme of the quotation, make a note of it. Write a paraphrase in your own words. Meticulously avoid using the original words, phrases, and expression. At the same time, make sure that your words convey the same central theme. If you need to use an interesting word or phrase from the original text, use quotation marks to indicate that it is not your own. Cite the author, the source, and the date given in the text to credit the owner of the quotation. Remember: Though the words of the paraphrase are your own, the thought behind it isn't. To not mention the author's name is plagiarism.

What is a Bad Paraphrase? A bad paraphrase is one in which you simply substitute certain words with their synonyms, while maintaining the structure of the original quotation. To write a good paraphrase, borrow only the idea conveyed by the author. Express the sentiment in your own words, in your own way.

How does a Paraphrase Differ from a Summary? To the untrained eye, a paraphrase and a summary may look alike. However, A summary is an abridged version of the original text. A paraphrase can be shorter or longer than the original text.

A summary eliminates details, examples, and supporting points. A paraphrase describes the original text in different words. It does not omit details.

Overview of this site

"Rewrite or restate the author's ideas in your own words" is rather vague. This book will give you examples and activities of different grammatical structures, as well as other methods, that will allow you to paraphrase another's writing. Once you understand all the different variations, and with some practice, your paraphrasing will become faster and more efficient.

Table of Contents

Part One: Vocabulary choices/changes

  1. 1.using a thesaurus

Part Two: Grammatical Paraphrasing

1. passive → active → passive

2. negatives → positives → negatives

3. nouns → verbs → nouns

4. relative clauses, adding and reducing

5. this/these as connectors and adding opinions

6. participial phrases to avoid overuse of which

7. gerunds as subjects

8. subjunctive vs. infinitive

the Author

Brian Rhodes

Industry: Education

Occupation: ESL Instructor

School: Okanagan College

Location: Kelowna, Canada


Quote: Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs

New Reading: Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley  Henry S. Lodge

Grammar Websites: http://international.okanagan.bc.ca

Favorite Places to Live: Kelowna, BC, Christchurch NZ (R.I.P.), Aix-en-Provence, France

Travel Destination: Rarotonga, Europe, home after work!