How to Avoid Plagiarism When Paraphrasing

Tips and Tricks to Avoid Plagiarism When Paraphrasing

Schools are adamant about maintaining anti-plagiarism policies. With the integration of technology in the education system, the problem of academic fraud has significantly increased. However, learning institutions are using stringent measures to curb the student habit of copying and pasting content. Some schools go to the extent of expelling learners who are guilty of stealing someone else’s work.

Consequently, students look for tips and tricks to help them in paraphrasing literature to avoid plagiarism. This article covers some useful techniques you can apply in your writing. After all, your academic future might depend on your ability to paraphrase the content.

Defining Paraphrasing

You can find numerous definitions of paraphrasing when you search the internet. Nevertheless, the activity can be surmised as using someone’s words and converting them into a different sentence that conveys the same message. As such, you may be required to repurpose content to include your voice and writing style while maintaining the original idea. Ideally, you will cite the source after the paraphrased sentence or passage.

An Expert Paraphrasing Strategy

Many students assume that writing a summary is like paraphrasing the literature. However, these two terms significantly differ from each other. For starters, summarizing is about providing a brief preview of the essential points in a paper. On the other hand, paraphrasing requires you to use different words to make an idea clearer. Hence, you will need to engage the following strategies to improve your ability to paraphrase.

Read to Understand

Begin by going through the literature you want to paraphrase. Of course, it will be challenging to attempt to convey someone else's ideas if you do not understand them. Thus, make short notes while you comb through the paper to ensure you have a decent grasp on the subject. Test your understanding by asking yourself questions and seeing if you can answer them correctly.

Restate the Points in Your Own Words

Attempt to write down what you have learned from the literature without looking at the original source. This will test whether you understood the concepts. Be careful to conform to your notes to not insert your own ideas into the piece. Otherwise, you risk taking unnecessary tangents and missing the point of the article you are paraphrasing.

Recheck to Ensure You Have Included All Necessary Content

The notes you crafted during your initial examination of the paper will come in handy in this step. Read through your work to check if you have addressed all the necessary aspects. It helps to have a checklist that you can use to compare your version to the original.

Repair Your Work to Correct Any Deviations from the Original Idea

Is your version of the author's original idea faithful to the message they wanted to covey? Make the necessary changes to your paper to ensure you cover the same concept as the literature you are using. After all, the write-up should pass on a similar message.

In summary, you should do your best to avoid having your paper flagged for plagiarism. The repercussions are too severe to consider the risks. Thus, practice the strategies above to improve your paraphrasing skills.

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