Plagiarism Guide

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Tips for Paraphrasing


When writing your papers, it is always best to write using your own words; direct quoting should really only be used when the exact text needs to be used. Paraphrasing, similar to direct quotes, adds credibility to your own writing while allowing you to present the information in a way that best suits your topic. Unfortunately, paraphrasing presents the greatest challenges for many students: How do you approach someone else's work from a different perspective, change the wording, and still represent the author's original meaning? How many words do you need to change for it to be considered paraphrasing? What if there is no other terminology except the one used by the original author?

Paraphrasing properly takes time and thought, to do it right. Here are some tips on how to paraphrase:

Remember: paraphrasing or summarizing what the author said, in your own words, requires you still give a proper citation. Be sure to add your own thoughts and perspective, while communicating the overall substance of the author's argument.