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Plagiarism Education: How to Paraphrase


Paraphrasing is when you use your own words to describe the words and ideas of others. Learning to paraphrase successfully is an important component in academic writing. This paraphrasing tutorial will take you through scenarios that will demonstrate good paraphrasing techniques. You'll want to go through the tutorial before testing your plagiarism knowledge in the quiz. 

Paraphrasing Tutorial

Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing

Knowing the differences between quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing will help you to avoid plagiarism.


Quoting Paraphrasing Summarizing
Copy text directly from source. Use your own words to fully describe ideas from source. Use your own words to explain only the key points or main arguments of the source.
Matches original source word for word. Does not include too many words or phrases from the original source. Changes the sentence structure from the original source Significantly reduces the length of the original text.
Attribute quote to author with in-text citation. Short quotes enclosed in "quotation marks." Longer quotes are set apart from text and indented. Attribute paraphrased ideas to author through in-text citation. Attribute main points to author through in-text citation.

This YouTube video explains the differences between quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing in more detail.

Paraphrasing Tips

Follow these steps to paraphrase your sources and avoid plagiarism:

  1. Re-read the part of the source until you understand its full meaning.
  2. Put aside the original text and write your paraphrase.
  3. Compare your paraphrase to the original text to make sure you've captured the necessary information.
  4. Use quotation marks to identify any unique terms of phrases that you borrowed exactly from the source.
  5. Make note of the source, include the page number, so that you can credit it easily in your paper.