Paraphrasing Incorrectly

You restate or summarize someone else's words but don't give them credit.

Paraphrasing correctly:

  • Is not rearranging words in a sentence.*
  • Is not substituting words with a thesaurus.*
  • Is synthesizing a passage of text and describing it (the idea) in your own words.*
  • Is restating or summarizing someone else's words or ideas and giving credit to the author (that fall outside of common knowledge).

A Closer Look


Test Your Knowledge






*"Quoting and paraphrasing," Plagiarism Tutorial, 2007, Charleston Southern University, 18 December 2008
<http://www.csuniv.edu/library/plagiarism/quote.htm>.

**Avoiding Plagiarism, 2008, Rio Salado College, 9 December 2008 <http://www.riosalado.edu/library/tutorials/Pages/avoidingPlagiarism.aspx>.



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5 Steps to Successful Paraphrasing

  1. Read the entire text, underlining key points and main ideas.
  2. In your own words, write a sentence about the main idea of the text (i.e., summarize). Also, write key points in the text.
  3. Highlight any words, phrases, or key passages that you would want to quote directly.
  4. Combine the above for a new paraphrased paragraph, using your own words.
  5. Cite your source. Even if you paraphrase, you have to acknowledge the material you read and paraphrased.