Guidelines for Paraphrasing

Plagiarism is not taken lightly by the business world nor by academic institutions. Case in point: the University of Louisville reserves the option of disbarring students found guilty of plagiarism. (University of Louisville, 2008) Plagiarism can be defined as taking credit for another’s ideas, thoughts, or work. (Margaret Price, 2012)

Guidelines for Paraphrasing Text or Passages

Hiring someone to write a term paper before turning it in as your own work would be an example of plagiarism. Plagiarism is not necessarily always intentional, but can be done incidentally. For example, if you use a source’s ideas but forget to cite the source, then you have failed to give credit to the idea’s author and this would be considered a form of plagiarism.

According to Stephen E. Lucas, there are three basic types of plagiarism. Global plagiarism is when you uses (or steals) all of your ideas from another and claims they are your own, such as having someone else write a paper for you then turning it in as your own (Lucas, 2004). This is the most unethical form of plagiarism. Another type of plagiarism is known as patchwork plagiarism. This form of plagiarism is when you copy sections from other peoples’ work and put them all together to form a coherent thought. It is taking bits and pieces of other people’s words in a “cut and paste” type of fashion. (Lucas, 2004) Incremental plagiarism is simply not citing a source for a small segment or quote within your piece of work. This is often times an accident and is a common form of plagiarism. (Lucas, 2004)

There are ways, however, to use other people’s ideas with an ethical and legal approach. Paraphrasing, for example, is an easy way of rewording something without plagiarizing it. (Cimasko, 2008) Unlike summaries, it is often about the same length as the original writing. (Margaret Price, 2012) Some general guidelines to follow when paraphrasing include making different word choices without losing the original meaning, rearranging the original thoughts and ideas, and documenting the original source. (Cimasko, 2008) A work-cited page is always a good idea. When delivering a speech you can give credit to an outside source by verbalizing the author of the original source. (Lucas, 2004) For example, when quoting an individual you could say, “Like John Q wrote in his 2012 novel, Plagiarism….”.

Plagiarism can be difficult to avoid at times, but being aware of plagiarism and knowing methods, approaches, and guidelines to front its threats, one can write freely without fear of being unethical.

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Cimasko, T. (2008, November 12). Paraphrasing . Retrieved from Purdue OWL Engagement

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