By Faust Jonson
Posted on July 26, 2016

Plagiarism vs. Paraphrasing When Writing an Essay

The most profound fear every student feels is turning in a plagiarized paper. They check their papers for multiple times and make sure every reference is in its place. But why is it such a huge issue? Why can you be expelled for copying someone else’s thoughts? Well, because doing so you miss the main goal of a writing assignment – expressing your own thoughts and making your own conclusions. Moreover, you pretend to say something you’ve never said and use someone’s intellectual property without their permission to your advantage. With that said, you now hopefully understand the serious consequences of a plagiarized paper. But there are several ways to not let it spoil your studying process. Paraphrasing is one of them.

Paraphrasing may seem tricky, but it really isn’t. Let’s look at the main mistakes students make that end up having a plagiarized text:

– no acknowledgment of the author

– using the language and structure of an author

– forgetting about the quotation marks.

And here’s what you can do to paraphrase the text you want to use:

– acknowledge the author of a source

– adapt the language and the structure according to your paper topic

– use quotation marks when including the author’s phrases

– add some new information to fit your goals

– the size of a paraphrased text is almost equal to the original one.

If you follow these simple steps, you won’t get into trouble. You can also consider using another kind of avoiding plagiarism – making a summary. Writing a summary, it doesn’t matter how much you change the size of the original text. You can express the main idea using just two sentences or composing a substantial passage. What matters is using your own words. Just pretend that you need to tell this information to your friend and start writing. Don’t include the words you don’t know or rarely use in your life to seem smarter. A summary should be easy to understand and informative. It’s your task to demonstrate the efforts you’ve made analyzing a text and making it better.

Someone reading this may recommend using quotations to avoid all this hassle with writing summaries and paraphrasing. Yes, you can include quotes in your paper but we suggest you minimize their number. Using quotes all the time, you suggest that it’s impossible to express the same thought an author did in any other way. In most cases, it won’t be true. There’s almost always a way to make a sentence more comprehensive and interesting.

If you have difficulties with making your paper plagiarism-free, you can use one of the multiple online tools to test it. But these tools don’t give you a 100% guarantee, though. Just read your essay very carefully for several times. You can also use the assistance of our experienced writers to make your life easier. They will proofread your paper and make sure it’s written in compliance with all the standard requirements. Remember, plagiarism is not that scary after all.

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