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Avoiding Plagiarism

Avoiding Plagiarism - Paraphrasing Your Sources

This is the last of seven video modules in Langara Library's Avoiding Plagiarism Tutorial. It demonstrates how to incorporate the words of others into your own writing through paraphrasing. It includes tips for effective paraphrasing from Langara instructors.

Video Transcript:

Narrator: Now, we'll look at how to put the ideas of others into your own words by paraphrasing. Another way to avoid plagiarism is by paraphrasing. Paraphrasing is re-stating an author's ideas in your own words. But if you can quote, why would you paraphrase? Well, there's a few reasons.

First, you and your instructor are more interested in the substance of the original author's idea than in the way in which they expressed it. Second, paraphrasing can add variety. It's another way to incorporate a source into your paper. Third, paraphrasing ensures that your voice is heard throughout the essay.

Let's look at this next example from an article published in the British newspaper, the Guardian, in November of 2012. Feel free to pause the video at any time to take a closer look at the examples in this section. Here is a passage from the Guardian article as it appeared in the original text, and here is an improperly paraphrased passage. This passage is improperly paraphrased because there's no in-text citation giving credit to the original author and the wording of the phrase is very close to the one used by the original author. It should be altered or otherwise within direct quotation marks.

Further, mention of the original author would strengthen this paraphrase statement. Here is a properly paraphrased passage from the Guardian article. This is because the use of the original author's name clearly conveys the source of the information. There's also an in-text citation giving credit to the original author.

Further, the wording of this sentence is quite different from the original. Now that you've seen how to integrate other's words and ideas into your own work, let's hear again from a Langara instructor.

Psychology Instructor: One tip for avoiding plagiarism is paraphrasing statements in your own words while at the same time citing the source. This can be difficult at times, but I suggest that the student read the passage and then put it away, think about the content, and then write out the idea in his or her own words. I suggest they think of it as explaining what they have read to another person who is familiar with the general topic, but not the specific information they are attempting to convey. I asked them to imagine having a conversation and simply writing down what they would say to the conversational partner. I suggest they make the explanation simple and straightforward.

Narrator: That concludes our section on writing your paper. Now you've learned how to incorporate others ideas into your own assignments by quoting and paraphrasing.