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Academic Integrity

Basic Tips on Avoiding Plagiarism


Paraphrasing is restating an author's ideas in your own words by changing both the language and the sentence structure of the original passage. This is the most common way to incorporate information borrowed from another author into your academic work, but it can be tricky to master--paraphrasing takes lots of practice.

When paraphrasing:

  • Restate the original author's writing or ideas in your own different words.
  • Maintain the author's original ideas and meaning as carefully as possible.
  • Change the wording and sentence structure to your writing style, but don't add your ideas and meaning.
  • Avoid replacing words in the original sentence with synonyms.
  • Try to keep your paraphrase about the same length as the original.
  • Work with only a few sentences at a time.
  • Cite the sources used and no quotation marks.

Paraphrasing Activity

Practice your ability to recognize an effective paraphrase in the next activity.


Paraphrasing Activity by Excelsior Online Writing Lab is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-4.0 International  CC BY 4.0

Plagiarism & Paraphrasing

Plagiarism & Paraphrasing -Includes information on how to provide proper citations and credibility in academic writing. It discusses how properly cited paraphrasing helps students truly understand the material. The resource also includes references to citation sources and guidelines that students can follow to avoid plagiarism in their writing. It also links to two Guides on the Purdue University Writing Center with more tips on Citations and Avoiding Plagiarism in college and after graduation.