Understanding the ins and outs of plagiarism can leave a lot of us with a headache we can’t shake. Debates around what constitutes as plagiarism and what can be fixed with a simple reference can have students and business officials alike scratching their head in confusion and there’s no subject more confusing within the plagiarism debate than paraphrasing. While some sources will tell you to paraphrase content providing it’s a summary in your own words, others will warn you to stay away from paraphrasing completely. Here, we’re exploring paraphrasing and whether it truly counts as duplication within content.
What Is Paraphrasing?
The term paraphrase, according to the Merriam Webster dictionary, refers to “the restatement of a text, passage or work giving the meaning in another form.” In essence, this means taking a piece of content, and summarizing it in your own words while still giving the same meaning that it had before. Capturing the general essence of any piece of writing can be an art in itself, but when it comes to finding information for your essay, assignment or work project, it could be a little more complicated than you might expect.
Does It Count As Duplication?
Within the plagiarism debate, the correct use of paraphrasing can be one way of summarising information that may otherwise not have enough power to be quoted directly. However, this should always be referenced regardless and it’s here that students and employees tend to meet their downfall. Through insufficient paraphrasing that captures the same structure and sometimes the same wording as the original piece, a piece of work can be flagged up in high-accuracy plagiarism checkers. With this in mind, the question that remains is this – is it better to avoid paraphrasing completely?
You can use a checker to keep track of your content before you submit, but in all, it’s always best to read a piece of information, understand it fully, and then explain in your own words where possible. Simply rearranging words in a sentence or paragraph won’t suffice, and this will be caught by a checker. You need to understand, rewrite and then reference the content with full and relevant citations.
Is There Any Way To Avoid This?
As mentioned before, the best way to avoid being caught out for plagiarism through paraphrasing is to ensure that you’re doing it properly. Paraphrasing is one of the most difficult to detect forms of plagiarism, but powerful checkers can still pull this up within their reports. Through fully rewriting information in your own words and providing citations regardless, students and employees alike can ensure that their work is entirely unique, even when needing to use factual information.
Bibliographies, citations, referencing and even simply linking to a source on an online piece of content are all ways of correctly providing credit to the original author or source of your content. Understanding how best to do this could be the difference between a plagiarized piece of work, and one that passes with flying colors.
Whether you’re writing a piece for a university assignment or you’re in the midst of a piece for work, being able to correctly paraphrase and avoid plagiarism is a must. Through in-depth citations, care when using information in your own words and the use of a high quality plagiarism checker, students and business officials can better detect and avoid any claims of plagiarism.