Paraphrasing
Dr Gina May
Student Learning Advisory Service
What is ‘paraphrasing’?
• One of the legitimate ways of ‘borrowing’ from a source
(others are quoting and summarising)
• The expression of someone else’s ideas in your own words
• An accurate and complete re - presentation of ideas/words
When to paraphrase
• When you want to re-produce the idea of the author rather
than the style
• When the original idea/language is complicated and difficult
to understand (e.g. full of jargon or complex and elaborate)
• When wanting to refer to an idea rather than go into great
depth about it
Why paraphrase?
• Because it can be better than quoting in some instances
and does not break up your style
• Because it demonstrates that you have fully understood the
issues or the topic
• Because it helps you to understand the topic or issues
How to paraphrase
• Understand the original
• Take notes in bullet points
• ‘Report’ what you have understood
• Compare your notes with the original
• Put any ‘unique terms’ into quotation marks
• Cite the source accurately and fully
Checking the paraphrase
Make sure:
• You have not copied any text word for word
• The meaning is the same as the original
• The style of writing is your own
• Your paraphrase is the same length as the original (or shorter)
• You have referenced accurately
Useful phrases
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The work of **** reveals/indicates/suggests/shows that …
In an article by **** ….
As **** has indicated …
A study by **** indicates …
**** has drawn attention to …
**** argues that ….
Research by **** suggests that …
Example
(Taken from OWL – Online Writing Lab Purdue University, Australia, 2006)
• Students frequently overuse direct quotation in taking notes,
and as a result they overuse quotations in the final [research]
paper. Probably only about 10% of your final manuscript
should appear as directly quoted matter. Therefore, you
should strive to limit the amount of exact transcribing of
source materials while taking notes.
Students should take just a few notes in direct quotation from
sources to help minimize the amount of quoted material in a
research paper (Lester 46-47).
Okay
Example
(Taken from OWL – Online Writing Lab Purdue University, Australia, 2006)
• Students frequently overuse direct quotation in taking notes,
and as a result they overuse quotations in the final [research]
paper. Probably only about 10% of your final manuscript
should appear as directly quoted matter. Therefore, you
should strive to limit the amount of exact transcribing of
source materials while taking notes.
Students often use too many direct quotations when they take
notes, resulting in too many of them in the final research paper.
In fact, probably only about one tenth of the final copy should
consist of directly quoted material. So it is important to limit the
amount of source material copied while taking notes.
Plagiarism
Example
(Taken from OWL – Online Writing Lab Purdue University, Australia, 2006)
• Students frequently overuse direct quotation in taking notes,
and as a result they overuse quotations in the final [research]
paper. Probably only about 10% of your final manuscript
should appear as directly quoted matter. Therefore, you
should strive to limit the amount of exact transcribing of
source materials while taking notes.
In research papers students often quote excessively, failing to
keep quoted material down to a desirable level. Since the
problem usually originates during note taking, it is essential to
minimize the material recorded verbatim (Lester 46-47).
Good
Working from the Original
• Change the overall word order
• Change active sentences to passive sentences
• Change the order of the subjects in sentences (with several
clauses)
• Change negative to positive
• Change linking words
• Change sentence length by joining or splitting ideas
Will lead to changes in grammar and syntax
(but should not alter meaning)
Working from the Original
Change active sentences into passive sentences
• At the University of Kent, students write their exams in May.
(active)
• At the University of Kent, exams are written in May by
students.
(passive)
Working from the Original
Change the words
• Use synonyms (but be careful!)
• Change nouns into verbs
• Change adjectives into adverbs
Will leads to changes in grammar and syntax
(but should not alter meaning)
Step by step approach
• Since the time of Descartes, it is estimated that no fewer than
five hundred attempts have been made to create artificial
languages for international use. The most successful by far has
been Esperanto, a language constructed around the end of the
nineteenth century by Dr. Zamenhof of Poland. (Pei 1993: 3)
Changing words/ terms
Since the early seventeenth century, an estimated five hundred
artificial languages have been invented for international
communication. The most used is Esperanto, invented by a Polish
linguist during the late 19th century.
Plagiarism
Step by step approach
• Since the early seventeenth century, an estimated five
hundred artificial languages have been invented for
international communication. The most used is Esperanto,
invented by a Polish linguist during the late 19th century.
Change sentence structure
Esperanto is the most used artificial language of the 500 or so
attempts at creating a verbal communication tool for
international use.
Ok but ….
Step by step approach
• Since the time of Descartes, it is estimated that no fewer than
five hundred attempts have been made to create artificial
languages for international use. The most successful by far has
been Esperanto, a language constructed around the end of the
nineteenth century by Dr. Zamenhof of Poland. (Pei 1993: 3)
New version
Pei (1993) pointed out that Esperanto is the most used
artificial language of the 500 or so attempts at creating a
verbal communication tool for international use.
Paraphrased
Students frequently overuse direct quotation in taking notes, and as a result they
overuse quotations in the final [research] paper. Probably only about 10% of your
final manuscript should appear as directly quoted matter. Therefore, you should
strive to limit the amount of exact transcribing of source materials while taking
notes. Lester, James D. Writing Research Papers. 2nd ed. (1976): 46-47.
Which of the passages below do you consider to be:
A legitimate paraphrase:
A plagiarized version:
An acceptable summary:
Why?
In research papers students often quote excessively, failing to keep quoted material
down to a desirable level. Since the problem usually originates during note taking,
it is essential to minimize the material recorded verbatim (Lester 46-47).
Students should take just a few notes in direct quotation from sources to help
minimize the amount of quoted material in a research paper (Lester 46-47).
Students often use too many direct quotations when they take notes, resulting in
too many of them in the final research paper. In fact, probably only about 10% of
the final copy should consist of directly quoted material. So it is important to limit
the amount of source material copied while taking notes.
The original passage:
Wines drunk at Greek tables did not always come from Greece itself. The
wine snobbery of the time extolled the merits of wines from the slopes
of Mount Lebanon, from Palestine, Egypt and Magna Graecia-Greater
Greece, i.e., southern Italy. The ten litres a day drunk by the famous
wrestler Milo of Croton was a wine famous in Calabria, where Milo lived:
this wine, Ciro, is still made.
Which of the following is a legitimate paraphrase and which is
plagiarism?
Wines drunk by Greeks were not always made in Greece itself. The wine
snobs of that period celebrated wines from Mount Lebanon, Palestine,
and Egypt. The famous wrestler Milo of Croton, who consumed ten litres
of wine a day, drank wine made in Calabria outside of Greece; this wine,
Ciro, is still made. (Toussaint-Samat, 263).
Although Greeks were picky about their wine, they enjoyed wine from
outside Greece. Upstanding Greeks enjoyed wine from many of Greece's
local trading partners—including Palestine, Egypt and southern Italy. One
story tells of the famous wrestler Milo of Croton, who consumed ten litres
of foreign wine daily (Toussaint-Samat, 263).
Original passage:
Up, up, up, groping through clouds for what seemed like an
eternity....No amount of practice could have prepared them for
what they encountered. B-24s, glittering like mica, were
popping up out of the clouds all over the sky.
As used:
Up, up, up he went, until he got above the clouds. No amount of
practice could have prepared the pilot and crew for what they
encountered-B-24s, glittering like mica, were popping up out of
the clouds over here, over there, everywhere.
(There followed a citation to the original quotation later in the
passage).
Does the reproduction represent a legitimate paraphrase or is
it plagiarism?
True or False?
For a good paraphrase…
• Remove or replace unusual words
• Adopt the same structure as the source
• Keep the paraphrase as simple as possible
• Express the main idea concisely
• Use the same words as the original
• Reformulate the main ideas in your own words
• Copy useful pieces of the original text
• Use a suitable reporting verb
• Provide in text referencing detail
• Retain unique terms but highlight them as ‘quotes’
T
F
T
T
F
T
F
T
T
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Paraphrasing - University of Kent