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Tips on Paraphrasing
When to quote
When writing in APA style, it is generally better to paraphrase than to quote. Why? You are summarizing the work of another author. The best use of a quote is when there is just no other good way to paraphrase the author's thoughts.
|First eliminate any unnecessary or redundant words. Did the author use two words that mean the same thing? Can you change strings of adjectives into one descriptive noun? Can you summarize the entire paragraph in a sentence or two?
|Get out your thesaurus and your dictionary. Use a synonym or the definition of a key word to get the point across without using the same terminology.
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Use your own voice
|Editors and teachers can usually tell when you plagarize. How? It's relatively easy, actually. When you write, you develop your own style, your own 'voice'. When that style - that voice -suddenly and inexplicably changes, you've almost certainly copied someone else's style. You've plagarized.
|Every school has a policy on plagarism. Find out what your school's is. The first offense is usually an F on the paper, second offense, an F in the class, third offense, expulsion. These policies may be much stricter in a Masters or Doctoral program.
Read more about plagiarism
Explain it to a friend
|Don't know how to put it in your own words? Explain it to a friend (even if no one's there). Just 'talk it'. Explain it out loud to someone else and listen to the words that come out of your mouth. That's YOUR inner voice that's talking! That's thinking out loud. Start by saying, "I think this author means that . . ."
Copyright BOLD Educational
by Diane M. Dusick, Ph.D.
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