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Academic Honesty


A common source of unintentional plagiarism is poor paraphrasing. Good paraphrasing requires a fundamental understanding of the ideas of the source material. Shallow or incomplete reading of the original text might not result in plagiarism, strictly speaking, but it could result in a misrepresentation of that text - another kind of academic irresponsibility.

The ideas of the source material must be stated in your own words. You are plagiarizing if:

  • You use key words or well-crafted language from the source author without marking them with quotations
  • You replace words with synonymous words or terms but keep the author's sentence structure
  • You fail to cite the paraphrase.

Purdue OWL has a paraphrasing guide.

The following video offers some practical advice in paraphrasing.