Avoiding Plagiarism

Paraphrasing & Summarizing

To help the flow of your writing, it is beneficial to not always quote but instead put the information in your own words. You can paraphrase or summarize the author’s words to better match your tone and desired length. Even if you write the ideas in your own words, it is important to cite them with in-text citations or footnotes (depending on your discipline’s citation style). 

Definitions

  • Paraphrasing allows you to use your own words to restate an author's ideas.
  • Summarizing allows you to create a succinct, concise statement of an author’s main points without copying and pasting a lot of text from the original source.

What’s the difference: Paraphrasing v. Summarizing

Explore the rest of the page to see how the same material could be quoted, paraphrased, or summarized. Depending on the length, tone, and argument of your work, you might choose one over the other. 

Paraphrase

  1. Reread: Reread the original passage until you understand its full meaning.
  2. Write on your own: Set the original aside, and write your paraphrase on a note card.
  3. Connect: Jot down a few words below your paraphrase to remind you later how you envision using this material.
  4. Check: Check your rendition with the original to make sure that your version accurately expresses all the essential information in a new form.
  5. Quote: Use quotation marks to identify any unique term or phraseology you have borrowed exactly from the source.
  6. Cite: Record the source (including the page) on your note card or notes document so that you can credit it easily if you decide to incorporate the material into your paper.

Explore the tabs to see the difference between an acceptable and unacceptable paraphrase based on the original text in each example.

To figure out if a paraphrase is acceptable or not, it is best to read the original text, then read the paraphrase, and look for phrases or elements that are too similar to the original text. If the paraphrase is too close to the original, then to avoid plagiarism it is best to use a quote or rewrite the paraphrase again in your more of your own words. 

Original Text

“Business communication is increasingly taking place internationally – in all countries, among all peoples, and across all cultures. An awareness of other cultures – of their languages, customs, experiences and perceptions – as well as an awareness of the way in which other people conduct their business, are now essential ingredients of business communication” (Chase, O’Rourke & Wallace, 2003, p.59). 

Paraphrase

More and more business communication is taking place internationally—across all countries, peoples, and cultures.  Awareness of other cultures and the way in which people do business are essential parts of business communication (Chase, O’Rourke & Wallace, 2003, p.59)

Compare the Original and Paraphrase

Too much of the original is quoted directly, with only a few words changed or omitted. The highlighted words are too similar to the original quote: 

More and more business communication is taking place internationally—across all countries, peoples, and cultures Awareness of other cultures and the way in which people do business are essential parts of business communication (Chase, O’Rourke & Wallace, 2003, p.59)

As a reminder, to figure out if a paraphrase is acceptable or not, it is best to read the original text, then read the paraphrase, and look for phrases or elements that are too similar to the original text.

Original Text 

“Business communication is increasingly taking place internationally – in all countries, among all peoples, and across all cultures. An awareness of other cultures – of their languages, customs, experiences and perceptions – as well as an awareness of the way in which other people conduct their business, are now essential ingredients of business communication” (Chase, O’Rourke & Wallace, 2003, p.59).

Paraphrase

The importance of understanding the traditions, language, perceptions, and the manner in which people of other cultures conduct their business should not be underestimated, and it is a crucial component of business communication (Chase, O’Rourke & Wallace, 2003, p. 59).

Compare the Original and Paraphrase

The original’s ideas are summarized and expressed in the writer’s own words with minimal overlap with the original text's language:

The importance of understanding the traditions, language, perceptions, and the manner in which people of other cultures conduct their business should not be underestimated, and it is a crucial component of business communication (Chase, O’Rourke & Wallace, 2003, p. 59).

Summarize

  1. Reread: Reread the original passage until you understand its full meaning.
  2. Find the main idea: Ask yourself, “What is the main idea that the author is communicating?”
  3. Avoid copying: Set the original aside, and write one or two sentences with the main point of the original on a note card or in a notes document.
  4. Connect: Jot down a few words below your summary to remind you later how you envision using this material.
  5. Check: Check your rendition with the original to make sure that your version accurately expresses all the essential information in a new form.
  6. Quote: Use quotation marks to identify any unique term or phraseology you have borrowed exactly from the source.
  7. Cite: Record the source (including the page) on your note card or notes document so that you can credit it easily if you decide to incorporate the material into your paper.

Explore the tabs to see the difference between an acceptable and unacceptable paraphrase based on the original text in each example.

Much like paraphrases, it is important to evaluate your summary to see if it in ? your own words. It is best to read the original text, then read the summary, and look for phrases or language that are too similar to the original text. If the summary is too close to the original, then to avoid plagiarism it is best to use a quote or rewrite the summary again in your more of your own words. 

Original Text

“Business communication is increasingly taking place internationally – in all countries, among all peoples, and across all cultures. An awareness of other cultures – of their languages, customs, experiences and perceptions – as well as an awareness of the way in which other people conduct their business, are now essential ingredients of business communication” (Chase, O’Rourke & Wallace, 2003, p.59). 

Summary

Business communication is worldwide, and it is essential to build awareness of other cultures and the way in which other people conduct their business. (Chase, O’Rourke & Wallace, 2003, p.59). 

Compare the Original and Summary

Too much of the original is quoted directly, with only a few words changed or omitted. The highlighted words are too similar to the original text:

Business communication is worldwide, and it is essential to build awareness of other cultures and the way in which other people conduct their business. (Chase, O’Rourke & Wallace, 2003, p.59). 

As we mentioned, it is important to evaluate your summary to see if it in your own words. It is best to read the original text, then read the summary, and look for phrases or language that are too similar to the original text. 

Original Text 

“Business communication is increasingly taking place internationally – in all countries, among all peoples, and across all cultures. An awareness of other cultures – of their languages, customs, experiences and perceptions – as well as an awareness of the way in which other people conduct their business, are now essential ingredients of business communication” (Chase, O’Rourke & Wallace, 2003, p.59). 

Summary

In a world that is increasingly connected, effective business communication requires us to learn about other cultures, languages, and business norms (Chase, O’Rourke & Wallace, 2003, p.59). 

Compare the Original and Summary

The original’s ideas are summarized and expressed in the writer’s own words with minimal overlap:

In a world that is increasingly connected, effective business communication requires us to learn about other cultures, languages, and business norms (Chase, O’Rourke & Wallace, 2003, p.59). 

Reminder

No matter what the source or style, you need to cite it both in-text and at the end of the paper with a full citation! Write down or record all the needed pieces of information when researching to ensure you avoid plagiarism.