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Paraphrasing is restating in different words, (rather than quoting directly) another person’s thoughts or ideas. Paraphrase does not require quotation marks, but does require citation. It is never acceptable to paraphrase in order to misrepresent whose ideas are being presented. Paraphrase is appropriate when the idea can be restated more clearly or simply, or where it is placed in the flow of the other original thoughts.

Example 1*

Original version: from p. 60 of Michael Agar’s Language Shock:
“Everyone uses the word language and everybody these days talks about culture. . . . ‘languaculture’ is a reminder, I hope, of the necessary connection between its two parts. . . .”

Plagiarized version:
At the intersection of language and culture lies a concept that we might call “languaculture.”

Acceptable version:
At the intersection of language and culture lies a concept that Michael Agar has called “languaculture” (1994, p. 60).

Example 2**

Original version: Angelici (Synthesis and Technique in Inorganic Chemistry, p 46):
” Those complexes that contain unpaired electrons are attracted into a magnetic field and are said to be paramagnetic, while those with no unpaired electrons are repelled by such a field and are called diamagnetic.”

Plagiarized version:
Those complexes that contain paired electrons are repelled by a magnetic field and are said to be diamagnetic, whereas those with no paired electrons are attracted to such a field and are called paramagnetic.

Because the concept and terms are technically precise, this sentence is difficult to paraphrase. The original probably should be quoted directly.

* Avoiding Plagiarism, UIS Center for Teaching and Learning
** Plagiarism: Definitions, Examples and Penalties The University of Kentucky, Department of Chemistry

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