How to write in your own words or paraphrase

How to avoid Plagiarism

General advice

  1. When reading a passage, try first to understand it as a whole, rather than pausing to write down specific ideas or phrases.
  2. Be selective, choose and summarise only relevant material that is useful for the purpose of your task.
  3. Think of what "your own words" would be if you were telling someone who's unfamiliar with your subject (your
    mother, your brother, a friend) what
    the original source said.
  4. thesaurus2paraphrase.PNGRemember that you can directly quote one or two sentences from an original source but you must not forget to put the sentences in "quotation marks" and ensure you include that source in your bibliography.
  5. You can use a thesaurus to substitute complex words for ones more familiar to you when paraphrasing. See

Writing a Bibliography

Methods of Paraphrasing

  1. Look away from the source then write.

    Read the text you want to paraphrase several times until you feel that you understand it and can use your own words to restate it to someone else. Then, look away from the original and rewrite the text in your own words.
  2. Take notes (my preferred method)

    Take abbreviated notes and set the notes aside. Then go back to them a day or so later. Now write your paper from your notes using your own words.

If you find that you can't do 1 or 2 above this may mean that you don't understand the passage completely and you may have to re-read your sources or do further research for sources more suited to your level.