How to paraphrase without plagiarizing in assignments

Part of the game in academic assignments is the art of paraphrasing which many students fail to grasp. This failure in understanding the subtle art of paraphrasing academic resources then leads them to penalties because they often end up plagiarizing the original content. And anyone who ever has been a student knows how big of a crime plagiarizing is in academia. A lot of students end up failing the module or get a big repeat penalty on their essays.

To save you from this added fatigue, we have come up with a few tips to help you prevent plagiarism through the kind of paraphrasing you should be doing. Let’s start digging, shall we?

1- Read each source critically

Okay so first things first, you need to read your source critically to be able to paraphrase it critically. This means, you have to have an analytical lens to what claims the author is trying to make and in what language is he/she doing it.

Once you know what the gist of the story is, all you need to do is to rewind the story in your head. This is much like the fictional stories we all have been hearing growing up. But each time we heard a story, did we narrate it with the same style and words? Of Course not, we made up a unique story out of the same theme, right? This, my friend, will kill any potential plagiarism.

However, if you are finding this a big deal and cannot continue any longer because of it, you should find an essay writer for you.

2- Synthesize your information

Now once you are done with one source (research paper/book) on a topic, keep looking for more relevant ones. We’d suggest you study at least 5 papers on one topic so you could refer to at least 5 authors while you are building up your narrative in your assignment.

For instance, if your topic is on teacher autonomy in the classroom, you should have critically read 5 papers on what teacher autonomy is and why you are promoting it. This way, you will have a lot of substantial information to paraphrase and the more you read, the lesser your chances of getting plagiarism penalty.

Now the final step in paraphrasing game is to synthesize all of the information in an academia and critical way. This is where your previously read information on your topic comes in handy. You use one author’s notes against the other’s in your own words but in a way it looks like you are debating a topic. Just to be clear, by using the authors notes “against ” each other, we do not mean criticizing negatively. What we mean is writing like author A says this and author B says that on the topic. In between what different authors say, you add your own academic voice on what you think of the topic. But obviously, you cannot use your personal opinions in an academic assignment. If you want to pursue one specific direction in your assignment, you will have to read different authors’ work on it so you could refer to it to substantiate your point. Because in academia, you stand on the shoulders of giants!

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