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Module 9: Paraphrasing Exercise

Booth, Colomb, and Williams go on to give what they call "a simple test for inadvertent plagiarism." Here, in part, is what they suggest:
Be conscious of where your eyes are as you put words on paper or on a screen. If your eyes are on your source at the same moment your fingers are flying across the keyboard, you risk doing something that weeks, months, even years later could result in your public humiliation. . . . You are least likely to plagiarize inadvertently if, as you write, you keep your eyes not on your source but on the screen or on your own page, and you report what your source has to say after those words have filtered through your own understanding of them. (170, original emphasis)
Let's use the passage just quoted to perform our own "simple test." Remember the criteria. To be acceptable (i.e., to not be considered plagiarism), a paraphrase must do all three of the following:
  • It restates the information and ideas from the source accurately - whether it is a print or an electronic source.
  • It uses the borrower's own language and style, not the original author's. (Note that it is acceptable to mix some key phrases from the original source into the paraphrase IF you put those words or phrases in quotation marks.)
  • It clearly identifies the original author/source of the paraphrased material.


Try the following paraphrasing questions.


Original:

Be conscious of where your eyes are as you put words on paper or on a screen. If your eyes are on your source at the same moment your fingers are flying across the keyboard, you risk doing something that weeks, months, even years later could result in your public humiliation....You are least likely to plagiarize inadvertently if, as you write, you keep your eyes not on your source but on the screen or on your own page, and you report what your source has to say after those words have filtered through your own understanding of them. (170, original emphasis)

Paraphrase:

Here's an easy way to see if you are plagiarizing. Be aware of whether or not you are looking at your source when you are writing. If your eyes are on the original instead of on your own page or screen, you run the risk of being caught and embarassed. You are less likely to commit plagiarism if you keep your eyes off the source as you write (Booth, Colomb, and Williams 170).


Does the paraphrase restate the information and ideas from the source accurately?