One of the most common questions we get asked in the library is, “How do I paraphrase?” and, “Have I paraphrased this enough?” Paraphrasing effectively is an essential academic skill that you will need to develop throughout your studies.
Paraphrasing involves taking someone else’s ideas and substantially rewriting them using your own words (while still retaining the meaning). It is more than just changing a few words around or using synonyms. You must completely restructure the sentence and use different words than the author. When you paraphrase, you need to acknowledge the source of the idea with an in text reference at the end of the sentence.
This video will give you much more advice about how to paraphrase correctly. A transcript for this video is available.
In short, plagiarism involves passing someone’s ideas or work off as your own. This might happen by:
- Direct copying, summarising, or paraphrasing another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement of the sources
- Using or developing an idea or hypothesis from another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement
- Representing the work of another person as your own work
- Copying non-word based material (such as diagrams, plans or audiovisual materials) and presenting them as one’s own work
- Using another person’s experimental results as one’s own or without appropriate acknowledgement.
Paraphrasing is one of the most important skills you can master as it shows your ability to comprehend and communicate your knowledge and understanding of a particular idea.
For more information, see QUT’s guide to academic integrity.