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Paraphrasing Incorrectly

Preventing PlagiarismParaphrasing correctly:

  • Is not rearranging words in a sentence.*
  • Is not substituting words with a thesaurus.*
  • Is synthesizing a passage of text and describing it (the idea) in your own words.*
  • Is restating or summarizing someone else's words or ideas and giving credit to the author (that fall outside of common knowledge).

A Closer Look: Review the Scenario Below

Review the following examples**. This is an original paragraph from: Delfattore, Joan. What Johnny shouldn't read : textbook censorship in America. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992.

In the Dick and Jane readers some of us remember from our childhoods, a family consisted of a married couple, two or three well-behaved children, and a dog and a cat. Father wore suits and went out to work; mother wore aprons and baked cupcakes. Little girls sat demurely watching little boys climb trees. Home meant a single-family house in a middle-class suburban neighborhood. Color the lawn green. Color the people white. Family life in the textbook world was idyllic; parents did not quarrel, children did not disobey, and babies did not throw up on the dog.

These three paragraphs illustrate common ways Delfattore's paragraph is plagiarized.

Plagiarized Text Problem
In the Dick and Jane readers some of us remember from our childhoods, a family consisted of a married couple, two or three well-behaved children, and a dog and a cat. Father wore suits and went out to work; mother wore aprons and baked cupcakes. Little girls sat demurely watching little boys climb trees. This has been directly copied without quotation marks or credit to the author.
According to Delfattore, the Dick and Jane readers of several years ago pictured an unrealistic family life. Stories always seemed to take place in middle-class suburban neighborhoods where life was idyllic; parents never quarreled and children always obeyed. Although credit has been given to the author, portions have been paraphrased incorrectly. Merely rearranging or substituting words is insufficient.
In the past, elementary school reading books told stories of an unrealistic life style. Families always lived in suburbia where homes and life were picture perfect... Although this has been paraphrased, credit has not been given to the author.
*"Quoting and paraphrasing,"Plagiarism Tutorial, 2007, Charleston Southern University, 18 December 2008
<http://www.csuniv.edu/library/plagiarism/quote.htm>.
 

**Avoiding Plagiarism, 2008, Rio Salado College, 9 December 2008 <http://www.riosalado.edu/library/tutorials/Pages/avoidingPlagiarism.aspx>.

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