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Avoiding Plagiarism

Note: Mercer University's Policy on Plagiarism

Remember that a paraphrase needs to show your own ideas, not just someone else's ideas in a slightly different wording from the original.  You are presenting your own ideas based upon sources, not merely reporting those sources.

Take notes carefully, noting page numbers and placing quotation marks around words that you copy from the original.  Use only exceptional words or phrases quoted in this way.

Purdue OWL: Avoiding Plagiarism - A great resource that provides information on plagiarism: what it is, what constitutes it, and how to avoid it.

EXAMPLES OF UNACCEPTABLE AND ACCEPTABLE PARAPHRASES

Source
Morris, Desmond.  Manwatching.  New York;  Abrams, 1977.

Original
Unfortunately, different countries have different ideas about exactly how close is close.  It is easy enough to test your own "space reaction":  when you are talking to someone in the street or in any open space, reach out with your arm and see where the nearest point on his body comes.  If you hail from western Europe, you will find that he is at roughly fingertip distance from you.  In other words, as you reach out, your fingertips will just about make contact with his shoulder.  If you come from eastern Europe, you will find you are standing at "wrist distance."  If you come from the Mediterranean region, you will find that you are much closer to your companion, at little more than "elbow distance."

Unacceptable Paraphrase
Regrettably, different nations think differently about exactly how close is close.  Test yourself:  when you are talking to someone in the street or in any open space, stretch your arm out to measure how close that person is to you.  If you are from western Europe, your wrist will reach the person's shoulder.  If you are from the Mediterranean region, you will find that you are much closer to your companion.  You elbow will reach the other person's shoulder (Morris 131).

Acceptable Paraphrase
People from different nations think that "close" means different things.  You can easily see what your reaction is to how close to you people stand by reaching out the length of your arm to measure how close someone is as the two of you talk.  When people from western Europe stand on the street and talk together, the space between them is the distance it would take one person's fingertips to reach to the other person's shoulder.  People from eastern Europe converse at wrist-to-shoulder distance.  People from the Mediterranean, however, prefer an elbow-to-shoulder distance (Morris 131).
----Excerpted from Simon & Schuster Handbook for Writers

SUMMARIZING AN AUTHOR'S MAIN POINTS
from Simon & Schuster Handbook for Writers

Source
Raudepp, E. "Daydreaming."  Success Unlimited.  Nov. 1975:  64.

Original
During times of stress, daydreaming erects a temporary shield against reality, in much the same way that building a house protects our bodies from the elements.  Both may be seen as forms of escapism, but no one wants to spend life in an unrelieved battle for survival.  We are entitled to occasional strategic withdrawals to regroup our forces.

Paraphrase
Just as we construct buildings to shield ourselves from extreme climate and weather conditions, our minds create daydreams as protection against difficult emotional situations (Raudsepp 64).

Summary
Our minds create daydreams to protect us from pressure (Raudsepp 64).