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Are you struggling with writing assignments and receiving low grades? You put a lot of effort into writing, but do not properly know how to paraphrase! 

Don't worry, we bring effective techniques to teach you how to paraphrase! It will help you to understand the proper paraphrasing vs improper paraphrasing and how you can avoid it. 

By the end of this article you will completely learn paraphrasing and how to prevent plagiarism. So keep reading for a better outcome!

Understanding paraphrasing and proper vs improper paraphrasing

Paraphrasing is crucial to understand because it helps you to avoid many types of plagiarism. Actually, it is a process of rephrasing someone else's words and ideas in your own words. 

And keep ensuring the actual meaning of the text or information remains intact. When you do not properly cite or follow the paraphrasing, it results in plagiarism. 

Two common techniques to avoid plagiarism and follow the paraphrasing more effectively are: 

  • Proper paraphrasing 
  • Improper paraphrasing 

1. Proper paraphrasing 

Proper paraphrasing is the changing of original words and structure of the sentences. It involves the using of similar words to change the sentence but retains the main ideas the same. 

For example:

Original sentence: "The internet has revolutionized the way we communicate and access information."

Proper paraphrase: "The emergence of the internet has transformed our methods of communication and access information."

2. Improper paraphrasing

It is a process of copying someone's words and ideas without proper citation. It involves the changing of a few words and sentences but not fully attributing them. 

For example: 

Original paraphrase: "The internet provides great opportunities to pursue a career." 

Improper paraphrase: "The internet gives great opportunities to pursue a career." 

It shows that improper paraphrase is too close to the original sentence and does not change its words. So there are more chances of getting plagiarized in your work. That is why paraphrasing is considered plagiarism, if you do not use it wisely. 

Differences between paraphrasing and summarizing

Paraphrasing is an act of rewording someone else's words and ideas in your own words. Whereas summarizing is providing a brief overview of the key points or ideas in a text. 

Both have their differences in rephrasing the information. So you should also know about it for successfully paraphrasing. 

Proper Paraphrasing Techniques

Proper paraphrasing means rewriting and summarizing the original information in your own words. For this keep the meaning of the original source the same. This is important to avoid plagiarism. 

Some of the common techniques for proper paraphrasing are: 

  • Understand the source material
  • Identify the main points
  • Use synonyms and different phrasing
  • Proper citation

1. Understand the Source Material

Understanding the original source is the most important thing in paraphrasing. It means you requires complete knowledge of a topic that you want to write about. 

The complete knowledge material includes: 

  • Source of the material 
  • Key ideas of the topic
  • Context of the information 
  • Clarifies the related arguments
  • Support the evidence information

2. Identify the Main Points

Identification in paraphrasing is necessary to effectively know about the key points. For this you have to: 

  • Identify the important ideas of the original source
  • Keep the focus on the main points
  • Rephrase the words with simple to understand words
  • Check the arguments in the text, it helps you to share your ideas in a more understanding way. 

3. Use Synonyms and Different Phrasing

Using synonyms and different phrases doesn't mean to replace words with similar words. It is a process to use most relatable words while retaining the original meaning of the text. 

So try to keep the meaning of the original source the same. However it helps you to avoid plagiarism and add some creativity in the original content.

4. Proper citation 

Giving proper citation is a must act to do in any writing setting. It is compulsory to mention the original source of the text or information. 

To give proper credit further things are necessary to follow: 

  • Use appropriate citation style
  • Either APA or MLA 
  • Properly reference the original source
  • Cite the original author at the end of the document or in attribution list
  • Follow the standard pattern of citation as your field requires. 

These are some essential techniques of proper paraphrasing that helps to avoid plagiarism. Few tips will make you able to paraphrase more effectively and give proper credit to the source. 

Improper Paraphrasing Techniques

Improper paraphrasing is taking someone's words and using them as your own. After full fledged use of their content, you also give no credit to them. It is disrespectful to the author and refers to plagiarism. 

Three of the basic techniques of improper paraphrasing are: 

  • Copying and pasting text without proper citation.
  • Changing only a few words without adding originality.
  • Paraphrasing without citation or attribution to the source.

1. Copying and pasting text without proper citation 

Copying and pasting someone else's words without saying where they came from. This is like pretending you wrote something that someone else actually did. It actually refers to word-for-word copying and it definitely refers to plagiarism

Tip: You can copy paste the original information without plagiarism

2. Changing only a few words without adding originality 

Changing only a few words in a piece of writing without adding anything new results in plagiarism. This is still using someone else's ideas without giving them credit. It is a rephrasing of words but you must understand the difference between paraphrasing and rephrasing

3. Paraphrasing without citation or attribution to the source 

Paraphrasing someone else's writing without saying where the ideas came from. This is like taking someone else's ideas and pretending they're yours. It identifies direct plagiarism, where you directly copy the material and give no credit to the author. 

So it is necessary to keep track of the original sources and make proper citations. 

Therefore, give proper citation when you use someone's words or ideas. Try to use your own thoughts and words instead of just copying what someone else has said.

Reasons Why Plagiarism Occurs

Any type of cheating is not acceptable in an academic or professional setting. And plagiarism is a serious academic offense that can have significant consequences. To avoid plagiarism, it is crucial to understand why it occurs and what are the reasons behind it. 

Some of the main reasons why plagiarism occur in your work are: 

  • Lack of understanding of proper paraphrasing techniques 
  • Poor time management 
  • Pressure to achieve high grades or meet deadlines 
  • Lack of confidence in one's own writing abilities 

1. Lack of understanding of proper paraphrasing techniques

Lack of knowledge and understanding put a bad impact on the ability of creating new work. Many students and writers are not familiar with the proper techniques of paraphrasing. As they use paraphrasing to just rewording the source not the content credibility. 

So without proper understanding you can never restate the information in your own words. It may be accidentally or unintentionally but have bad consequences. 

2. Poor time management 

Many students struggle to manage their time when doing tasks. When they have a deadline, they feel stressed and copy information without rewording. 

This is wrong because they don't mention where they got the information and then use it without permission. Poor time management and rushing to gather information can lead to plagiarism.

3. Pressure to achieve high grades or meet deadlines

High grade pressure is the major reason that students don't do their best work. When they feel this pressure, they get stressed and try to finish their work quickly. To do this, they copy information from different sources and try to make their work look great. 

But in actuality, they lose their credibility. They don't really learn the topic they're supposed to be studying. Sometimes, they get caught and their grades suffer. It's better to take some time to do right things and complete your work originally. 

4. Lack of confidence in one's own writing abilities

When you start cheating you lack your confidence to write in your own words. You may not flourish your writing abilities and prefer to use someone's other work. 

That's why your work turns to plagiarism and creates negative consequences. So the lack of confidence in writing abilities is one of the major causes of plagiarism. 

How to Avoid Plagiarism Through Proper Paraphrasing

Avoiding plagiarism is essential in academic and professional success. Here are some effective ways to avoid plagiarism through proper paraphrasing:

  • Use of plagiarism checking tools
  • Practice to build effective time management and planning
  • Seek help from professors or writing centers 
  • Use proper citation and referencing techniques to give credit to the source 

1. Use of plagiarism checking tools

Plagiarism checker tools are the best resource to ensure that your work is original or not. They can identify and scan your work in the blink of an eye. 

Plagiarism checker gives you an opportunity to find necessary changes in content. Then fix them accordingly where needed. 

2. Practice to build effective time management and planning

Proper time management of daily tasks will make your work more easy. It creates space and flexibility to learn differently. 

Effective time management and planning can help prevent plagiarism. It allows you to research and paraphrase the original sources. By practicing this, you can easily break your work into smaller tasks and plan to do them in a given time limit. 

3. Seek help from professors or writing centers

If you are struggling to properly paraphrase your work from the original source. Then seeking help from your senior professors helps you a lot. Different writing centers offer you an opportunity to recheck your work and identify plagiarism. 

These resources will help to make your content original and help you to paraphrase more effectively. And it truly helps you to detect plagiarism and make your content plagiarism free. 

4. Use proper citation and referencing techniques to give credit to the source

Proper citation and referencing techniques are essential for avoiding plagiarism. When you use information from different sources, be sure to properly cite the author. 

Try to give proper reference in the given reference list or at the end of the information. Using proper citation to credit the original author will definitely help you avoid plagiarism.

How Improper Paraphrasing Leads to Plagiarism

Improper paraphrasing is another name for plagiarism. It happens when you fail to properly cite the original source where you copied the information. 

Three main ways that improper paraphrasing can turns to plagiarism are:

1. Failure to cite sources properly

When you fail to cite the sources properly, your work risks plagiarizing others. It happens when you don't know how to cite sources or simply forgets to do so.

2. Lack of originality in the writing

Improper paraphrasing can lead to lack of originality in the writing. When you simply copy and paste information from other sources without giving credit. 

It also happens when you can not use your unique perspective or analysis in writing new information. Then your work can appear unoriginal and may be considered plagiarism.

3. Inaccurately representing the source material

Finally, improper paraphrasing can lead to plagiarism. It happens when you inaccurately represent the source material as your own work. It means you use someone's ideas, words, and information without giving them proper credit. 

You are officially committing plagiarism. Plagiarism is a crime in academia that has severe consequences. It includes failing in a course or even being expelled from school. Therefore, it is necessary to always cite your sources and use your own words to explain information. 


Proper paraphrasing is a skill to write effectively and do proper research. It lets you use external sources while keeping your work original and credible. Improper paraphrasing can cause plagiarism and harm your academic reputation. 

In this guide we give you the complete insight of proper and improper paraphrasing. It will help you to think differently to:

  • Grasp the original idea and express it in your own words. 
  • Give proper credit to the original author. 
  • Always review your work after writing. 
  • Seek help from your senior professor or writing centers. 
  • Ask your peers to give honest feedback on your work. 

By doing this, you can improve your writing style and learn to respect the author by giving credit. So understand others' work and use your own creativity to express your words. 

We are hopeful that it will help you in changing the words and creating a new piece of information.