Ten Tips for Effective Paraphrasing and Summarizing 1. 2. Have an outline a good idea of what you want to write about. Reread the passage until you understand it thoroughly. Decide what from the passage you want to put in the paper and what you want to leave out. Jot down the main idea from the passage you want to use. Underline shared words which do not need quotes or synonyms. Set aside the original, and rewrite the text in your own words. This way you will not be tempted to plagiarize! Aim to synthesize and integrate other people's thoughts with your own. You can use opening gambits to introduce the idea. Examples: “Martinez found out that found that... “ or “As Jones has recently indicated...” It is unacceptable to simply replace words from the original statement with words or phrases with similar meanings, or to rearrange the sentence or paragraph. Use quotation marks within a paraphrase when you want to utilize the author's exact language. If you do quote an author, ensure that the wording, punctuation and spelling are exactly the same as the original. Cite the passage right away. Record the source for your citation page. Always check your version with the original. Ensure that your paraphrase represents the author's meaning without distortion. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Underline means proper nouns which you can copy. Yellow means copied. Blue means too close a paraphrase. Original excerpt: You plagiarize when, intentionally or not, you use someone else's words or ideas but fail to credit that person. You plagiarize even when you do credit the author but use his exact words without so indicating with quotation marks or block indentation. You also plagiarize when you use words so close to those in your source, that if your work were placed next to the source, it would be obvious that you could not have written what you did without the source at your elbow. (Booth, Colomb, and Williams 167) Unacceptable paraphrase: It is plagiarism, intentional or not, to use someone else's ideas or words without giving credit to that person. Even if you give credit to the author, it is plagiarism to use his exact words without quotation marks or block indentation. It is also plagiarism to use words so close to the original that if someone put your work next to it, it would be clear that you couldn't have written what you did unless you had the original there with you. (Booth, Colomb, and Williams 167) Acceptable paraphrase: Booth, Colomb, and Williams warn against three types of plagiarism: 1) using the "words or ideas" of a source without identifying it; 2) giving credit to a source but copying its language, in whole or in part, without benefit of quotation marks; or 3) echoing the sentence structure and phrasing of the original so closely that anyone can see the writer was depending on it heavily as he wrote (167). Original Passage: Thomas Mortenson of the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education has collected a mountain of data on growing educational inequality. As he points out, universities have done a wonderful job educating affluent kids since 1980. But they "have done a terrible job of including those from the bottom half of the family income distribution. In this respect, higher education is now causing most of the growing inequality and strengthening class structure of the United States." Bad Paraphrase: Thomas Mortenson of the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education has collected a lot of information on the growing inequality in education. As he says, universities have done a great job educating rich kids since 1980. But they have done a bad job of including those from the bottom half of the class structure. As you can see, higher education is now the cause of most of the increasing inequality and is fortifying the class structure in America. Good Paraphrase: Thomas Mortenson of the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education has done a study which shows that though wealthy kids have done well in universities, poor kids have not. This inequality ultimately gives an advantage to the rich in other aspects of their lives. EXERCISE: There was a time when families who adopted children from a different ethnic or racial group were advised to cut ties to the past and assimilate the youngsters as completely as possible. Today adoption advocates agree that embracing the birth culture of these children is vital for parents raising kids from a race or culture other than their own. "When you raise a child of another race, you need to realize that you become an interracial family and to make use of every possible resource you can find to integrate with your child's birth culture," says Cheri Register, author of Are Those Kids Yours? Raising Children Adopted from Other Countries (Free Press).
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