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How Can One Avoid Plagiarism When Paraphrasing?

3 min read

Plagiarism is a gross mistake punishable by suspension or expulsion. Students have lost their scholarship for copying and pasting content from the internet.  But how do you paraphrase contents without having traces of plagiarism? Read on to find out.

What is plagiarism?

It’s copying content from the internet without acknowledging the source.  Many are victims of this crime. They do not want to understand the author’s intention for writing the paper. All they want is to take several paragraphs and place them in their writing to add content.


Plagiarism also means using a sizeabledirect quote in a paragraph. Some hides in the disguise that they have quoted the author. You find a student putting two quotations in a four-sentence paragraph.  The whole section becomes the author’s words instead of the student’s.

Why should you avoid plagiarism?

Plagiarism shows you are uncommitted to your course. The purpose of an assignment is to test your understanding of a topic and to help you revise. Copying contents from the internet tell your lecturer their efforts are ineffective.


Plagiarism free work is a sign of integrity.  It shows you value other scholars’ contribution to the subject of your study.  You acknowledge that you were not the first to research the topic.


Do not copy two consecutive words

The secret to paraphrasing is to knowhow to copy a sentence. The plagiarism tools are sensitive when to words arrangement. They will identify any words that resemble the original copy. Ensure you have a synonym to replace two consecutive terms, which means you must have rich grammar by becoming an ardent reader.

Cite all direct quotes

Another way to avoid plagiarism is toinsert an in-text citation to your essay. It’s illegal to copy any content without acknowledging its source. Whether it’s a direct quote or paraphrased words, you must show its origin by mentioning the author’s name.


Your lecturer will direct you on the best way to use your citation.  You can use different methods such as APA, MLA and Chicago.  APA follows the author-date format, while MLA prefers author- page number format.  Ensure you follow the guidelines to avoid any penalties.

Replace a word that is before or after a number

Replace phrases that come before or after a percentage, year or any other number.   Your plagiarism checker will detect the whole sentence as copied. For instance, change this sentence, “president Joe Biden took an oath of office in January 2021after winning the elections” by replacing the word January and after.  You can also write the number in words if it’s according to the grammar rule.

Edit your work

Some tools highlight grammatical errors as plagiarism.  The worst thing is that you can convince your lecturer that the highlighted place is not plagiarized but minor errors. Ensure your work has the correct sentence structure.  Remove any grammar mistakes by using Grammarly. It will edit wordy sentences, repetitions and unstructured sentences.


Reference your work

There is a difference between a reference and a citation. The reference gives more details about your in-text citation.  Your work will look plagiarized if you don’t include a reference list after paraphrasing your content.

The reference should be placed in the right section to avoid it being detected and plagiarism. Follow the same guidelines used in in-text citations, reference methods and format.

Understand the content

The reason why people write plagiarized papers s because they do not understand the content. So, they take patches of the content and fix it in their work.  The best way is to read the content, understand the main ideas, and then write what you understood. It will be easier and enjoyable to write your content if you follow these steps.

Change the content into reported speech

Look for direct quotes phrases and change them. It’s one of the steps to analyzing an essay. It will help you to have alternative words to use in your article. All you need is to understand what the author meant, then report it to your audience. For instance, Sigmund Freud argues that, or comments, these phrases will reduce the chances of plagiarizing your paper.