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  • Dr Paul Penn

How to paraphrase appropriately

In this video I provide some advice on how to properly paraphrase the work of other authors and avoid lazy paraphrasing (which constitutes plagiarism).

0:00 - The issue of uncertainty with regards to acceptable paraphrasing practices 1:04 - Lazy paraphrasing introduction and definition

1:52 - Example of lazy paraphrasing

3:08 - Example of acceptable paraphrasing

4:07 - The "how different does my work have to be" trap

5:05 - The best way to avoid lazy paraphrasing

5:32 - Poor approaches to studying can promote lazy paraphrasing

6:11 - Use the 3R approach to help you paraphrase

6:42 - A useful litmus test to determine if your paraphrasing is adequate


Howard, R. M. (1992). A plagiarism pentimento. Journal of teaching writing, 11(2), 233-45.

McDaniel, M. A., Howard, D. C., & Einstein, G. O. (2009). The read-recite-review study strategy: Effective and portable. Psychological Science, 20(4), 516-522.

Park, C. (2003). In other (people's) words: Plagiarism by university students--literature and lessons. Assessment & evaluation in higher education, 28(5), 471-488.

Roig, M. (1997). Can undergraduate students determine whether text has been plagiarized?. The Psychological Record, 47(1), 113-122.

Schwabl, K., Rossiter, M. J., & Abbott, M. L. (2013). University students’ and instructors’ paraphrasing and citation knowledge and practices. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 59(3), 401-419.

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