| “Intellectual honesty is the admission that humanity is linked together in a kind of collective learning process. Very little is discovered “de novo,” that is, without a solid foundation in other researchers’ previous exploration and understanding. Citation is an act of humility and an act of appreciation for what other scholars have pieced together about the nature of a particular problem or an aspect of some phenomenon.” (Hoemann)
When you have achieved an acceptable paraphrase, it feels dramatically different. It sounds like an entirely new way of expressing the idea even though every effort has been made to capture the original meaning.
Unacceptable paraphrase is usually caused by making only superficial changes to the original text such as replacing some of the words with synonyms or changing the sentence order. The paraphrase is so close to the original that it is considered essentially a direct quote without attribution. Unacceptable paraphrase, particularly close paraphrase, usually shows the student does not have a significant understanding of the subject and opens the possibility of misrepresenting the original author’s ideas.
A summary draws out just the most important points of the source material. It doesn’t have to include all the points made in the original material. Usually a summary is shorter than the original and is broader, leaving out the less relevant material.
1. Hoemann, George. Electronic Style—Why Cite?14 September 1998. University of Tennessee. 3 Oct. 2008 <http://web.utk.edu/~hoemann/why.html> (site discontinued).
2. Writing Tutorial Services, Indiana University. Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It. Indiana University. 27 April 2004. Web. 7 Aug. 2012. <http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/pamphlets/plagiarism.shtml>.
Last updated 8/23/2012 by Sue Thompson