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HS110 Academic Wellness : Using Sources Well: Paraphrasing

Avoiding Plagiarism

Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism

  • Word plagiarism occurs when a person copies another person's words exactly without placing them in quotation marks. 
  • Idea plagiarism occurs when a person presents someone else's ideas as their own without giving the original author credit for their ideas. One form that idea plagiarism can take is patchwriting, when a person's paraphrase relies too heavily on the sentence structure and/or vocabulary present in source material.
  • Self plagiarism occurs when a person reuses their own ideas previously expressed or published elsewhere without citing themselves. Reusing a paper, or part of a paper, previously submitted in a different course,  is an act of plagiarism that may result in disciplinary action. 
  • Plagiarism can be both INTENTIONAL and UNINTENTIONAL.

Have questions about plagiarism? Check out this "Avoiding Plagiarism" resource created by the American Psychological association. 

Academic Integrity at USciences

Below is published in the Academic Integrity portion of the USciences Student Handbook: 

  • Plagiarism in any form (both intentional and unintentional) is considered a form of academic dishonesty and may carry significant consequences for students. The handbook has this to say about plagiarism and it's consequences -- 
  • At USciences, as in all institutions of higher learning, ideas are highly valued, and so is the individual who expresses those ideas. In both a legal and moral sense, words and ideas are the property of their authors. Plagiarism is the theft of that property. When you plagiarize, you are presenting someone else’s words and/or ideas as if they are your own. This situation applies to all printed material as well as to works and ideas found through electronic sources. Plagiarism may be intentional or unintentional. In either case, the penalty for plagiarism can be severe, including failure in the course and/or expulsion from the institution. While the various disciplines differ in the specific formats that they use to cite sources, they share a commitment to academic integrity and to the requirement that students use source material correctly. If you have questions about avoiding plagiarism in an assignment for a specific course, ask your professor. You can get assistance with correct documentation at the Writing Center (; or 


Paraphrasing Assignment

Paraphrasing Assignment

Step 1

Watch video through the end of the discussion on paraphrasing (about 10:45) with the goal of being able to answer these questions: 

  • Why is paraphrasing important in academic writing?
  • How do you write an effective paraphrase? 
  • What is "patchwriting" and why should you avoid it? 

(Feel free to watch the whole video -  it goes on to cover quoting, references and in-text citations. This video and others can be found here: APA Tutorial and Webinar Page.)

Step 2 

Review Information on creating an in-text citation for your paraphrase  

Step 3

Complete Paraphrasing Activity and post your paraphrase to discussion board in D2L.