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It will strengthen your essay to support your ideas with examples and information from the article you read.  However, it is critical that you do not plagiarize.  The information below is a brief discussion of plagiarism.  For more information visit  /arc.htm or schedule an appointment in Academic Resource Center (ARC).  To schedule an appointment for either campus-based or distance tutoring, please contact the Director of the ARC, Professor Robin Ouzts, at

How to Paraphrase:

  • Use synonyms for key words in the original.
  • Do not simply substitute a form of a word in the original.
  • Do not use any three successive words from the original. 
  • Rearrange or alter the sentence structure of the original.
  • Fairly represent the author's idea as it is conveyed in the original. 

Example 1
From Jessica Mitford's Kind and Usual Punishment, page 9: 

The character and mentality of the keepers may be of more importance in understanding prisons than the character and mentality of the kept. 

But the character of prison officials (the keepers) is more important in understanding prisons than the character of prisoners (the kept). 

One critic of the penal system maintains that we may be able to learn more about prisons from the psychology of the prison officials than from that of the prisoners (Mitford 9). 

Example 2
From Rachel Carson's The Edge of the Sea, page 30: 

The records of paleontology provide evidence of the changing shapes of continents and the changing flow of the ocean currents, for these earlier earth patterns account for the otherwise mysterious present distribution of many plants and animals.

The mysterious distribution of animals and plants is accounted for by changing continent shapes and changing flow of ocean currents. 

According to Rachel Carson, geologists can account for why particular plants and animals are found at particular places on the planet by studying ancient fossils which indicate that land masses altered as ocean currents shifted (30). 

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