Five Tips to Help Avoid Insufficient Paraphrasing

You may notice that a quote is taken out of context, or you have altered the wording, but the text makes no sense. This means that you’ve likely failed to create proper paraphrasing.

Insufficient paraphrasing is just another way of plagiarism, but they are easy to identify and avoid. But what is an insufficient paraphrase, and how to avoid them? — this post will answer all your questions.

What Is an Insufficient Paraphrase?

Insufficient paraphrasing is when you use words and phrases too similar to the source. Changing a few words or phrases of the source text without proper or correct citation is considered insufficient paraphrasing.

A good paraphrasing should demonstrate a solid comprehension of a source text’s concepts. It shouldn’t simply be a restatement of the ideas with different wording.

Is Paraphrasing Considered Plagiarism?

Some people misconstrue paraphrasing as plagiarism. However, paraphrasing is just a different writing style and way of thinking. It is not considered plagiarism if the paraphrased text is different from the original text.

Are you using vague language, not providing your unique ideas, and messing up grammar and spelling? These are signs that you are not paraphrasing, and if you are, it is considered plagiarism.

When paraphrasing, you may need to use the original content in your writing. But you should use a lot of quotation marks to mark the original content and amplify it.

A number of open books scattered on the surface.
Photo by Gülfer ERGİN on Unsplash

Five Tips to Avoid Insufficient Paraphrasing

Sometimes when we write an article, we feel like we do not entirely understand what we’re writing. This is due to the lack of a thorough re-imaging of the idea. We might not have time to fully re-write and re-imagine what we have written and end up with insufficient paraphrasing. Follow the tips below to avoid insufficient paraphrasing in your writing.

1. Read About the Same Subject from Several Sources

A good way to avoid paraphrasing with insufficient content is to read multiple sources. This helps you create a diverse picture of how different authors have approached the topic, establishing legitimacy in the context of your paper.

The tactic also ensures that you have enough sources to mention in the body of your paper. As a result, the body paragraphs will portray a smoother, more comprehensive argument.

2. Keep the Source Text Away When Paraphrasing

The most helpful way of avoiding insufficient paraphrasing is to keep yourself away from the original text when paraphrasing. The text you intend to paraphrase should never be open in front of you.

Discuss the concept before writing it in your own words. Explain the gist of the original text to someone else. This technique will aid you in writing because you will be more likely to remember your own words than the authors.

3. Do Not Just Replace Words with Synonyms

Paraphrasing a paragraph by replacing every word with another word is not possible. If that were to happen, the meaning would be distorted, making the text incomprehensible and lacking the intended purpose.

It doesn’t always make sense when you try to replace an isolated word with its synonyms.

It’s best not to keep looking for substitutes in a thesaurus. To pick and use the right word, make sure you understand the meaning of the text and its connotation.

4. Rewrite the Text in Complete Sentences

One of the best ways to avoid insufficient paraphrasing and misleading readers is to rewrite complete sentences. This may sound difficult, but in reality, it is not. Simply rewrite the entire sentence, including the whole paragraph, without changing it or adding new fluff.

5. Enrich Your Vocabulary

Try to develop a broad vocabulary for your writing. This will help when it is time to write your creative content. We can make others understand what we mean by using words with more significant meaning in the sentence.

Proper paraphrasing requires that you write the content in your own words. And to enrich your vocabulary, you need to do extensive reading even outside of your field of expertise.

Picking up words from different domains will help you paraphrase a text better. Remember that a good writer needs to be a good reader first.

To Wrap Up

Paraphrasing is a writing strategy in which you take someone else’s written words and use them as your own. It is vital to get the paraphrase right in order for it to not be plagiarism.

As you would be taking heavily from the original source without giving credit, make sure you don’t end up with insufficient paraphrasing. This article answers all your questions, from what is an insufficient paraphrase to how to avoid them efficiently.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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