Effective Paraphrasing in MLA
Note that paraphrasing can be tricky if not done right. Usually, it is all about improving a text's quality by adding useful information and not necessarily rewording the original work, as most students often assume. Even when using similar citations, make sure you do it smartly to avoid plagiarizing the content. This is what is considered the case when you re-use some of the original content without tweaking it a bit. So how do you paraphrase correctly in MLA?
Doing it Right
As already mentioned, paraphrasing is writing content differently while maintaining the original meaning. To ensure you are on track, it helps to compare the original work and the paraphrased version as follow:
- Make sure that you are not simply using the thesaurus to replace some words with their synonyms. A lot more goes into paraphrasing than simply replacing sentences and phrases without considering the overall effect on uniqueness and plagiarism.
- Check for the level of sentence exactness. Usually, sentences should not be as exactly as they were in the original text. If some of the content must be maintained in its original format, make sure to use quotation marks to capture this.
- The meaning of the previous sentences must not be altered. While you can use different wordings, the meaning of the sentence must always remain the same. Remember that changing meaning may not affect the plagiarism, but can be considered academic dishonesty since you fail to accurately represent the author's work.
How Paraphrasing Works
If you choose to do the paraphrasing manually, then you need to note a few things. Alternatively, use paraphrasing tools for a stress-free and accurate approach. Once you understand that you need to formulate someone else's ideas into yours, you can paraphrase it correctly. This is the best alternative to quoting and one of the easiest ways to deal with plagiarism issues in texts.
Start By Reading
To hack the paraphrasing procedure, you must first read the whole text without doing anything. This will help you understand the message and flow of ideas as the original author intended for it to be. Once you have fully understood the meaning and are familiar with the text, you can proceed to the next step.
Write Down Key Points
It helps to note the major points being discussed in the text. This will give you a perspective and make it easy for you to focus on what matters, leaving fluff out, especially if you need to reduce the word count. Even at that, your content should not be too different from the original. The concept should flow as they are in the original text as well. When done, write your version of the text without comparing notes with the original text.
Compare the New Document with the Original
Once you have a draft of the work, then you can compare the two side by side. Take note of any missed instances and include them. Adjust phrases that seem to be too similar to avoid plagiarism issues. Complete the process by citing properly.
Alternatively, you can hire experts to help you with the paraphrasing process at a small fee.