Paraphrasing with inadequate modification
Comment on plagiarized text - The attempt at paraphrasing above reveals a common error students make in academic writing. The source has been properly cited, and the writer has taken a fair bit of trouble to render the passage in his or her own words. However, periodically the writer has “lifted” key phrases from the original, as is highlighted below, and this, again, constitutes plagiarism. Instead, these phrases should have had quotation marks around them or, better still, they too should have been paraphrased:
Comment on plagiarized text - This writer has not actually paraphrased the original passage; paraphrasing involves explaining the original in the writer’s own wording and sentence structure. All this writer has done is to replace the words in Orwell’s sentences with words of similar meaning, otherwise merely parroting what Orwell wrote. Consider below Orwell’s actual passage, with our writer’s word replacements set off in bold:
As the above demonstration reveals, the writer has simply lifted whole phrases from the original, here and there making word substitutions. Such an exercise does not show that the writer has the ability to explain what Orwell has said in his or her own manner of writing, and as such constitutes a form of plagiarism.
Here, then, is a true paraphrase of Orwell’s passage:
In this passage, the writer, while carefully citing Orwell as the source, has sufficiently internalized Orwell’s message to be able to explain it in his or her own writing style, without “borrowing” Orwell’s sentence structure.