Interactive Rubric for Written Communication: 5.6.5. Paraphrasing & Plagiarism

This guide will help you understand common conventions of academic writing and the application of marking rubrics



Definition (formal)

Paraphrasing is the re-writing of someone else’s content, idea or concepts in your own words. Plagiarism is the direct copying of someone else’s content, ideas or concepts without changing the original words or acknowledging the source.

Definition (formal)

Paraphrasing: Did you get the gist of it?

Plagiarising: Did you copy it?


For example, the Persuasive Essay Example avoids plagiarising Weinberg’s idea by using quotation marks and a citation to acknowledge the source of the quote:

 "Genes do not fix behaviour . . . they establish a range of possible reactions to the range of possible experiences that the environment can provide" (Weinberg, 1989, p. 101).

The direct quote could have been paraphrased as follows:

Weinberg, (1989) suggests that the expression of genes is influenced by environmental factors.


Refer to the textbook pages and sections to improve your knowledge and understanding of the criterion.

Resources (web)

Click on the links to access online resources to improve your knowledge and understanding of the criterion.

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