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Cambridge LibGuides

Plagiarism: Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing

To write academic work successfully you need to read round the subject and organise your ideas into a coherent argument. It is very important to reference your sources each time you include an idea or an argument from your reading, whether you have summarised the information, quoted it directly or paraphrased it. Effective quotation and use of source materials can show credibility and authority in writing your produce, as well as providing opposing views against which you can comment. Anything you cite should clearly support your conclusions. A paraphrase should be a restatement of the meaning of the original text in your own words and not simply changing some words or sentences around. Expressing ideas in your own words will show your tutor how well you understand the original material.

Example - Original text

Varian, H. (2014) Intermediate Microeconomics: a modern approach. 9th ed. Norton.

“Another kind of tax or subsidy that the government might use is a lump-sum tax or subsidy. In the case of a tax, this means that the government takes away some fixed amount of money, regardless of the individual’s behavior. Thus a lump-sum tax means that the budget line of a consumer will shift inward because his money income has been reduced. Similarly, a lump-sum subsidy means that the budget line will shift outward. Quality taxes and value taxes tilt the budget line one way or the other depending on which good is being taxed, but a lump-sum tax shifts the budget line inward.” (Varian, 2014 p.28)

Poor paraphrase of the text

A lump-sum tax is a kind of tax or subsidy the government might use. A tax means the government takes away a fixed amount of money regardless of an individual’s behaviour. A lump-sum tax will reduce a consumer’s income and his budget line will shift inward. A lump-sum subsidy will mean that the budget line will shift outward. Quality taxes and value taxes may tilt the budget line one way or the other depending upon the good being taxed. (Varian, 2014 p.28)

 

Good paraphrase of the text

Varian (2014) explains that when the government takes away some of an individual’s income as a lump-sum tax it will reduce their income. Therefore they will spend less of their available budget. However, a lump-sum subsidy, or government allowance, will increase the income of an individual and they will have more budget available to spend. Whereas quality or value taxes may affect the individual’s available budget depending upon the goods being taxed (p.28).