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RMIT University Library - Learning Lab

Paraphrasing: Harvard

 

Paraphrasing is when you rewrite ideas and information in your own words. In academic writing, paraphrasing helps to avoid plagiarism. Paraphrasing well involves changing the structure of the sentence and not just changing the words.

For more information on paraphrasing, visit Paraphrasing.

Paraphrasing activity

Read the original text, then select the best paraphrase out of the two options below.

Original text

The challenge of both measuring and managing diverse cultural factors within the same national culture cannot be underestimated. However, the task of deciphering both national and organizational differences of firms engaging in joint ventures across national boundaries is even more perplexing.

From Palthe, J 2014, ‘Cross-Level Cultural Congruence: Implications for managing diversity in multinational corporations’, Journal of Diversity Management, vol.9, no.1, pp. 51-61.

Paraphrase 1

This paraphrase is actually a word switch. The words of the original have been replaced by synonyms. For example "The challenge" has been replaced by "The difficulty" and "cannot be underestimated" has been replaced by "is great". The order of the word replacements also stays the same.

Paraphrase 2

This paraphrase has reordered the structure and the words significantly from the original. This is the better paraphrase.

Original text
The challenge of both measuring and managing diverse cultural factors within the same national culture cannot be underestimated. However, the task of deciphering both national and organizational differences of firms engaging in joint ventures across national boundaries is even more perplexing.

From Palthe, J 2014, 'Cross-Level Cultural Congruence: Implications for managing diversity in multinational corporations', Journal of Diversity Management, vol.9, no 1, pp. 51-61.

Paraphrase 1:
The difficulty of calculating and managing the diversity of cultural elements in one country is great. When companies from different countries work together, it is more difficult (Palthe 2014).

Explanation 1: This paraphrase is actually a word switch. The words of the original have been replaced by synonyms. For example "The challenge" has been replaced by "The difficulty" and "cannot be underestimated" has been replaced by "is great". The order of the word replacements also stays the same.

Paraphrase 2:
Working with staff from two or more countries further multiplies the complexity of managing diverse cultures (Palthe 2014).

Explanation 2:
This paraphrase has reordered the structure and the words significantly from the original. This is the better paraphrase.