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ID 305 Academic Research (Internet Program): Writing Helps

Writing Help

Online Writing Lab logo

The Limestone University OWL (online writing lab) is the virtual extension of the Writing Center on the main campus. The LU OWL offers live peer tutorial sessions to all students. On campus students may visit the Writing Lab in person. 

Limestone University Honor Pledge

“Honesty in personal and academic matters is a cornerstone of life at Limestone University. Students are expected to achieve on their own merits and abilities, to exercise integrity in all their affairs, and to refrain absolutely from lying, cheating, and stealing.”

I agree to refrain from academic misconduct. I further understand that there are serious consequences for academic misconduct, outlined in Academic Procedures of the Limestone University’s Academic Catalog.

Limestone University Student Handbook 

August 2021 Version

Refer to the academic misconduct link above for a copy of Limestone University's policy on Academic Conduct.

Paraphrasing & Quoting

Good academic writing is an artform. Anyone can quote from a source. The skill comes in choosing the best part of a source to quote, or even better, paraphrase.  

To paraphrase (v.): to summarize the words and/or thoughts of another person (usually an author) in your own words and syntax (sentence structure). Paraphrasing allows you to reference the words or ideas of another person while best incorporating that material into your own argument and writing style. Paraphrased material, often called a paraphrased passage, must be cited.  

Important Note: It is acceptable to use a few words of the original source, so long as you use “quotation marks” around those words. 

Plagiarism is usually the intentional act of taking another person’s words or ideas and passing them off as your own. Clearly, copying anther student’s words without attribution is plagiarism and cheating. However, less obvious cases are the improper paraphrasing of a passage, where you provide an in-text citation to an author but still use the author’s original words without “quotation marks.” Paraphrasing is an essential component of writing, but it takes a little practice to do it well. 

Tips to Avoid Plagiarism when Paraphrasing

  • Do not use the author’s original sentence structure. You must use your own words and syntax. Just putting an in-text citation is not enough—you are responsible for actually paraphrasing the author’s ideas, not just making a few changes to the original.  
  • Do not use synonyms that you do now know. The “right click” thesaurus is meant to jog your memory and give you ideas. Do not misuse this function by changing the author’s word to a synonym you do not know. Also, do not use this function to just change a few words without using your own sentence structure. 
  • Re-read the original before moving on. Make sure that you are not using the author’s original words and/or phrases. If you do, put them in “quotation marks.” 
  • Do not forget to add an in-text citation.  

If you are experiencing problems with our guides and databases, please contact ProfessorJanet S. Ward,, Assistant Director of the Library and Web Services Librarian.