All Points PR Logo
All Points PR Logo
Post image

Plagiarism vs. Paraphrasing: A Cautionary Tale

shutterstock_351840518The first night of the Republican National Convention, Melania Trump delivered a speech to the audience that was later proven to closely resemble an address that first lady Michelle Obama gave to the Democratic National Convention eight years earlier. The effect was instantaneous – the entire country was talking about the alleged plagiarism. Videos were widely circulated that played the two speeches side by side, leaving no doubt in anyone’s minds that they were just a little too close to be entirely accidental. While the convention was about the Republican nominee, the conversation had shifted in one evening.

Plagiarism isn’t just a political problem. Academic institutions have put in place strict rules to find and punish plagiarism. But with so many people employed as web writers and content creators, and with content so readily available online, the line between plagiarism and paraphrasing can be very blurry. So how can we find that line?

Proper attribution

When you’re writing anything – be it an article for a website, a press release, a blog post or even a social media status, be sure to give credit where credit is due. Simply cite your sources, and there’s no problem. With web writing, it’s easy to hyperlink your source directly into a story so there’s no continuity issues. This is the easiest way to avoid plagiarism. 

Use of quotation marks

If an attribution doesn’t fit into the style of writing you’re doing, consider using a direct quote – in quotation marks. But be sure to cite your source – whether it’s a person, publication or website – after you end the quote. 

Outline it first

Paraphrasing can sometimes make good writing look like it’s been put through the thesaurus machine, stripping your writing of any authenticity and degrading the quality altogether. Before you write, make an outline. Not only will this help you keep your thoughts on track, you’re more likely to come up with good, original ideas if you think ahead.

In a world where we consume writing and media almost constantly, it’s easy to feel like there are no original ideas anymore. Avoid a sticky situation at work or school and cite your sources, use quotation marks and plan out your writing.


2020 2022 marketing trends agency archives alex sanchez ALL POINTS All Points givesback All Points PR all points public relations All Points Publicity all points seminar aloha aloha poke AMC ap university appr atc attending pr conference award submissions awareness bailey bailey hewitt Bernie's Book Bank beyond blog Blogging Brand storytelling brittany driscoll Brokerage Firms building reporter relationships building workplace connections business networking campaign recaps case studies Chicago franchise group Chicago franchise PR Chicago franchise public relations Chicago PR agency chicago PR firm Chicago public relations childrens lighthosue childrens lighthouse christian brothers automotive cicis Client Growth Company culture PR Company culture public relations conferences consumer content marketing conversate coo coo corner coo's corner COVID creating your peloton creative corner Crisis Communications culture daily jam david j miller director's digest Doug Zarkin drybar edible election employee engagement Entrepreneurship facebook franchise marketing franchise marketing trends franchise PR franchise PR agency franchise PR firm franchise public relations franchise public relations agency garbanzo gen z getting a PR career Gifts and Decorative Accessories gillian losh good news partners google grassroots PR halloween hiring holidays HOMEWATCH CAREGIVERS how to incorporate seo hr hybrid office icode idea generators IFA influencer influencers instagram intern internship isu IT service provider jabz jabz boxing jamie jamie izaks jobs junk king keynote Lambs Farm lauren izaks lead generation lead qualifying leadership linkedin Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly local Local Market PR Local Publicity lunch and learn lunchboxwax Mad Men madabolic management media mental health mentorship MUFC 2022 multi-unit franchise conference takeaways multi-unit franchising National Coverage National Public Relations National Publicity networking in person networking tips new service new year NIFA nifa recap northern illinois franchise association ongoing education online public relations open positions organic organization perkins pet pitching point pals popeyes Positive Impact Potbelly PR careers pr industry PR Industry Expertise PR Principles pr services president's point press release PRNEWS pro community PRo community project promoting promoting from within prsa Public Relations Publicity recap reconnecting in person RESOLUTIONS return to the office Robin Williams sandwiches scare seminar seminar recap senior staff seo seo 101 signed agreements soccer shots social social media social media services spherion spring cleaning squeeze stress sub zero tdtg thanksgiving the camp the driver training group the feel good company tiktok tiktok strategy to do list tough mudder trade trade pr training trending trends tv twitter user generated content utm codes video virtual virtual employee engagement vitality bowls volunteering vp volume wag n' wash wing it on work from home World Cup World Cup 2014 worst public relations pitches Wow Bao you've got maids young rembrandts