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Skills Check 0

The Skills Check is a short survey which should take you no more than 3 minutes to complete. Once you have completed the Skills Check we provide you with a personal learning plan targeted to your personal study needs and goals.

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  3. Writing in your own words
  4. How do I use my own words

How do I use my own words

You express someone else's argument by reformulating the words that the original authors wrote. In doing so, you avoid plagiarising another person's work and you improve your understanding of what is being said. How exactly you do this depends on the subject and your own writing style but these principles will help.

  • Don't use exactly the same vocabulary as used in the original - however, there may be some essential words and phrases that you must use.
  • Change the structure of the argument - this should come naturally as you wil need to choose the appropriate elements of the original argument depending upon the aims of your own assignment.
  • Change the structure of the sentences - if you need to reproduce someone's argument quite closely you might find it difficult to make your version sufficiently different from theirs. However, do try changing the structure of the sentences.
  • Always choose the part of the original argument that is relevant to your needs. Your assignment title will lead you towards a particular objective. Not all aspects of the originally published work will be pertinent, so choose the elements that are and leave the rest.

This means that rather than simply saying what your opinion is without explanation, you give evidence and reasons to indicate how you've come to that conclusion or opinion.

Try this activity to find out how to paraphrase, and practise putting other people's ideas into your own words.