Is It Plagiarism If You Reword a Sentence

Is it plagiarism if you reword a sentence? This guide will walk you through plagiarism basics, types and how to avoid it.

Alen Walker-

Published on-2023-06-28

Table of Contents

Plagiarism is a serious academic offense that can have severe consequences. It involves presenting someone else's work or ideas as your own without giving proper credit.

Many students struggle with understanding what constitutes plagiarism, especially when it comes to rewording sentences. In this article, we will explore the question: Is it plagiarism if you reword a sentence?

We will look into the definition of plagiarism, its different types, and the ethical considerations surrounding rewording sentences. Additionally, we will provide tips for avoiding plagiarism and properly rewording sentences to ensure academic integrity.

Understanding Plagiarism

Before we discuss whether rewording a sentence can be considered plagiarism, it's crucial to understand the concept of plagiarism itself. Plagiarism is the act of using someone else's words, ideas, or work without proper attribution or permission.

It is an intellectual theft and a breach of academic integrity. Plagiarism can occur in various forms, ranging from directly copying and pasting someone else's work to paraphrasing or rewording their ideas without proper acknowledgment.

Giving reference to the original source of information is extremely crucial. Free rewording generator solves this problem by rephrasing text using AI.

The Definition of Plagiarism

Plagiarism can be defined as the deliberate or unintentional act of presenting someone else's work as your own. It includes using someone else's words, ideas, research findings, or creative works without giving appropriate credit. Plagiarism can occur in academic papers, articles, essays, presentations, and even in everyday writing.

Types of Plagiarism

Plagiarism can manifest in different ways, and it's essential to recognize its various forms. Some common types of plagiarism include:

Copying verbatim: This involves directly copying someone else's words without using quotation marks or proper citation.

Paraphrasing without attribution: Paraphrasing involves rephrasing someone else's ideas in your own words, but it still requires proper citation and acknowledgment of the original source.

Patchwriting: Patchwriting occurs when a writer tries to paraphrase but ends up using too many original phrases or sentence structures from the source material without adequate attribution.

Intentional vs. Unintentional Plagiarism

Plagiarism can be intentional or unintentional. Intentional plagiarism refers to knowingly presenting someone else's work as your own without proper attribution. On the other hand, unintentional plagiarism can occur due to lack of knowledge or carelessness in properly citing and referencing sources. Regardless of intent, both forms of plagiarism are considered serious academic offenses.

The Consequences of Plagiarism

The consequences of plagiarism can be severe and vary depending on the educational institution or context. Some potential consequences include:

Academic penalties: Students found guilty of plagiarism may receive failing grades, academic probation, or even expulsion.

Legal implications: In certain cases, plagiarism can lead to legal action, especially if copyrighted material is involved.

Damage to reputation: Plagiarism can tarnish an individual's reputation and have long-lasting negative effects on their academic and professional life.

Read this detailed guide to learn more about different ways through which you can reword a sentence or paragraph without having plagiarism in it.

The Ethics of Rewording

When it comes to rewording a sentence, the ethical considerations can be complex. Rewording a sentence without giving proper credit to the original source can still be considered plagiarism if the essential ideas or structure of the sentence remain the same. Simply replacing a few words while maintaining the overall structure does not make the reworded sentence original or exempt from plagiarism.

What Constitutes Plagiarism?

Determining what constitutes plagiarism when rewording a sentence requires a nuanced understanding. While it's acceptable to borrow ideas from other sources, proper attribution is crucial. If the original sentence's structure, meaning, or essence is retained, it is considered plagiarism. To avoid this, it's necessary to provide proper citation and make significant changes to the sentence while maintaining clarity and coherence.

Is It Plagiarism If You Reword a Sentence?

The answer to this question depends on several factors. While rewording a sentence may help avoid direct copying, it can still be plagiarism if the original source is not acknowledged. If the sentence contains unique or distinctive phrasing, ideas, or arguments, rewording without proper attribution is considered plagiarism. It is essential to credit the original author and provide appropriate citations to avoid any ethical or academic integrity issues.

Factors to Consider

When determining if rewording a sentence constitutes plagiarism, several factors should be considered:

Originality: If the sentence is highly unique or contains original ideas, rewording without proper attribution is likely to be seen as plagiarism.

Structure and phrasing: If the sentence's structure and phrasing remain largely the same, rewording without proper citation is not acceptable.

Source importance: If the sentence is a central or significant point from a source, rewording without acknowledgment can still be considered plagiarism.

Related: How to Reword Your Thesis Statement

Attribution and Paraphrasing

To avoid plagiarism when rewording a sentence, proper attribution is essential. Paraphrasing involves expressing someone else's ideas in your own words while maintaining the same meaning. However, paraphrasing still requires citing the original source. Using quotation marks for direct quotes and providing in-text citations and a bibliography or reference list are vital for accurate attribution.

Best Practices for Avoiding Plagiarism

To ensure academic integrity and avoid plagiarism, follow these best practices:

  1. Start early and plan your research and writing process.
  2. Take careful notes, distinguishing between your ideas and those from external sources.
  3. Use quotation marks and proper citations when directly quoting someone else's words.
  4. Paraphrase ideas in your own words and provide proper attribution.
  5. Use plagiarism detection tools to review your work and identify potential issues.

Tips for Properly Rewording Sentences

When rewording a sentence, keep these tips in mind to avoid plagiarism:

  1. Understand the original sentence thoroughly before attempting to reword it.
  2. Change the sentence structure, word order, and vocabulary significantly.
  3. Use synonyms or alternative phrasing to convey the same meaning.
  4. Compare your reworded sentence to the original to ensure it is sufficiently different.


Rewording a sentence can indeed be considered plagiarism if the original source is not properly acknowledged. Plagiarism encompasses more than just direct copying and can extend to reworded sentences that retain the essential ideas, structure, or phrasing of the original. To maintain academic integrity, it's crucial to give credit where it is due and provide accurate citations when using ideas or sentences from external sources.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it okay to reword a sentence without citing the source?

No, it is not okay to reword a sentence without citing the source. Proper attribution is necessary to avoid plagiarism.

How can I determine if my reworded sentence is still considered plagiarism?

Compare your reworded sentence to the original and evaluate if the essential ideas, structure, or phrasing remain the same. If they do, proper attribution is required.

What are the consequences of plagiarism in academic settings?

Consequences of plagiarism can include academic penalties such as failing grades or expulsion, legal implications, and damage to one's reputation.

Can I avoid plagiarism by simply changing a few words in a sentence?

No, changing a few words while retaining the sentence's overall structure is not sufficient to avoid plagiarism. Proper attribution is necessary.

How can I ensure I avoid plagiarism in my writing?

Plan your research and writing process carefully, take thorough notes, use proper citations, and utilize plagiarism detection tools to ensure your work is free from plagiarism.