Image: Times Higher Education

Why using paraphrasing tools is a super bad idea

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For the lazy among us, the phrase “paraphrasing tool” is nothing short of heaven. Let’s admit it, most of the students in their university lives go lazy when it comes to bring up original content. Be it assignments, essays or even articles that are to be published online. For that very purpose, online paraphrasing tools have been created.

An online paraphrasing tool is a service that allows users to enter in a sentence, paragraph or even whole essays and it paraphrases it for them using synonyms or sometimes even changing the sentence structures. These services are usually free but for a better paraphrasing job, you might want to spend some money on a better service.

Now that we all know what paraphrasing tools are, let’s get onto why people paraphrase in the first place. Well, the short answer is Plagiarism. It refers to “stealing someone else’s work and presenting it as your own”. Most university assignment or essay submissions or online article publishing require the work submitted to be “original”.

A plagiarized content is not acceptable anywhere and thus people paraphrase. But paraphrasing can also be done manually by individuals themselves but can take a lot of time. Almost the same, in some cases, as writing something original.

Enter online paraphrasing tools. Why are they better? It a no-brainer really, it’s that they save time. We’re all busy and probably have better things to do than spend hours writing something that should take a couple of minutes.

Don’t even get me started on writer’s block! A person, when given an option to write something from scratch or use an existing piece of writing and automatically change the way it’s written, would obviously choose the latter.

So does that mean these tools are perfect? NO! far from it actually. With the advancement in technology, several algorithms have been created that detect plagiarism and even include detection of paraphrased content.

Free Paraphrasing tools do their jobs so badly that the content that comes out of it makes no sense whatsoever. It is easily detected right away the first sentence is read. And if somehow a purchased tool does the paraphrasing job well enough to be understood, it is still on a high risk of getting caught as the  bots to catch such tools have been equally gotten advanced.

The most famous and effective one is Google’s. If it detects some content being copied from another website or even a blog post, it analyzes the two pages and automatically de-ranks the one that has copied content which may be a nightmare for the website.

Similarly, most universities use a tool called Turnitin. It checks for plagiarism in assignment or essays submitted by students and can also detect paraphrasing, if done poorly. It can lead to the submission being deemed as “plagiarized” and the student might result in getting an F at that particular course (depends on the university’s policy).

Does that mean paraphrasing tools are useless? Not exactly. For instance, if you’re using them for something that doesn’t have serious plagiarism policies like a simple write up for a presentation or anything similar for that matter, these tools are perfect.

A workaround that people use are online writing services. What those do is basically have people who write original content for clients (us) at a given fee. There are many reliable websites available such as essayshark, masterpapers, iCheapEssay.com etc who provide online writing services at cheap rates so there won’t be any trouble finding one, given you’re willing to spend that amount just out of laziness.

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