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I submitted my first draft to my English professor and he said this part was plagarized. How can it be rewritten not to be plagarism? honored John the Baptist with these words in a conversation with his disciples: “Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist”[1] One reason that Jesus called John the Baptist the “greatest” was that John held the honor of being chosen by God as the forerunner to the Messiah. John’s mission was to personally prepare the world for Christ’s arrival. Mark showed in his writings that John was the Spirit-anointed bridge from the Old Testament to the New and was the last of the Old Testament prophets who stood on the cusp of a new dispensation[2]. Mark so eloquently, in his writings illustrates John’s preaching was the end of the Law and the beginning of the Promise. A positive foundation was laid out in Mark’s Gospel either through personal interactions and studies or first-hand accounts from Peter that John the Baptist was the last in the long line of prophets who predicted Christ, yet he was the only one who could actually see and recognized Christ in the flesh. John the Baptist's mission was meant 'to decrease' while Christ’s 'increased'. He did not operate in miracles because that would have not served the spirit of his mission. His main duty was to call every Jew to a Baptism of repentance in preparation of Christ ‘whose sandals he knew he was not worthy to untie'. Just as Elijah called Israel back to Yahweh as a lost people under God’s anger, so the Baptist called the Jews to be baptized   [1] Matthew 11:11a [2] The Great: Elijah: A Man Who Stood with God; Great Lives from God’s Word Series by Chuck Swindoll

The best way to rewrite this part to avoid plagiarism is to use proper in-text citations when quoting another author directly or paraphrasing their ideas.

Expert Answers

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Plagiarism is essentially when a writer does not give another writer credit for an idea, thus either intentionally or unintentionally presenting that writer's ideas as their own original interpretations or thoughts. It appears that in this section, Chuck Swindoll's ideas about John the Baptist and his mission's relationship to Jesus were not given proper credit within the student text itself. While the plagiarism is unintentional (and in many student cases, plagiarism is unintentional), it is still plagiarism.

The best and easiest way to prevent plagiarism is simply to make sure one has cited one's sources properly. If quoting a source directly, then follow the direct quotation with an in-text citation. In cases of paraphrasing, one must also make sure proper credit is given to the author. The citation rule still applies even if one is not directly presenting the original text.

There are two ways to give a source credit when paraphrasing: either mention the author's name in the paraphrased sentence (for example: In his book about Elijah the prophet, author Chuck Swindoll has this to say about John the Baptist...), or cite the source after the paraphrase is presented with an in-text citation. In both cases, Swindoll is given credit for his ideas and plagiarism is averted.

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