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Is Using Quillbot Cheating? Responsible Use of Paraphrasing Tools

As an academic writer, I’m always looking for tools to help improve my writing process. Recently, I came across Quillbot, an AI-based paraphrasing tool that can reword sentences and rephrase paragraphs.

At first, I was excited to try it out, but then I started wondering – would using a paraphrasing tool like Quillbot be considered cheating? is using Quillbot cheating?

Through research and testing Quillbot myself, I’ve come to the conclusion that while these tools can be useful aids, they need to be used responsibly and ethically. Misusing them or relying on them entirely would be academically irresponsible.

What is Quillbot?

Quillbot is an AI paraphrasing tool that provides paraphrase suggestions for sentences and paragraphs. It uses machine learning to analyze millions of examples of paraphrasing to generate reworded versions of input text. Some examples of Quillbot in action:

OriginalQuillbot Suggestion
I went to the store to buy some milk.I traveled to the shop to purchase some dairy.
She is an intelligent and thoughtful person.She is a bright and contemplative individual.

While Quillbot can provide passable paraphrasing for short, simple pieces of text, it lacks a true understanding of context and meaning. It simply rewards based on patterns in data. It cannot match human paraphrasing and should not be used to replace human effort entirely.

Is Using Quillbot Cheating?

Using Quillbot irresponsibly by directly replacing large parts of sources without proper citation could potentially be considered plagiarism. However, when used properly as a supplementary tool to aid rewording and provide alternative phrasing options, Quillbot need not be considered cheating. The key is using it ethically and still doing the majority of the paraphrasing work yourself.

Quillbot can be useful as an aid to the paraphrasing process if used responsibly. But it should not replace human judgment and effort. Over-reliance on the tool by using its suggestions verbatim without evaluation or citation would constitute cheating. Quillbot is unable to perfectly grasp meaning and context, and cannot replicate human paraphrasing ability. It requires significant human effort to evaluate, refine, and build upon the suggestions Quillbot provides.

Some readers may argue that any use of digital aids could be considered cheating. However, when used judiciously and with high integrity standards, digital tools can enhance and supplement human effort without replacing it. 

Just as calculators aid human math efforts and spell checkers help with human editing judgments, paraphrasing tools like Quillbot can be used ethically as responsible aids to human paraphrasing.

But moderation, human oversight, a reworking of suggestions, and proper citation are key. Integrity is determined by how ethically and diligently we enhance our human abilities, not by digital aids alone.

Maintaining Academic Integrity

To use Quillbot responsibly and maintain your academic integrity, keep these tips in mind:

  • Always review and rework Quillbot’s suggestions into your own words. Do not use them verbatim without citation. Rework suggestions to match your own voice and style. Paraphrasing tools cannot replicate your own writing style and voice, so take the time to reword suggestions to sound natural to your readers.
  • Double-check that the meaning and context remain unchanged. Quillbot can make mistakes and introduce inaccuracies, so review paraphrased versions carefully. Read through the original source again to ensure the facts and overall meaning have not changed.
  • Cite the original source for any suggestions you use. Give credit where it’s due to maintaining transparency. Proper citation of sources is key to academic integrity, even if you are only using paraphrasing tool suggestions as a supplement or aid. Always be open, honest, and transparent with your readers about using digital aids.
  • Use Quillbot judiciously – do not replace the entire paraphrasing process. Do the majority of rewording and rephrasing yourself. Only use Quillbot to supplement a few sentences you are struggling with. Over-reliance on the tool can promote laziness and lead to inaccuracies or plagiarism.

My Personal Example

To provide a personal example, when writing papers, I use Quillbot to provide alternative phrasing options for 1-2 sentences I have difficulty rephrasing in my own words.

I then evaluate the options, pick elements I like from multiple suggestions, and combine them while further rewording them to match my writing style.

I never use the suggestions verbatim without checking them against the original source and I always properly cite the source, noting that I used digital paraphrasing aids.

Using Quillbot judiciously in this manner, as a way to inspire new phrasing ideas and continue with my usual paraphrasing process has been helpful. However, over-reliance on the tool, using suggestions verbatim without review, and forgoing proper citations would constitute cheating and be academically irresponsible. 

The key takeaway is that ethical and responsible tool use requires moderation, evaluation of results, reworking suggestions into your own words, double-checking meaning and context, and always properly citing sources to maintain transparency.


For any readers with remaining questions on responsible Quillbot use and maintaining integrity, here are some frequently asked questions:

How much should I rely on Quillbot’s suggestions? 

You should not rely primarily on Quillbot’s suggestions. Use the tool sparingly to supplement your own paraphrasing efforts for a few sentences you struggle with. Do the majority of rewarding yourself. Over-reliance on AI tools promotes intellectual laziness and can lead to inaccuracies or plagiarism.

Do I need to cite sources even if I’m using Quillbot? 

Yes, you should always cite the original source for any suggestions from Quillbot that you end up using. Quillbot is unable to replicate your writing style perfectly, so readers may be able to detect the use of paraphrasing aids. The proper citation also maintains transparency and integrity in your work.

How can I use Quillbot without compromising academic integrity? 

Use Quillbot judiciously, only as an aid for a few sentences. Review, evaluate, and often rework suggestions into your own words. Always double-check that the meaning and context remain accurate. And cite the original source for any suggestions you do end up using to give proper credit. Moderated, ethical tool use is key.

In Summary

While paraphrasing tools like Quillbot have their uses as aids, they should not replace human effort and judgment. With responsible and ethical use, Quillbot can be a useful supplementary tool, but should never be used for cheating purposes.

Maintaining academic integrity through proper citation, evaluating machine suggestions, and doing the majority of paraphrasing work yourself is key to using these tools ethically.

If used as an aid while maintaining high integrity standards, Quillbot and other paraphrasing tools can be helpful. But used irresponsibly, they verge into cheating territory. As with any tool, moderation and ethics are key.

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