7. Paraphrasing Sources

Sharing a source’s ideas with your audience by paraphrasing them is one of the most common writing tasks you will do in college.

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7.1  When and why to paraphrase

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When and why to paraphrase

When and why to paraphrase

Learn when paraphrasing is a good method of incorporating source material into your paper.

Example

Paraphrase thoughtfully and avoid inappropriate uses of paraphrase

Paraphrase sources when you need to present accurately the main points of another writer or source, in your own original language without additional commentary.

7.2  Understanding the ideas of the source

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Understanding the ideas of the source

Understanding the ideas of the source

In order to create a successful paraphrase, you must first learn and understand the content of your source.

Example

Use signal phrases to introduce paraphrases

Different disciplines have varying guidelines, but it is always a good idea to alert readers clearly to the source of the paraphrase and give introductory words that provide context.

7.3  When paraphrasing doesn’t work

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When paraphrasing doesn’t work

When paraphrasing doesn’t work

Figure out when it is not appropriate or necessary to use paraphrased material from your source into your paper.

Example

Avoid unacceptable paraphrasing: reusing sentence structure

When you paraphrase a source, to avoid plagiarism you must take care not to follow the sentence structure of the original too closely.

7.4  Changing words and sentence structure

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Changing words and sentence structure

Changing words and sentence structure

Understanding how to paraphrase by making enough changes to your source can help you avoid patch writing and plagiarism.

Example

Avoid unacceptable paraphrasing: reusing words or phrasing

To avoid plagiarism, when you paraphrase a source, you must use your own words and check to be sure you have not borrowed without using quotation marks.

7.5  Identifying your source

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Identifying your source

Identifying your source

Since paraphrasing ideas from your source does not make them your own, it’s always important to fully cite and credit your original source.

Example

Paraphrases require citation

Include citation information for any sources you paraphrase in your research project.

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