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.
When and why to paraphrase
Learn when paraphrasing is a good method of incorporating source material into your paper.
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.
Understanding the ideas of the source
In order to create a successful paraphrase, you must first learn and understand the content of your source.
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.
When paraphrasing doesn’t work
Figure out when it is not appropriate or necessary to use paraphrased material from your source into your paper.
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.
Changing words and sentence structure
Understanding how to paraphrase by making enough changes to your source can help you avoid patch writing and plagiarism.
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.
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.
Paraphrases require citation
Include citation information for any sources you paraphrase in your research project.