English Writing Resources |
Paraphrase to HOME PAGE
Paraphrase : Write it in Your Own Words.
Paraphrasing is one way to use a text in your own writing without
directly quoting source material. Anytime you are taking information
from a source that is not your own, you need to specify where you got that
A paraphrase is...
- Your own rendition of essential information and ideas expressed by
someone else, presented in a new form.
- One legitimate way (when accompanied by accurate documentation) to
borrow from a source.
- A more detailed restatement than a summary, which focuses concisely on
a single main idea.
Paraphrasing is a valuable skill because...
- It is better than quoting information from an undistinguished
- It helps you control the temptation to quote too much.
- The mental process required for successful paraphrasing helps you to
grasp the full meaning of the original.
6 Steps to Effective Paraphrasing
- Reread the original passage until you understand its full
- Set the original aside, and write your paraphrase on a note
- Jot down a few words below your paraphrase to remind you later how
you envision using this material. At the top of the note card, write a key
word or phrase to indicate the subject of your paraphrase.
- Check your rendition with the original to make sure that your version
accurately expresses all the essential information in a new form.
- Use quotation marks to identify any unique term or phraseology you
have borrowed exactly from the source.
- Record the source (including the page) on your note card so that you
can credit it easily if you decide to incorporate the material into your
Some examples to compare
The original passage:
Students frequently overuse direct quotation in taking notes, and as a
result they overuse quotations in the final [research] paper. Probably
only about 10% of your final manuscript should appear as directly quoted
matter. Therefore, you should strive to limit the amount of exact
transcribing of source materials while taking notes. Lester, James D.
Writing Research Papers. 2nd ed. (1976): 46-47.
A legitimate paraphrase:
In research papers students often quote excessively, failing to keep
quoted material down to a desirable level. Since the problem usually
originates during note taking, it is essential to minimize the material
recorded verbatim (Lester 46-47).
An acceptable summary:
Students should take just a few notes in direct quotation from sources
to help minimize the amount of quoted material in a research paper (Lester
A plagiarized version:
Students often use too many direct quotations when they take notes,
resulting in too many of them in the final research paper. In fact,
probably only about 10% of the final copy should consist of directly
quoted material. So it is important to limit the amount of source material
copied while taking notes.
Other Pages in This Section :
Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing : This page is intended to help you become more comfortable with the uses of and distinctions among quotations, paraphrases, and summaries.
Sample Essay : Here is a sample essay you can practice quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing.