Paraphrasing: When/How/Why Should I Do It?
Paraphrasing gives you the room to condense a text’s ideas into your own words. You can use this, for example, to rewrite a definition, to emphasize important points, or to clarify ideas that might be hard for the reader to understand if you quote the original text.
When you paraphrase, remember that you still need to cite the source in-text!
Depending on your field and the style guide your field follows, you may be required to paraphrase more than quote or summarize. Make sure you are familiar with the writing conventions for your field. APA, for example, draws much more on paraphrase than MLA.
Let’s look at an example of a paraphrase. Note that here the author of this paraphrase has used the author’s name first as an attributive tag – she is letting the reader know whowrote this. She then goes on to put the writer’s ideas into her own words, but acknowledges directly where the ideas came from by using the in-text citation at the end of the second sentence.