How to Reference a Paraphrase

Why Am I Required to Cite a Paraphrase?

Whenever students are given writing assignments, one of the mandatory sections is citations. Generally, all sources used in the text should be listed alphabetically by their authors. You are also supposed to cite any material you might have borrowed from other sources. This also applies when paraphrasing. The point is to prove that you have in-depth knowledge of the subject matter. If you fail to cite your sources, then you have not done the study right.  

Failing to cite your paraphrases correctly can have dire consequences. First and foremost, it calls for an incorrect reference number, which means you will not be credited for your work. It can also affect your credibility as a writer since professors will not take you seriously if you show a lack of knowledge on the subject matter.  

In this era of technology, most of the research papers written are already available online. Therefore, citing a paraphrase is all about preserving the original meaning while transforming it into a useful new sentence. You are basically writing the text in your own words but using different wordings to show how you have synthesized the ideas of a particular source. The following are some of the steps to citing a paraphrase correctly;

  • Start by writing the source in your own words. As you synthesize the ideas, ensure you retain the original meaning while making it more concise. 
  • Include the correct citation. Make sure you include the author’s name, the year the source was published, and the page number.
  • Crosscheck the paraphrased sentence. As you write the new sentence, ensure that you ensure you retain the original meaning while tweaking the wording. The sentence should also make sense on its own without having any similarities to the source sentence.

Tips for Referencing a Paraphrase Correctly

All these are steps that every student should follow whenever they are writing a paraphrase assignment. By following the tips given above, you are guaranteed to show competence in using paraphrases. If your professors do not impose a citation step, then you do not have any reason to fear. Below are some of the tips you can apply when writing a paraphrase.

  1. Do not use direct quotes. Even though there might be unique information in your paraphrased sentence, you are better-off using synonyms. It shows that you understand that quotation marks are unnecessary in this context.
  2. Make sure to retain the original meaning of the source. Whenever you use synonyms, make sure you retain the same meaning in your sentence. If the paraphrased sentence contains some word changes, make sure to retain them in your new sentence. This will show that you have a sound understanding of the source text.
  3. When quoting a lengthy source, start your sentence with a shortening. After the initial sentence, do not add any more words after it. The goal is to have the initial sentence have about half of the original information.
  4. When using direct quotes, make sure you write the full quote in your own words. Incorporate the correct citation then crosscheck to ensure that you wrote the correct thing before.

Conclusively, paraphrasing is not a complex exercise. You do not need to be a linguistics genius to know how to do this. The tips above show that you can complete your paraphrase paper outline assignment without any challenges. Therefore, do not be afraid to find help whenever you get stuck. The only thing you need is to read widely and seek information from a variety of sources.

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