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Using Evidence: Effective Paraphrasing Strategies

Effective Paraphrasing Strategies

If you’re having trouble paraphrasing a text effectively, try following these steps:

  1. Reread the original passage you wish to paraphrase, looking up any words you do not recognize, until you think you understand the full meaning of and intention behind the author's words.
  2. Next, cover or hide the passage. Once the passage is hidden from view, write out the author's idea, in your own words, as if you were explaining it to your instructor or classmates.
  3. After you have finished writing, check your account of the author's idea against the original. While comparing the two, ask yourself the following questions:
    Have I accurately addressed the author's ideas in a new way that is unique to my writing style and scholarly voice?

    Have I tried to replicate the author's idea or have I simply changed words around in his/her original sentence(s)?
  4. Last, include a citation, which should contain the author's name, the year, and the page or paragraph number (if available), directly following your paraphrase.

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