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Webinar Transcripts

Paraphrasing Source Information

Presented July 28, 2020

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Last updated August 3, 2020

 

 

Visual: Opening slide is titled Housekeeping

  • Recording: Will be available online within 24 hours.
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  • Q&A
  • Help
    • Ask in the Q&A box.
    • Choose “Help” in the upper right-hand corner of the webinar room.

Audio: [Claire] Hi, everyone. Welcome to today's presentation. I am Claire facilitating today's webinar. Before I hand it over to our presenter Michael, I want to go over a few housekeeping notes. First, I want to note that the recording for the session will be available online within 24 hours, so if you need to leave or are have technical issues, you will still be able to watch the presentation once it is uploaded to our webinar archive. Throughout the presentation, polls, files, and links are active so you should be able to click on those or if you would prefer to download the slides, you can do that as well and follow along that way.

Throughout the presentation, please use the Q&A box if you have questions about writing or are having technical difficulties and I will be there to respond to your questions. If you are watching this as a recording or think of questions later on, you can contact us via writingsupport@waldenu.edu or visit us during our live chat hours.

Throughout the presentation if you are having any technical issues, please go ahead and let me know in the Q&A box because I do have a few tips and tricks I can suggest. But if you are having major technical issues, you might prefer to contact Adobe’s help center which is in the right-hand corner of the webinar room. It is a little button that says help.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the title of the webinar: Practical Writing Skills: Paraphrasing Source Information and includes the presenter’s name, picture, and role: Michael Dusek, Writing Instructor, Walden University Writing Center

Audio: [Claire] With all that set up, I am going to turn it over to our presenter Michael today.

[Michael] Awesome! Welcome, everyone. My name is Michael Dusek. I am a writing instructor here at the Walden Writing Center. You can see my picture on the slide looking like it's picture day at school. This webinar is about paraphrasing source information; it is meant as a practical webinar. I will discuss some of the tips and tricks and attributes of an effective paraphrase. Then really the second half of this presentation is about giving you some practice paraphrasing passages and trying out some of those skills for yourself.

Welcome and without further ado we are going to get into it here. 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Learning Objectives. After this session, you will be able to:

  • Define paraphrasing and its importance
  • Understand the difference between quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing
  • Identify strategies for paraphrasing
  • Apply strategies in paraphrasing practice

Audio: [Michael] Some learning objectives for the session. We are going to define paraphrase and its importance, talk about how this works and what you use paraphrase for and how this can be a benefit to your writing. 

Understand the difference between quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing. These three things are your tools in working with source material, working with the ideas of other scholars and bringing their ideas into your writing. We will talk about the difference between these three tools that you have at your disposal and maybe when one is appropriate versus when another is.

Identify strategies for paraphrasing. We are going to talk about techniques you can use to help you craft effective paraphrases and effectively put the ideas of others into your own words. 

Lastly, we are going to apply these strategies and really practice paraphrasing. There will be some example passages that we are going to ask you to paraphrase.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Paraphrasing: What it is and why it matters

  • Definition
    • Presents key point of an author’s ideas in a new way
    • Uses your own words and sentence structure
  • Importance
    • Gives you deeper understanding of source and topic
    • Shows critical thinking and critical engagement with the text

Audio: [Michael] To start then we will start at the bedrock here, get a solid definition of what paraphrase is. For this, a paraphrase presents key points of an author’s ideas in a new way. Really you are taking someone else's idea, an idea that they have elaborated upon in their research, and you are putting it into your own words as the second bullet point points out. You are going to be using your own words to articulate that idea and you are going to be using your own sentence structure as well.

I think this is a point that can be a little bit of a point of confusion for students. When you are taking a piece of source material, a package from a source and paraphrasing it, you need to use your own words. I think that's pretty straightforward. You need to say it a little differently, articulate this idea in your own way. But for this to be truly effective paraphrase, you need to also change the structure of the sentence. It's not really a matter of lifting one word and replacing it with a synonym. You actually have to rearrange the sentence as well for that to be considered an effective or a complete paraphrase.

Why is this important? It gives you a deeper understanding of the source or topic. The way that I like to put this is in order to paraphrase something, you have to understand it really well. To explain it in your own words is to show a deeper understanding of that idea. You are showing that I understand this idea so well that I don't need to borrow the author’s language to describe it. I can describe it in my own way. I can put that idea in my own words. Also, it shows critical thinking and critical engagement with the text.

In the process of doing this, of fully understanding this passage and putting it into your own words, you are showing the reader that you understand it. As with many concepts in academic writing, this can really be couched in the notion of authority and credibility to your reader. When you paraphrase effectively, you are showing the reader that you have engaged with this topic before. You have worked with it. You understand it.

This builds your credibility as an author. It means that the reader is more likely to believe what you are writing because you are showing yourself to be an authority on this idea. I hope that that is clear.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: 

  • Paraphrase:
    • Your words and sentence structure (typically shorter than original)
    • Focused (one+ paragraphs in source)
    • Used in specific context
    • Cited
    • [Example]: Silvia (2007) argued that the practice of ‘binge’ writing is both unhealthy and, in the long run, ineffective.
  • Summary:
    • Your words and sentence structure (much shorter than original)
    • Broad (overview of source)
    • Cited
    • [Example]: Silvia (2007) examined common excuses writers give themselves regarding their writing practices. By breaking down these excuses, Silvia endeavored to provide writers with new perspectives about the writing process and academic writing in general.
  • Silvia, P. J. (2007). How to write a lot: A practical guide to productive academic writing. APA Life Tools.

Audio: [Michael] Paraphrase versus summary. They are similar. In both paraphrase and summary, you are taking someone else's ideas and putting them in your own words. But the difference here is what I'm going to be talking about. 

Mainly paraphrasing is going to be you are taking something, putting it in your own words, changing the sentence structure, but this is typically going to be shorter than the original. It's focused and by focused, I mean it focuses on a pretty specific passage of the text. You are not really taking the entire piece that you are reading and trying to put it into your own words as you do with a summary. You are focusing in on a specific passage or one paragraph, maybe even one sentence within the text and taking that and articulating that in your own words.

So, it's really used in a specific context. You are taking a specific passage. This is what that can look like as an example here: Silvia (2007) argued that the practice of ‘binge’ writing is both unhealthy and, in the long run, ineffective. This is only paraphrasing one part of Silvia's document here. It is focused as that bullet point points out.

In summary, you are taking something big, whole book or whole journal article and distilling it down into only the very most essential parts. You are summarizing it. It's going to be broad. It's going to be an overview of the entire source as I mentioned. An example of this could sound something like this: Silvia (2007) examined common excuses writers give themselves regarding their writing practices. By breaking down these excuses, Silvia endeavored to provide writers with new perspectives about the writing process and academic writing in general.

You can see the difference here. On the left, the paraphrase focuses on one idea that Silvia is working with, this notion of binge writing and how that is unhealthy or ineffective. In a summary, you are taking Silvia's whole piece. You are summarizing it for the reader, telling the reader what that entire piece was about. In this case, examining excuses and working through those excuses. But the difference there again is a paraphrase is going to be focused. You are taking a specific passage or a specific idea whereas summary is going to be more broad. You are dealing with the entire work rather than a focused part of that work.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Paraphrasing: One way of using evidence

  • Quotation
    • Identical to original
    • Narrow (1+ lines)
    • Cited
    • Quotation marks
    • Author, year, page/paragraph #
  • Paraphrase 
    • Your own words & sentence structure
    • Shorter than original
    • Narrow
    • Cited
    • Author/year
  • Check out our Using and Integrating Quotes webinar for more on using quotes effectively!

Audio: [Michael] To look at the difference between quotation and paraphrase, this is another distinction that we want to draw here. A quotation is going to be an identical representation of a source passage. You are taking the author’s words and representing them exactly as they appear in this text. This should be narrow. Basically, at this stage that you guys are out right now, quotation should be used extremely sparingly. It should only really be used where to paraphrase it is to take away from its meaning. If the author says something so incredibly well that putting it into your own words takes away from its meaning somehow, that would be an instance where you want to use quotation.

But other than that, at the master’s level, the doctoral level, quotation is really something that is to be avoided kind of. Instead you want to paraphrase. But again, let's draw this distinction here. It's the identical passage from that source. It's narrow. You are going to use a citation so you’re giving credit to the source but lifting the author’s words. You are using quotation marks to show what exactly comes from the author and you are going to include citation, author, year of publication and page or paragraph number to direct the reader directly to where they can find that passage within the piece.

The difference then with paraphrase is you are going to be putting that into your own words and using your own sentence structure. It is shorter than the original so it's not the same size as the original as you would see with quotation. It's going to be shortened generally in some way. It is narrow. You're going to cite that as well, but when you paraphrase you don't necessarily need to include a page or paragraph number in that citation. The author and the year of publication is what is required for a complete citation of the paraphrase.

So, there are some significant differences there. The quotation, you borrow the author’s language, and in a paraphrase, you are taking that idea and putting it into your own language. 

A resource for you if you're interested in quotations and working them into your writing can be found at the bottom of the slide here: Using and integrating quotations webinar. That is a webinar like this one where they really focus on specifically working with quotations and integrating them into your writing, bringing them into your writing. But that is not the focus of this webinar so we are going to move on and really narrowly focus on paraphrase.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Paraphrasing: Strategies for practice

  • Read: 
    • Read passage until you understand its meaning
  • Purpose: 
    • What will you do with this evidence? 
    • Connection to thesis statement
  • Look away: 
    • Look away from passage to write main points of what you read
  • Imagine & Write
    • Imagine explaining that main point to a classmate/ coworker 
    • Write explanation on page
  • Check & Cite
    • Double check your wording against the original
    • Cite the source

Audio: [Michael] Here is what we think about when we think about an effective process in paraphrasing. This would be a way to approach paraphrasing and just some helpful practical tips about doing this. First you need to read the passage. I know this sounds obvious, but it's really important when you are taking another author’s idea and putting it into your own words that you are fair, that you accurately represent that idea. You cannot take their idea out of context. You cannot tweak it to fit your scenario or your purpose in your academic piece.

You have to read that and fully understand that so you can accurately represent the idea that the author is going forward there. Think about the purpose of this. What will you do with this evidence? How is this going to support the thesis statement of your piece? What part of the thesis statement is this piece of evidence supporting? As with all academic research, the first -- a major step here is thinking about how this is useful to you. Then once you have read that passage and understand it fully and you maybe thought hey, I can use this in my piece in this way, this supports my thesis, this part of my thesis. 

Then the best thing to do is get away from it a little bit and look away from the passage for a minute and try to put it into your own words. Think about the main points of what you have read. What parts of that passage are really important to include? 

Then you can try this on. Imagine explaining that point to a classmate or a coworker and write an explanation on the page of this. What I'm saying here is this would be an attempt to put this into your own words. 

Lastly, return back to the previous or to the original passage and double check your wording against the original, making sure that you did not borrow certain parts of that language and bring that into your writing. Making sure that you changed the structure of the sentence so that you are fully paraphrasing that.

Lastly, you need to cite that. I think it's pretty easy to remember when you are borrowing and author’s language that you need to give credit to that author for that passage, for what they wrote. But in academic writing, ideas are like currency. A person's idea they also need to get credit for that. It is not your idea. You are borrowing that idea and putting it into your own words so you need to give credit to the author for the idea they put forth in that piece in addition to giving credit to the author when you are using their language. I hope that was clear. I feel like I rambled that a little bit because.

But to say that a little more succinctly, when drawing from a source, you need to give credit to an author when you are using the author’s language and when you are using an idea that the author articulated in that piece. 

This is a process for when we talk about when we talk about paraphrasing and making sure that you are paraphrasing effectively. Read the passage, think about how it fits into your work and think about the main points of the passage and how you would then put that into your own words. Lastly, cite that and double check that you are not accidentally borrowing some of that source information or source language, some of that language from the source.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Paraphrasing example: Identifying

  • [Sample text]: “I love writer’s block. I love it for the same reasons I love tree spirits and talking woodland creatures – they’re charming and they don’t exist. When people tell me they have writer’s block, I ask, ‘What on earth are you trying to write?’ Academic writers cannot get writer’s block […] Writer’s block is a good example of a dispositional fallacy: A description of behavior can’t also explain the described behavior. Writer’s block is nothing more than the behavior of not writing […] The cure for writer’s block – if you can cure a specious affliction – is writing” (Silvia, 2007, p. 45-46).
  • My Thesis: A student’s conception of herself can affect her academic performance. 

Audio: [Michael] Here is an example of what a paraphrase can look like. This quoted passage here is going to be the passage that is paraphrased. It sounds something like this: “I love writer’s block. I love it for the same reasons I love tree spirits and talking woodland creatures – they’re charming and they don’t exist. When people tell me they have writer’s block, I ask, ‘What on earth are you trying to write?’ Academic writers cannot get writer’s block […] Writer’s block is a good example of a dispositional fallacy: A description of behavior can’t also explain the described behavior. Writer’s block is nothing more than the behavior of not writing […] The cure for writer’s block – if you can cure a specious affliction – is writing.”

We have this passage from Silvia (2007) piece discussing writer's block and her argument that writer's block does not actually exist, that it is just the absence of writing. Thinking about fitting this into an academic context or into a paper, if my thesis was something like a student's conception of herself can affect her academic performance, this passage does seem to fit. You are thinking about how applying this in this academic context but the notion that Silvia's is putting forth is that it is somewhat like a self-fulfilling prophecy. You stop writing and then say you have writer's block.

You can see how that might fit into a paper about a student's personal conception affecting academic performance. 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Paraphrasing example: Identifying

  • Quote = Original source passage: ““I love writer’s block. I love it for the same reasons I love tree spirits and talking woodland creatures – they’re charming and they don’t exist. When people tell me they have writer’s block, I ask, ‘What on earth are you trying to write?’ Academic writers cannot get writer’s block […] Writer’s block is a good example of a dispositional fallacy: A description of behavior can’t also explain the described behavior. Writer’s block is nothing more than the behavior of not writing […] The cure for writer’s block – if you can cure a specious affliction – is writing” (Silvia, 2007, p. 45-46).”
  • Bold = supports thesis: My Thesis: A student’s conception of herself can affect her academic performance. 

Audio: [Michael] We have the original quoted passage and the bold part supports the thesis statement that we are trying to advance, the notion that a student's conception of herself can affect her academic performance. We are not going to take this whole passage. We are really going to focus in on the bold part that really supports the notion or argument that we are trying to advance.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Paraphrasing example: Paraphrasing

  • Original source passage: “Writer’s block is nothing more than the behavior of not writing […] The cure for writer’s block – if you can cure a specious affliction – is writing” (Silvia, 2007, p. 45-46).
  • Paraphrase: From Silvia’s (2007) perspective, the condition of writer’s block is simply a description of the state of a writer who is not writing; rather than a problem, Silvia encouraged writers to view it as inaction.

Audio: [Michael] Cutting out that unnecessary portion of the passage, we are going to take this part that we thought was applicable to our writing context and paraphrase it. The passage we are paraphrasing, this short, focused passage, is the one here I've already read so I'm not going to read it again. The potential paraphrase, example of a paraphrase of this passage could sound something like this: From Silvia’s (2007) perspective, the condition of writer's block is simply a description of the state of a writer who is not writing; rather than a problem, Silvia encourages writers to view it as inaction. Again, this is an idea that Silvia is putting across here. That writer's block is not a condition, is not an affliction. It is simply the absence of writing.

We are taking that idea from Silvia and putting it into our own words here. We’re changing both the wording that is used both how this is talked about and the structure of the sentence. Lastly as you can see, we are attributing this to Silvia. We are giving credit to this author so we are not representing this as our own. We are again giving credit to the author who actually -- whose idea this actually is. This is just an example and we are going to go on to look at some other examples and you are going to try this on for yourselves as well.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Bad Paraphrasing

  • Original material: “Reformed binge writers usually don’t know how to manage their writing time. Because they used to be driven by deadlines and guilt, they lack experience in setting goals, managing several writing projects at once, and sticking to their schedule” (Silvia, 2007, p. 29).
  • Bad Paraphrase #1: Binge writers who have reformed often are unsure of how to use scheduled time to write (Silvia, 2007).
  • Bad Paraphrase #2: Converted spree authors commonly question how to organize their inscription moments (Silvia, 2007).
  • Stronger Paraphrase: A writer who is used to spending short amounts of time to produce all of their writing will often struggle when she first tries to follow a structured writing schedule (Silvia, 2007).

Audio: [Michael] Another thing that bears mentioning here is that paraphrases, there can be good and bad paraphrases. Paraphrases can be improved. As with many aspects of academic writing, they can be improved with practice, with revision, with returning to that piece. This is how we could start with an original passage, paraphrase that once and then maybe even improve that paraphrase before we use this in our piece. Here is the original passage again: “Reformed binge writers usually don’t know how to manage their writing time. Because they used to be driven by deadlines and guilt, they lack experience in setting goals, managing several writing projects at once, and sticking to their schedule.”

This lifted passage is original material that we are going to now paraphrase. 

A bad paraphrase sound like this: Binge writers who have reformed often are unsure how to use scheduled time to write. This is a bad paraphrase because it's starting to use some of the same language and it's also lifting one word and putting in another word there. Another example of a bad paraphrase could sound like this: Converted spree authors commonly question how to organize their inscription moments. Instead of saying their writing time, we are using inscription moments here in kind of a comical piece of patch writing.

It's not enough to just take out one word and put in another word. You have to change the structure of the sentence and the words being used. 

A stronger paraphrase could sound like this: A writer who is used to spending short amount of time to produce all of their writing will often struggle when she first tries to follow a structured writing schedule. You can see this changes the entire structure of the sentence and that makes it an effective paraphrase.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Paraphrase example: Drafts

  • Original source passage: “Many writers fear receiving negative feedback, getting rejected, or being wrong. A classic theory of achievement motivation proposed two motives that affect performance: a need to achieve success and a need to avoid failure.* Situational factors cam amplify these motives, and writing journal articles seems to evoke a writer’s need to avoid failure. Many writers – particularly people new to the world of academic writing – ruminate about rejection. They worry about what the editor will say; they imagine a reviewer scowling while reading their manuscript; they dread the rejection letter in their in-box” (Sivlia, 2007, p. 98). 
  • First Draft: Academic writers often feel a need to avoid failure (Silvia, 2007).
  • Revision #1: Academic writers often feel a “need to avoid failure” (Silvia, 2007, p. 98).
  • Revision #2: Academic writers often allow their insecurities to stand in the way of publishing opportunities (Silvia, 2007). 

Audio: [Michael] Here is another example paraphrase, and again, this Silvia passage is going to be our original source passage. This is what we will be paraphrasing here: “Many writers fear receiving negative feedback, getting rejected, or being wrong. A classic theory of achievement motivation proposed two motives that affect performance: a need to achieve success and a need to avoid failure.* Situational factors cam amplify these motives, and writing journal articles seems to evoke a writer’s need to avoid failure. Many writers – particularly people new to the world of academic writing – ruminate about rejection. They worry about what the editor will say; they imagine a reviewer scowling while reading their manuscript; they dread the rejection letter in their in-box.” Again, this is our original source passage that we are going to now work with.

A first draft of a paraphrase could sound like this: Academic writers often feel a need to avoid failure. One thing that is obvious here is that the phrase “need to avoid failure” is present in this passage. As you can see, the asterisk here in this passage, that is that bit of source language that is being lifted here. That is not an effective paraphrase because we are not changing the words that the author used. 

To revise this then, we need to tell the reader hey, this little bit of source language here comes directly from Silvia. That could look like this: Academic writers often feel “a need to avoid failure.” We are being honest with the reader about where this specific piece of language is coming from. That piece of language is then set aside and denoted -- what is the word I'm looking for? Highlighted or attributed directly to Silvia using quotation marks. You are saying this passage came directly from Silvia. But the rest of it is mine.

For then a truly effective paraphrase, we would change that language as well and that could sound something like this: Academic writers often allow their insecurities to stand in the way of publishing opportunities. That is a really succinct paraphrase of the passage that I read at the beginning. This is something that you can do in your own writing. This shows the process we are going through as we paraphrase. 

First, I read the passage. Then this first draft would be an attempt to paraphrase it. Then returning to the passage I can see that I borrowed some of the source language here towards the end. In the revision 1, I highlight that using quotation marks to tell the reader hey, this is what I actually -- the language I actually borrowed here. In the second revision, I am putting that in my own words. I am fully changing the wording there to make it a complete paraphrase.

Both revision 1 and revision 2 are academically acceptable. Neither of those two are plagiarism, but, as you can see, the second revision is stronger than the first. It really shows a higher level of critical engagement with the text than revision 1 does.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Maintaining original meaning when paraphrasing

  • Avoid misrepresenting a source:
  • Ensure you fully understand the original before paraphrasing
  • Don’t add your analysis to the paraphrased sentence (add it to additional sentences)
  • Be aware of your citation placement and what that implies the original source said
  • Compare your paraphrase with the original.

Audio: [Michael] As I mentioned when I talked about the process of paraphrasing and fully reading and understanding a passage, you need to avoid misrepresenting a source. This is something that in our society in a larger sense is kind of ignored. But you need to be fair to what people say. You cannot take their ideas out of context. One way to do this is by ensuring that you fully understand the original passage before paraphrasing it. That becomes a really important part.

As you are working, researching, expressing your ideas, you want to get credit for that. You want people who are drawing from your ideas and building on your ideas in the future to represent those ideas accurately. You don't really want to be reading something 10 years from now where someone cites your piece and they do it ineffectively and they are making you say something that you did not actually say. I cannot really think of anything that would be more of an insult to the hard work that you put in there and the intellectual property that you birthed into the world. It's important to really avoid misrepresenting sources.

Another bullet point to help you do this: Don't add your analysis to the paraphrased sentence. Don't bring in your own interpretation of what the author said into that paraphrase. That is a totally separate part of an academic paragraph known as analysis. That interpretation is your own idea so you can take an author’s idea and then add your own spin to it, but it needs to be clear to the reader what’s the authors idea and then what is your spin to it. That is the difference between paraphrasing and adding analysis.

I hope that distinction is clear. Thirdly, be aware of your citation placement and what that implies about the original source. I will often encounter with students where they will include a citation at the very end of a long paraphrase. What is implied there is that the entire passage is part of that author’s original. The entire paraphrase, the entire sentence that is including the citation is a paraphrase of the authors original passage.

But sometimes that is not a was the case. When you are adding analysis before that or applying in authors idea to your specific context within a sentence, sometimes that can almost imply that the author is talking about your piece when really, they are not. They are not; they are talking about this idea that you are then applying to your piece. So be cognizant. Be really careful about where you include a citation and what impression that leaves on the reader. As always you wanted to be clear what ideas are being drawn from an author and what ideas are your own application of that idea or your own analysis of that idea. Just make sure that that is clear to the reader as they read. That is what that bullet point is about.

Lastly, always compare your paraphrase with the original. I think another effective way to do this would be to ask someone else to rate the original and then read your paraphrase and say, did I represent that accurately? Are these two sentences expressing the same idea? Comparing the original passage to your paraphrase and making sure they say the same thing is another way to avoid misrepresenting the source. Before we move on from this slide, this is really elementally important in working with source material.

You have to represent those sources accurately. You have to represent them in their original context. You cannot just take another's idea and make it say what you wanted to say. That is really, really a big taboo in academic writing and something that you should absolutely avoid. 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Questions?

Audio: [Michael] I have talked for a while. I have read a bit. You have listened to me. I feel bad for you a little bit. But I'm going to pause here and see. Claire, are there any questions that maybe would be worth me talking through for the whole group at this point?

[Claire] I just have one which is do students need to include a page, paragraph or heading when they have a citation for a paraphrase? Is that required? Is it something they should be doing? 

[Michael] Yes. When you are quoting, you need to include a page or paragraph number as part of that citation. When you are paraphrasing, this is not required in APA, but it's a little bit more ambiguous than that. APA says it is optional to include a page or paragraph number for a paraphrase. If that is something that you feel is necessary, you can include it, but it's not required there. On a broader note with that to explain this a little further, for consistency's sake, I would say that if you decide that you are going to include page numbers in the paraphrases that you are using in your academic writing, then you should include a page or paragraph number for all of them. So be consistent about that. But specifically speaking, APA says that is optional. Anything else?

[Claire] Not for now.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Paraphrasing: Practice exercises

  • Read each passage.
  • Write your paraphrase.
  • Type or copy your paraphrase into the chat box.

Audio: [Michael] Awesome. I am going to keep going on then to the second part of this webinar where you guys are going to practice some of these paraphrasing techniques. 

To remind you then as we move into this practice session, I'm going to put a passage up. Read the passage. Compose a paraphrase of your own changing both the wording and the sentence structure from that original passage. And then you can type that or copy that paraphrase into the chat box. You are going to put that out there and we are going to talk about how well you guys did. Again, read, paraphrase that, and then share that is the process that we are going to be doing here for the next few practices.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Paraphrasing: Practice #1

  • “Stressful life events can cause insomnia, too. But if people become overly fixated on their inability to sleep, it leads to hours in bed trying to force sleep to come, which, in turn, causes anxiety and arousal. Over time, this pattern can become ingrained so that the insomnia persists long after the original stressor has passed. If you can’t sleep, relocate to another room to do something relaxing like reading until you feel sleepy.” (Mosko, 2013, para. 9)
  • Read passage until you understand it. 
  • Choose one idea that interests you.
  • Look away.
  • Imagine explaining it; write your explanation.
  • Check your paraphrase and cite your source.

Audio: [Michael] Here is our first paraphrasing practice. Read this. I guess I will read it. We have time in this webinar. Then I want you to attempt to paraphrase this and once you have done that, go ahead and put that paraphrase into the chat box in the middle of the screen. Here's our original passage. “Stressful life events can cause insomnia, too. But if people become overly fixated on their inability to sleep, it leads to hours in bed trying to force sleep to come, which, in turn, causes anxiety and arousal. Over time, this pattern can become ingrained so that the insomnia persists long after the original stressor has passed. If you can’t sleep, relocate to another room to do something relaxing like reading until you feel sleepy.”

Go ahead. I am going to mute myself. I want you to take a few minutes, maybe read the passage again. Try this out. Paraphrase this passage and put your paraphrase into the chat box. 

[Pause for several minutes as students read the original text, paraphrase, and then place into the chat box. Several students respond with their paraphrases in the chat, visible in the webinar recording.]

I am seeing some great paraphrase examples come into the chat box. If you have not put them in, don't worry. I will give you more time to do this. We’ll say about maybe three or four more minutes and then we will take a look at some of these. Okay, awesome.

[Additional pause as students continue to respond to the prompt by placing sentences of paraphrased information into the chat box.]

For the sake of time, we are going to move on here. But I saw a lot of great paraphrases in here. This is one that I put in the notes pad here is one that I did as you guys were working too. Mine sounds like this. I just basically paraphrased the first sentence. In the hypothetical situation in my head, the first sentence was the one that really is useful to me in the thesis statement, paper that I'm crafting, in the argument I've making. Here's my paraphrase. Difficulty sleeping can be linked to stress in a person's daily life (Mosko, 2013). A lot of you guys had similar ideas to this. Great job there.

The one thing that I want to point out as a bit of criticism for some of you is that you need to make sure that you are citing this. This is not your idea. This idea is coming from Mosko, so in academic communities, you need to give credit to people whose ideas you are working with so it's really, really important to include that citation there as well. But great work. I know that it's not easy to come up with a paraphrase off the top of your head in five minutes. This is something that can take time and rumination, reflection even. Great job giving this a try. Let's move on to our next example.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Paraphrasing: Practice #1

  • “Stressful life events can cause insomnia, too. But if people become overly fixated on their inability to sleep, it leads to hours in bed trying to force sleep to come, which, in turn, causes anxiety and arousal. Over time, this pattern can become ingrained so that the insomnia persists long after the original stressor has passed. If you can’t sleep, relocate to another room to do something relaxing like reading until you feel sleepy.” (Mosko, 2013, para. 9)
  • Paraphrase: Insomnia can become like a habit that stays with people over time, particularly if a person continually fails to fall asleep immediately (Mosko, 2013).

Audio: [Michael] Here’s another sample from this one: Insomnia can become like a habit that stays with people over time, particularly if a person continually fails to full asleep immediately (Mosko, 2013). This would be an example paraphrase of the entire passage year. This is really similar to a lot of what you guys had and we have that citation at the end and that is a really, really important element.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Paraphrase: Practice #2

  • “As the life span of information and knowledge is getting shorter, educators are placing increasing emphasis on the value of lifelong learning. The advent of information technology has enabled us to learn a variety of topics that meet our needs anytime and anywhere via online. That is, online teaching and learning tends to be more efficient given that the time and space limitations are relatively minimal compared to the traditional setting.” (Ju Joo et al., 2013, p. 149)
  • Read passage until you understand it. 
  • Choose one idea that interests you.
  • Look away.
  • Imagine explaining it; write your explanation.
  • Check your paraphrase and cite your source.

Audio: [Michael] Taking a look then at our next passage here. This is a practice so we are going to take a look at this original passage and I want you guys to paraphrase this. Once you are done, put that paraphrase in the chat box. Original passage goes something like this: “As the life span of information and knowledge is getting shorter, educators are placing increasing emphasis on the value of lifelong learning. The advent of information technology has enabled us to learn a variety of topics that meet our needs anytime and anywhere via online. That is, online teaching and learning tends to be more efficient given that the time and space limitations are relatively minimal compared to the traditional setting.” Then, we have our citation at the end there.

Go ahead and take a minute. I am going to go on mute and I want you to paraphrase the passage and put it in the chat box here. 

[Pause for several minutes as students paraphrase the example passage and place those paraphrases in the chat box.]

Okay, take about one more minute to put your answer in the chat box if you have not already. For the sake of time we are going to keep moving forward here, but I will give you one more minute if you wanted to participate in this practice. 

Awesome. Again, you guys are doing a great job trying this on. This is not an easy thing to do on the spot. I was trying to paraphrase this passage in real time and those of you who were watching the notes box probably saw me revising this as I went along, working with things, taking language and changing it so that it does not draw from the original passage, changing the structure of this. But you guys are doing awesome with this. Here is an example of what I came up with in the moment: Ju Joo et al. (2013) argued that because online learning isn't constrained in the same way as traditional instruction, the needs of students can be addressed more effectively.

I saw a lot of the same things coming from you guys in the chat box, so that's awesome. 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Paraphrasing: Practice #2

  • Original text: “As the life span of information and knowledge is getting shorter, educators are placing increasing emphasis on the value of lifelong learning. The advent of information technology has enabled us to learn a variety of topics that meet our needs anytime and anywhere via online. That is, online teaching and learning tends to be more efficient given that the time and space limitations are relatively minimal compared to the traditional setting.” (Ju Joo et al., 2013, p. 149)
  • Paraphrase: One advantage of online education over traditional face-to-face education is that it is often more efficient, particularly since it is not limited by location or geography (Ju Joo et al., 2013).

Audio: [Michael] The example from the slide looks something like this. One advantage of online education over traditional face-to-face education is that it is often more efficient, particularly since it is not limited by location or geography (Jun Joo et al., 2013). This brings up an interesting topic that bears mentioning here. The example we had planned to show you on this slide is different from the one that I came up with on the spot. That's why it's an attribute of paraphrase as well.

You are going to say something different than I would say it, which is different from maybe I would've said it when I put this presentation together or this presentation was originated. That is another feature of paraphrase. You are using your own language, and so it's easier to fit that into the flow of your writing in that way as well. That you are not giving up a minute of your writing or discussion to another author and the language that they would use. You are using your own language thus making it easier to fit into your own writing. Good job.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Paraphrasing: Practice #3

  • Sample text:     
    • “For faculty developing courses with an online at-distance component, awareness that adults may value options, variety, and self-directedness in their learning opportunities can help guide effective instructional design that will attract and retain adult learners. The adults in this study also placed high value on effective two-way communication with their classmates and instructor, and felt they benefitted from frequent announcements and reminders from their instructor…
    • This study also supported the idea that, in online instruction, as in more traditional environments, learners with different characteristics may differentially prefer and benefit from various instructional features and goals. In this sample, several specific preference differences were observed among sub-groups based on gender, learning strategies, and pre-course experiences with technology and self-direct study.” (Ausburn, 2004, pp. 334-335)
  • Paraphrase instructions: 
    • Read passage until you understand it. 
    • Choose one idea that interests you.
    • Look away.
    • Imagine explaining it; write your explanation.
    • Check your paraphrase and cite your source.
  • Thesis A: Faculty can improve student learning by clear communication.
  • Thesis B: Faculty for online courses can encourage student learning in a number of ways.

Audio: [Michael] We have another example here. It is kind of a longer one. For the sake of time, I'm not going to read this one. Just take a second, read this passage. I don't think we are going to have a ton of time for you to put your responses in the chat box so read this passage and then I will show you some of the examples based on the theses that we are working with here. I will go on mute for three to four minutes and then we can look at some of these examples of how we think we would paraphrase this practice and then we will have a little bit of time left for questions at the end as well. Go ahead. Read through this. Think about how you might paraphrase that and we will look at examples of how that might be done.

[Pause for several minutes as students paraphrase the example passage and place those paraphrases in the chat box.]

For the sake of time I am going to move on and we will take a look at these examples. But you guys are on the right track. You are paraphrasing this, putting your own -- these passages in your own language. Here some of the examples we came up with on this. 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Paraphrasing: Practice #3

  • Thesis A: Faculty can improve student learning by clear communication.
  • Paraphrase: One component that facilitates clear communication is the regular communication as compared to intermittent or sporadic communication from faculty (Ausburn, 2004).
  • Thesis B: Faculty for online courses can encourage student learning in a number of ways depending on learner preferences.
  • Paraphrase: Ausburn (2004) found that differentiation is an important component not only for traditional classes, but also in online courses.

Audio: [Michael] For the first thesis, faculty can improve student learning by clear communication. A paraphrase could sound like this: One component that facilitates clear communication is the regular communication as compared to intermittent or sporadic communication from faculty (Asburn, 2004). Sure. The second thesis, faculty for online courses can encourage student learning in a number of ways depending on learner preferences. The paraphrase then could sound like this that would be applied to the thesis I just read: Ausburn (2004) found that differentiation is an important component not only for traditional classes, but also in online courses. The purpose of this practice was to think about what part of that passage would be applicable to which thesis.

As you are looking at a piece of literature that you think is going to be useful to you in your writing, you don't need to use the whole thing. Maybe one idea is really critical to you, the point that you are making, or the argument you are advancing in your academic writing. Focus in on that and just try to paraphrase that specific passage.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Writing Center Resources

Audio: [Michael] Some resources to help you with the stuff. We have a blog about patchwork paraphrasing or patch writing would be another word for that where you lift one word and insert another word which is technically a form of plagiarism. If you want to learn more about that and how that can be avoided go ahead and take a look at that resource here. 

Another resource is our webpage using evidence: paraphrase would be a quick reference for you if you're working on a paraphrase and would like a little more clarification as you do so. That would be a resource there. Avoiding passive plagiarism is a module so that would be a good something for you if you wanted to try it on and see how you did back and forth if you learn in that style. The modules might be a useful tool for you. 

Lastly, incorporating analysis and synthesis is a webinar. That's kind of like the next step. Once you effectively bring source material into your writing, the next step is to work with that, interpret that, bring that together with other pieces of source material. Analysis and synthesis become important at that point. Just a couple resources for you to delve further into the notion of source usage. 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Questions: Ask Now or Later

Audio: [Michael] With that, I will pause for just a minute here. Claire, do you have any questions we want to talk through before we conclude?

[Claire] I think we are good although if you do have any questions, you can go ahead and send them in a chat box quickly here or don't forget you can write to us at writingsupport@waldenu.edu or visit us during our live chat hours. We also recommend paper review appointments so you can submit your work and a writing instructor like myself or Michael will view it and give you some feedback and we have some other webinars, synthesis and thesis development and topic sentence and paragraph development that might be beneficial in addition to this webinar. Michael, any last words of encouragement for our student paraphrasers?

[Michael] Always. Like anything else, this is a skill that you can cultivate in practice. You will get better at it. For those of you who maybe didn't get your answers in the chat box, this is something that can take some time so don't feel discouraged. Don't feel like you're never going to get it if you have not gotten it in our two-minute practice. Keep at it and you will get better at doing this. That’s all I’ve got.

[Claire] Thanks Michael, and thanks everyone. Have a wonderful day and thank you for joining us.