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Webinar Transcripts

Paraphrasing Source Information

Presented September 16, 2019

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Last updated 10/23/2019

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Housekeeping

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

Audio: Hello, everyone. I'm Claire Helakoski. I’m going to be facilitating our webinar today. But, before I hand it over to our presenter, Michael, I wanted to go over a few housekeeping notes. So, first, the recording of this session will be available online within 24 hours. So, if you need to leave or want to rewatch it later, you can review it in our webinar archive within those 24 hours. Throughout the presentation, links, files and polls are going to be interactive. So, you can click on any of those links to check out our resources and we’ll have some other interactive elements and practices throughout the presentation for you. If you do have questions during the presentation, I will be in the chat box. So, go ahead and send me those questions.

If you are watching this as a recording or just think of something later you can send any questions to writingsupport@waldenu.edu or visit our live chat hours to ask somebody a question in real time. If you encounter technical difficulties during this presentation, you can go ahead and let me know in the Q&A box. Because I do have some tips and tricks to assist you, but if you’re having major issues or I’m not able to help then the help button in the top right corner of your screen is the Adobe support. So that will be able to help you best with any larger technical issues that you’re experiencing.

With that, I'll go ahead and turn it over to our presenter, Michael.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the title of the webinar, “Practical Writing Skills: Paraphrasing Source Information” and the speaker’s name and information: Michael Dusek, Writing Instructor, Walden Writing Center

Audio: Michael:  Hi. Welcome, everyone, to this webinar. Thank you, Claire, for that lovely introduction and kind of getting us started, here. But really this is a practical webinar focusing specifically on paraphrasing source information. As a brief overview, we are going to start off by talking a bit about paraphrasing and how that looks, how to choose a passage from a specific source and then paraphrase it within your work. I’m going to stop in the middle for some questions and then towards the end of the webinar, its primarily going to be a practice for you. Practicing, paraphrasing and working with some examples that we have and really trying on those skills, so again, welcome.

 

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: As a maybe a more complete overview, looking at some learning objectives here. We’re going to define paraphrase and we’re going to talk a bit about why it's important. Why we use paraphrase in our writing. You’re going to understand the difference between quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing. All three of those are source usage techniques. Right? Each one of those is going to be taking information from a source and presenting it to a reader. But, each of those three are distinct and so we're going to be talking about the difference between the sources. Third we are going to identify some strategies for paraphrasing thinking about how you might approach a paraphrase as a student and then how to go through a short process to effectively paraphrase. Lastly, we are going to apply these strategies in paraphrasing practices. As I mentioned towards the end, there’s going to be some opportunity for you to flex these muscles and try on your paraphrasing skills yourself or refine them or wherever you are with that. Without further ado, let's start.

 

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: Paraphrasing, so a definition of paraphrasing, essentially you are presenting key points of an author's ideas in a new way, but differently. You’re taking a passage from a source and you’re presenting that idea to the reader, however you are going to be using your own words. Paraphrasing is again taking a source idea and putting it into your own words. This involves changing both the wording that’s used, changing both the words that are within, changing the words that are used in the source passage but also changing around the sentence structure. So, you’re truly saying this in your own words, this is totally different from the source passage that you are going to be using.

The importance of paraphrasing, it gives a deeper understanding of a source, it shows a deeper understanding of source material to the reader. When you paraphrase, you’re implying to the reader, that I understand the information so well, that I can put it into my own words, I can explain it using my own verbiage. I don't need to rely on the verbiage of the author, who I’m drawing from in order to get that idea across.

Also, it is kind of a higher order academic activity, paraphrase is, in that it shows critical thinking, critical engagement with the text. When you’re quoting you are presenting a sources direct language, that doesn’t take a lot of critical thought to do that. You are taking a bit of source material and lifting it from the authors work and then putting it into your own work. Paraphrasing then shows a critical engagement with ideas that you are not just presenting the words of the author. You are ingesting them and presenting them in your own way, presenting them in a way that fits into the context of your piece.

 

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
  • 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
  • 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. Washington, DC: APA Life Tools.

Audio: Differentiating, paraphrase and summary. In a paraphrase your words and sentence structure are typically shorter than the original. Yeah, I think, you’re essentially creating something that is, you’re taking a source passage and you are presenting it in about the way that it was presented before but in your own language. It's focused, so it’s going to be a shorter passage, maybe a paragraph or part of a paragraph that you’re drawing from an academic source, using a specific context. Sure, it's cited. These are some kind of attributes of effective paraphrasing. You can see an example on the bottom left of the slide here. Silva 2007, argued that the practice of binge writing is both unhealthy and in the long run, ineffective. One thing that’s important to note here in that example is that we have our citation, that narrative citation, Silva 2007.

As with quotation, when you paraphrase, you need to also include a citation, you need to give credit to the author whose idea you are now using for your own, in your own piece. I think it’s pretty straightforward to think when you are using someone's direct language, I need to say whose language I'm using there, right? I need to tell the reader where I'm drawing that from. This is also applicable when you’re using an idea from an author. Even if you’re not drawing the direct language that the author is using, if you are borrowing their idea, you still need to give credit to the person as it’s their intellectual property that’s their idea. In academic communities the validity and the quality of the person’s idea’s is really what determines their success and their career and more broadly in their field. Yeah, you need to give them credit for that. I’m harping on this, I realize. I’m going to work through it one more way.

You guys obviously are doing a lot of work in your class, maybe you’re working on a dissertation, a capstone document something that's very large. Right? It's a lot of work. It's a ton of work to do a large document like that. I'm assuming that you want to get credit for that work, whether it be in the form of a grade, or working towards a degree and using your degree to advance your career in some way. You want to get credit for the work you are doing here. Similarly, you need to give credit to the author whose work you are drawing from. Okay I think I’ve successfully demonstrated the importance of citation here.

The contrast between a paraphrase and a summary. A summary, you are really going to be taking something really big, like a whole book or a whole academic article and you’re distilling it down just into its most important, most central idea, right? You are summarizing it. Think of a summary kind of as, like a preview for a movie. You are not going to get all of the details from the film, but you are going to get a pretty good idea of what the film is about. I know that’s not a perfect example. My point in including that, is that you are taking something really big and you’re distilling it down into something that is really small. Our example in the bottom is something like this. Silva, 2007 examined common excuses writers give themselves regarding their writing practices. By breaking down these excuses, Sylvia endeavored to provide writers with a new perspective about the writing process and academic writing in general.

Again, we have a citation here. I won’t launch into the why a citation is important again. This is a feature. You need to give credit to the ideas that you’re drawing from others. Looking practically, you can see the paraphrase is focusing specially on a specific narrowed passage, right? This passage is talking about how binge writing is unhealthy and ineffective. As you look at the summary example here, you can tell that this is really talking more broadly about Silva's work and that 2007 piece, examined common excuses writers give themselves. That’s describing this study and that scholar broadly. This is what, the second example is saying this is what this person was doing, this study.  The paraphrase for example is really pointing more to one specific part of that study. I hope the distinction is clear. But the difference is, in a paraphrase you are working with a passage, in a summary you are working with a broader, taking a broader approach to the document, looking at something like a whole book or a whole academic piece more broadly, once again.

 

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/yea

Audio: Quoting and paraphrasing, the difference here. I mean quotation and paraphrase have a lot in common here. Right, because they’re narrowed. You’re focusing on a specific passage within the text. The difference is really how much of the author's language you are actually using. In a quote, you’re using the language that is identical to the original. In fact, it's important to keep it in the original form so you are representing language the way the author had it should you choose to use quotation. Like a paraphrase, it's narrowed. You are not quoting a whole book. That would be kind of absurd. You are focused on a specific passage.

As with a paragraph, as with a summary, you are going to citing this, giving credit to the person that is saying these things. You are going to use quotation marks to show this is no longer your language that this is the language you are drawing from a source. And you’re also, one thing that separates the citation requirements of quotation from paraphrase or summary, is that you need to include a page or paragraph number when you’re using a quotation. You need to be able to point the reader directly to the passage that you’re drawing from, so a page or paragraph number there, is necessary.

To differentiate this a little bit then again, you’re taking a source passage and when you are paraphrasing it, you’re putting it into your own words. Often times this means this is going to be shorter than the original. Like a quotation it's going to be narrowed and it’s going to need to be cited. When you do cite that, you need to then include the author's name and the year of publication. When it comes to page and paragraph number in citation in a situation where you are paraphrasing, that’s actually something that’s optional. You can choose to either include a page or paraphrase number, in a citation or paraphrase passage or you can omit it. That is up to, that is up to you according to APA guidelines. However, as a practical tip here, for uniformity and consistency, if you do choose to use a page number, when paraphrasing in a citation, I would recommend doing it every time. Right? Being consistent about that and including that for the reader each time. But again, that is up to your own discretion.

A helpful resource, should you want to focus a little more directly on using and integrating quotes, you can see we have another webinar that’s linked at the bottom of the screen. If that's something that would appeal to you, something you want to learn a little more about in the webinar format, that's a resource for you there.

 

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: Thinking about, now that we’ve kind of differentiated what sets paraphrase apart from other source usage techniques, let's talk a little bit about an effective way to do this. Right? To actually maybe apply, what’s on the slide is a process of how you actually would paraphrase. This is a little bit formulaic, it’s a little bit step by step do this, then that, but it’s kind of how we think about it in the writing center. This really is a very effective way to approach a paraphrase. First, read the passage. Right? You have to know what the passage says and understand its meaning. I know that sounds kind of obvious, but this is a really, really important piece to paraphrasing. When you’re putting something in your own words, one of the dangers is taking it out of context. You can accidentally, by putting it into your own words, express an idea that is subtly different from the idea that the reader was trying…, the author in the source material you’re drawing from was trying to present. It's important to fully understand the meaning of that passage (excuse me) so that you can keep it within its original context and you can fairly express the ideas of the author. You don't want to use someone's, take someone’s work and then through the process of paraphrasing it, make it say something that it didn’t originally say. So, first thing, understand the passage fully.

Then think about what you’re going to do with this evidence, what is the purpose of this. How is this going to be employed in my writing? To do this, you need to see how this source material connects to your thesis statement, right? When you think about a thesis statement, this is the central argument of your piece. So, in one way or another, everything that you include in that piece needs to directly relate directly back to that thesis statement. Your body paragraphs elaborate on that thesis statement picking apart different sub points of your argument. And often times a passage that you are paraphrasing, this is in some way going to be supporting one of these main arguments, right? This is how a bit of source material relates directly back to your thesis statement. This is an important thing to reflect on and to think about when you’re thinking about using a paraphrase in your writing. This should be intentionally chosen. Right? And you should think to yourself or have some idea of how that source material is in some way supporting your thesis statement or connected to your thesis statement.

Then once you’ve read it and once you’ve decided this is an important piece of evidence, and I know how I want to use it in my writing, then it can be useful to look away from the passage and just think about how you would say these main points. What did that passage really say? The way that I often thought about this, and this is I guess getting into our next step, is explaining something to someone that doesn't know what you are talking about. If I have a bit of source material and I would like to explain it to my grandmother who knows nothing about Victorian literature, for example, I would need to change my language to then be able to effectively get the message across to her without using academic terms, or terms that are jargon, that is common when discussing Victorian literature. I would need to then change how I’m talking about that.  That’s the kind of the way that I thought about this. This is what the slide is pointing you to do as well. Imagine explaining that main point to a classmate or coworker? You would explain this differently because you are not looking at the passage right in front of you. Then you put that on a paper, you write that out. This is how I would explain this to a colleague or someone who maybe knows something about this but not everything.

Lastly, you can then go back and double check your wording against the original. Seeing where maybe you, without intending to, took a phrase or a word or two from the original passage. And identify maybe through the process of reading this, I kind of gained a little bit of that language that actually isn’t, that I’m not actually paraphrasing in that instance. You can identify these opportunities for revision there.

Lastly you can include a citation, you need to include a citation. Again, giving credit to the person whose idea you’re drawing from to begin with. This is kind of one process when we think about effectively approaching a paraphrasing situation. Read the passage, think about how it’s useful to you. Look away from it and marinate on its meaning, think about explaining the main points of that passage to someone who hasn't read it before. Lastly, return to that and check it against the original. Seeing where you may be borrowed something and lastly including a citation as well.

 

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

“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, 45-46).

My Thesis: A student’s conception of herself can affect her academic performance.

Audio: This is an example passage that we’re drawing from the Silvia, 2007 source. This would be something that you could find in your research. A bit of research that you say hey this is useful to me. The thesis for this example, my working thesis to kind of help you here is this, a student's conception of herself can affect her academic performance. That's my overarching argument, that’s my central argument to the piece. I'm looking at this Silvia passage. Obviously, I'm not going to be taking the entire passage to put it into my work. I'm going to then narrow my eye at this passage and find a bit of it that I think is most relevant to my thesis statement.

The passage goes like this. I love writer's block. I love it for the same reasons I love tree spirits and talking woodland creatures. They are charming, and they don't exist. When people tell me they have writers block, I ask, “What on early 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.

My thesis statement as I’m looking at what part of the passage is important to me; my thesis statement is a student's perception of herself can affect her academic performance." Obviously, the sentence, I love writer's block "doesn't really fit into my thesis statement. It would be very hard to be making a point that sentence would support with my thesis statement. As I'm going through looking at this with a closer eye to what I could use as evidence…

 

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, 45-46).

Bold = Supports thesis

My Thesis: A student’s conception of herself can affect her academic performance.

Audio: This last sentence becomes something that could be used, right? 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. It's the most relevant bit of source material, bit of information to me in this passage. Again, the thesis statement is a student's conception of herself can affect her academic performance.

 

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, 45-46).

Paraphrase

From Silvia’s (2007) perspective, the condition of writer’s block is simply a description of the astate of a writer who is not writing; rather than a problem, Silvia encouraged writers to view it as inaction.

Audio: So, I decided, I’m going to take this last sentence, writer's block is nothing–(yeah, a number of times). I'm going to take the last sentence and I’m going to paraphrase it, I’m going to put it into my own words, using my own wording, my own sentence structure, changing the sentence structure from its original and also giving credit to our author, to the person who really produced the idea.

Here is what an example paraphrase could sound like for the passage. From Silvia’s perspective, the condition is a description of a state of a writer who is not writing, rather than a problem, Silvia encouraged writers to view it as inaction, as inaction, sorry, view it as inaction. Again, this is expressing the ideas as the original passage, that writer's block isn't something that is like a disease or a condition, but is really just the absence of action, the absence of the action of writing. This would be what a paraphrase could look like here. Also, to note, you can see I have my citation there. I’m telling the reader where to get this from. I’m giving credit to Silvia for the work that this person has done. This is an acceptable paraphrase that can be used in academic writing.

 

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: As with everything, there are strong paraphrases and there are paraphrases that could be improved. So, what we’re going to do in this slide, we're going to take a look at a sample passage again. And then we’re going to paraphrase it and we are going to look at an example paraphrase and we are going to look at how that paraphrase could be revised to be made even better. This gets kind of a bigger idea about writing as an irritative or recursive process. As with everything in writing, you don't just start out and just put your finger to the key and write in that linear way where I start in the beginning and write it out and I'm done. Revision is a really important and necessary, it’s an essential part of writing. Returning to your paraphrases and thinking about, how could I say it better or making sure you are correctly paraphrasing that is important. This is meant to demonstrate that process here.

Our original passage for this example goes like this. Reformed binge writers usually don't know how to manage their time. Because they use to be driven by deadlines and guilt, they lack experience in setting goals, managing several projects at once and sticking to a schedule. So that’s our sample package, despite being kind of, I don’t know that kind of resonated with my spirit as someone who has a degree. As someone that worked in schools and the Academy. That guilt piece hits close to home. However, this is just an example passage.

Here is what a paraphrase could sound like. Binge writers who have reformed often are unsure of how to use scheduled time to write. Really what we see here. This is really close to the original passage. This author is reordering the words somewhat. Instead of saying, reformed binge writers, this example says binge writers who have reform. Instead of saying manage their writing time, this passage says reschedule time to write. This is an ineffective paraphrase in that you are just rearranging some of the words. This is too close to the original passage. You are not actually changing much of the wording being used here. That's one of two requirements we need to change. We need to change the words being used and the structure of the sentence. This example only does one of the two. One thing that this example does right is it includes a citation at the end. It makes an attempt to tell the reader where the information is coming from. It's not doing a good enough job of putting it into this author's own words.

Bad paraphrase number two. Converted spree authors commonly question how to organize their inscription moments. This is ineffective paraphrase in one way it’s kind of over wordy. When have you ever heard writing referred to as inscription moments, also? It’s just kind of generally, kind of confusing. But in this case the author is not changing the structure of the sentence, they are changing only the wording. So instead of saying reformed binge writers, this author chose to say, converted spree authors. Instead of saying writing time again they said inscription moments. This is commonly referred to as patch writing, in which you just replace one word with a synonym or something that’s very like it. And it is considered a form of plagiarism. So, make sure again, you change both the wording involved in, the wording in the passage, and also the structure of the sentence. Right? Those are the two things that need to change for it to be considered in your own words. Again, give it up to this author they include a citation at the end. That’s good. They are trying to be transparent with where they are getting this information from. And that's a positive thing, but they need to change the structure of the sentence in addition to the words being used here.

A stronger paraphrase can sound something like this, 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. We have our citation here; the reader knows where this is coming from. The author is changing wording being used here. They are also switching up the structure of the sentence. This is an effective paraphrase. This is considered in the person's own language. Because they use the citation at the end, they are attributing the idea to where they got it from. This is not plagiarism This is an effective paraphrase. It's something that can be used in an academic piece.

 

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: Take a look at another example here.

Many writes 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. We have a little asterisk there because we’re going to be returning to that passage. Situational factors cam amplifies 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.

So again, this is a sample, an example passage. We are going to really be looking specifically at paraphrasing that second sentence. As I mentioned on the last slide, there is a revision process. You don't have to be perfect. You should then return to this paraphrase and revise it. So, our first paraphrase could sound something like this:

Academic writers often feel the need to avoid failure. Now as we are checking the first draft against the original, we can see the language "the need to avoid failure" is in our original draft as well. Somehow in the process, that bit of language is taken from the source and put into the first draft. That's not my words, right? Those aren't my words. That's completely ineffective.

One way to revise this, is you could be up front with the reader about what language you are borrowing. It could look like this "academic writers feel the need to avoid failure." Here’s your showing, the reader that I am actually drawing these four words from the passage. You are being upfront about that. The quotation marks show that this is not my language, that this is the language of Silva in the 2007 piece. That's one way to revise it.

Another way would be to take that bit of source language that you accidentally lifted and try the paraphrase again. By saying that a different way. Here’s how that could sound: Academic writers often allow insecurities to stand in the way of publishing opportunities. You’re getting the same idea across but here you changed it sufficiently to then put it into your own words. You are not accidently lifting source material from that source any longer. Either one of these is perfectly effective, right? The key here is that you are up front about the language, if you are borrowing language, if you are quoting, what specifically you are borrowing, what language you have lifted or borrowed from the author, or you may be able to change everything or put it into your own words. So again, either of these works perfectly well. The key is to be up front about where you are getting this from and to recognize when you are lifting language from the source.

 

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: Avoid misrepresenting a source. This is what I talked about when I talked a little bit about reading and fully understanding what you’re reading. Right? You don’t want to… I think a lot of you would be upset if someone took something that you said and then misrepresented it. Right? Or said something that used your name, to say something that you didn’t actually say. So, you really want to be careful to avoid doing that in your academic writing as well.

First ensure that you fully understand the original before paraphrasing. Don’t add your analysis to the paraphrased sentence. Add it in an additional sentence, is another good way to think about this. That way it’s clear to the reader what you’re borrowing from a source or what is your analysis, what is your idea. Be aware of the citation and what it implies the original source said. This is about keeping it in its own original context representing sources fairly, being fair about representing an author's ideas. Lastly, compare the paraphrase with the original. Do that double check to be sure you are keeping this in context and you are expressing this in a way the original author would approve.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Questions?

Audio: I have been talking a lot, a lot, a lot. I'm going to pause here for a second and ask you Claire, are there any questions from the Q&A box that maybe the larger group could benefit from an explanation?

Claire:  I actually do not have questions as of yet. Due to your very thorough and clear explanations but if you do have questions go ahead and send them to me in the Q&A box and I'll be sure to save them for Michael at the end of the presentation.

Michael: Awesome, yeah thanks a ton Claire. To kind of echo and agree with Claire, please do There will be a little time most likely at the end of the presentation for me to stop and address some of those questions again. Without further ado, I'm going to move on.

 

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: We are moving into the part of the webinar that’s really, it’s more of a workshop from here on out. It's really about you practicing paraphrasing skills. For the next few slides, what we are going to do, I'm going to present you with a passage. I want you to read that passage. We’re going to take time a little time and I'll have you write a paraphrase for that passage, maybe choosing one sentence from the passage, rather than the whole passage. And then when you’re done go ahead and type or copy and paste that paraphrase into the chat box so that we can check our work to see how we are all doing here. So again, I'm going to present you with a passage. You’re going to choose a portion of that passage to paraphrase and then share that passage in the chat box.

 

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)

  1. Read passage until you understand it.
  2. Choose one idea that interests you.
  3. Look away.
  4. Imagine explaining it; write your explanation.
  5. Check your paraphrase and cite your source.

Audio: Here is our first practice passage. I’ll read through these quick, because they are not super long. Stressful life events can cause insomnia too but if people become overly fixated on their inability to sleep, it leads to hours in the bed trying to force sleep to come which in turn, causing 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.

This is our example passage from Moscow 2013, paragraph nine. Go ahead and take a piece of this and flex those muscles, use those paraphrase skills and when you are done, throw them in the chat box. We'll go on mute here and give you time to do this.

[Silence as participants respond]

Okay cool, some of you guys are still typing. Feel free to throw those in the chat box. I’m going to talk through a couple of examples here that I think could be beneficial. The first one goes like this. Mosko is giving some options to help people with insomnia, then we have a citation at the end, MOSKO, 2013, paragraph 9. This is a good start, but this is actually, you’re summarizing here, you’re not paraphrasing a passage. You are summarizing the passage as a whole. You are talking broadly about the passage and about what Moscow is doing in this piece. When you’re paraphrasing you really want to focus in on a narrowed bit of information here that is really specific and narrow. That example would be a little bit too broad. That would be bordering on summarizing the information or summarizing the study that Moscow put together.

The other example that I think is important goes like this, Mosko, 2013 confirms stressful life events can cause insomnia. This is a good try, we have a good citation there, that tells the reader where it's coming from. However, a lot of the language is identical to our first sentence here. Stressful life events can cause insomnia. That is specific language that this author uses. In this instance, this example your quoting here. You need to show the reader that language comes from that author. You need to include quotation marks around any of the language that matches the original. In this case, this author would need to go back and put that into their own words more effectively. I choose these two examples because you are getting close. You’re just not quite getting all the way to paraphrase as we think of it in the academic community.

You guys are doing great and again this is something you can get better at. This is something that over time you will become more agile and more used to what something looks like when it’s in your open words versus drawing language from another author. Great, thanks for the participation here, we are going on to our next example. Our next sample

 

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: Here is what perhaps an effective paraphrase can sound like for our first example, just quick before I move on. Insomnia can become like a habit that stays with people over time particularly if a person fails to sleep immediately. Again we are changing both the words and the sentence structure and I’m including the citation at the end.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Paraphrasing: 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, Yon Lim, & Kim, 2013, p. 149)

  1. Read passage until you understand it.
  2. Choose one idea that interests you.
  3. Look away.
  4. Imagine explaining it; write your explanation.
  5. Check your paraphrase and cite your source.

Audio: Here is our second example. So again, if you really didn't feel strongly about the last one, you can take another swing at this one, to use a baseball metaphor. Here’s our original source passage. 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. At the end we have the citation. Ju Joo, Yon Lim, and Kim, 2013.

Okay I'm going out on a mute and give you guys a few minutes to narrow in and focus in on the passage and put it into your own words including a citation to give credit to the author who wrote it.

[silence as participants respond]

Okay great, I'm going to give you guys one more minute to drop your paraphrase into the chat box. I'm seeing a lot of great work here. Specifically, I’m seeing citations included, which is awesome. This is an important piece. You have to give credit to the author who produced the piece. I’m seeing a lot of people talking about flexibility, traditional setting, space limitations, but again putting it into their own words. That's awesome. I’ll give you one more minute here if you’d like to throw your paraphrase into the chat box. But again, I'm seeing good work, so good job.

[silence as participants respond]

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Paraphrasing: 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, Yon Lim, & Kim, 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, Yon Lim, & Kim, 2013).

Audio: Okay in the interest of time, here we are going to move on. Here is what an example could look like, a sample paraphrase we came up with. 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. Sure. 

 

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

         “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)

  1. Read passage until you understand it.
  2. Choose one idea that interests you.
  3. Look away.
  4. Imagine explaining it; write your explanation.
  5. 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: Let’s do one more here.  Yeah. This is a longer passage, and I’m actually not going to read this one. It works a little bit differently. We have a couple of example thesis down the right side here. One Thesis A: Faculty can improve student learning by clear communication. Thesis B: Faculty for online course can encourage student learning in a number of ways.  I want you to use one of those example thesis, and look for a short narrow bit of source material in the example passage that support thesis A or B. Once you find it, I would like you to paraphrase it and put it into the chat box. I'll give you a few minutes to do this as well.

[silence as participants respond]

I'm seeing good answers coming into the chat box. I'll give you a couple more minutes, but in the interest of time, I'm going to move on. I'll give you a couple more minutes. All right, I'll talk a bit here. If you want to put your paraphrase in the chat box while I do, by all means go for it. But you guys are doing so awesome work here. And really what this practice is meant to get at is identifying passages or identifying pieces of scholarship that are useful to you. And this is a broader concept within academic writing. In academic writing you don't want to present the reader with extra information, with information that is in some way superfluous or unnecessary in order to make your point. You want to make your point with just the information that is relevant there. Identifying passages and narrowing specifically to passages focusing on how is this adding to my argument? How is this relating to my thesis statement is a really, really important thing to practice and to be good at.

 

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: Here are a couple of examples for thesis A: One component that facilitates clear communication is the regular communication as compared to intermittent or sporadic communication from faculty. Our second example here: Osbourne found that differentiation is an important component not only for traditional classes but also in online courses. Sure. Again, making sure that information, in some way advancing or supporting your argument is really the key here. That's what that slide was really meant to do.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Writing Center Resources

Patchwork Paraphrasing (blog)

Audio: Some other resources for you, some things that can be of further help for you in paraphrasing, if this is something that you are interested in. One, there’s a blog post about patchwork paraphrasing, or patchwork writing as I referred to it earlier in this presentation. This is essentially where you are not changing the passage enough, not putting it into your own words to be considered an effective paraphrase. If that's something you struggle with or have anxiety about, give that blog post a look.

Using evidence: Paraphrase, a web page devoted to using evidence and paraphrasing specifically. It's a great resource if it's your speed there.

We have an avoiding passive plagiarism module. This module is kind of like a short quiz and opportunity to check progress on doing this. If this is your learning style. That could be useful to you.

Lastly, incorporating analysis and synthesis, this is another webinar. This is really the next step to paraphrasing, bringing in your own analysis or bringing in a synthesis of differnt ideas to show further source engagement and to help the reader.

Again, these are some helpful resources for you that can be of further help if this is something you would like to dive into more.

 

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

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Audio: With that, then, I'll shoot back over to you, Claire. Were there questions that you would like me to talk through with the last two or three minutes here?

Claire: Thanks, Michael. One question I have is about when there is common phrasing or terms from a field, how can we paraphrase those? Should we be trying to paraphrase those?

Michael: That's a great question. Common knowledge and jargon or industry specific language is an interesting point and something that should be discussed. Here’s my explanation. When you’re using common knowledge or common language within your field, that's not something that you need to struggle to find a different word for. If you are using jargon or language that is specific to your field, you do not need to try to paraphrase that. This is how it's commonly referred to in your field. If you are wondering what's the line here, when does something become common knowledge, really the best place to go to is to talk to your professor a trusted professor, or your chair whose an expert in your field that will say that term is common knowledge and you don't have to cite that. Another thing, if this is commonly coming up in the scholarship you are reading and multiple scholars use that word or that language to refer to an idea, that is what’s considered common knowledge at that point. Does that answer your question, Claire?

Claire:  Yeah. We have one more question about -- should I worry about being wordy in my paraphrasing, or how can I paraphrase concisely?

Michael:  That's another good question. One of the common characteristics of paraphrase is that it’s going to be shorter than the original passage. You are in some ways refining or sharpening, in often times, the way that that’s said. Wordiness is a subjective thing. Some people think that, you know…what different people think of as wordy is different in different situations. It's actually different in different fields. I read a lot of papers for example, from people who are studying in the nursing field. They would consider almost anything to be wordy from what I can tell. They are very direct, very to the point. That again would be something you could discuss with a trusted professor to see if am I being too wordy in my field.  That would be an appropriate question to ask your professor.

On a more general note, academic writing is about being specific and direct. If you are wondering, “am I being too wordy”, think about could I say this more directly, could I say this more specifically? Could I use fewer words here? As always with writing, the answer to the question is it takes as many words as it takes to say what you want. There is a good bit of subjectivity, I think makes this a little bit of a tougher question to have a concreate answer for. In general, if you say something in a shorter way, it's to your advantage to do so, it will be more direct. It will deliver the message in a stronger way.

Claire:  Thanks so much, Michael. And thank all of you for your excellent questions. If you think of an additional question or are looking to follow up, do let us know at writingsupport@Waldenu.edu. Or visit our live chat hours. We are here to help. We also recommend our synthesis and thesis webinar and our topic and paragraph development webinars. If you are just coming in or missed the presentation, the recording will be posted on our page within 24 hours. You can look for it there. Please come in and make a paper review appointment with us if you would like additional assistance with writing and questions specifically with your writing as an example. Thank you again for coming, everyone. Have a great rest of your day.