Source: "But I'm paraphrasing," Roy Delgado, Cartoonstock.com
The purpose of paraphrasing is to use a source’s ideas to support your own point or argument; however, you have to put those ideas in your own words. Paraphrasing information while retaining the original meaning demonstrates that you understand it. In addition, using your own words to paraphrase a difficult or confusing passage helps readers grasp the information. Paraphrasing is a particularly useful tool because properly paraphrased material—in your own words, voice, and style—doesn’t disrupt the flow of your writing like quotations sometimes do.
Read the following excerpt from an article by David Pimentel.
Source: HTC Smart phone, John Karakatsanis,
Over time technology has been instrumental in increasing industrial and agricultural production, improving transportation and communications, advancing human health care and overall improving many aspects of human life. However, much of its success is based on the availability of land, water, energy, and biological resources of the earth.
Three paraphrases of this excerpt follow. After each one, indicate whether it is an acceptable paraphrase or not.
Correct! Other than the first four words, the text has been copied word for word from the original document without any quotation marks that would indicate that the passage is a quote. In addition, the source is not cited. This is plagiarism.Close
Correct! This is the proper way to paraphrase, and the source’s ideas have been credited.Close
Correct! Even though the source is cited, many of the source’s words are used without quotation marks. This is plagiarism.Close
To practice your own paraphrasing skills, link to this online site. Using your notes and the insights you have gained, write two or three sentences to paraphrase each excerpt. Don’t forget to check the site’s suggested responses when you’re finished.