Answered By: Paul Lai
Last Updated: Jul 17, 2023     Views: 15262

Paraphrasing is your own unique explanation of another person's ideas. In paraphrasing, you must express the idea in your own words and your own sentence structure. Paraphrasing is not merely inserting synonyms to replace the words that the original author used.

Writers often paraphrase other sources' ideas to support new ideas. Strong paraphrasing helps researchers avoid unintentional plagiarism.


Paraphrasing Process

To paraphrase well, use the following process: 

  1. Read the information,

  2. Comprehend the information, and

  3. Rephrase the information in your own words and sentence structure.


Helpful Tips

  1. Read the source material first.

  2. Look away from your computer, book, article, or other source material.

  3. Talk to someone else about what you read and explain what the source was talking about, or take out a blank page of paper and write out an explanation of the source's ideas.

  4. Return to your computer and write down what you said or wrote out.


Paraphrasing is a difficult skill to learn, but practice will help you master it. Learn more about paraphrasing strategies.


Additional Resources:

Would you like your current assignment or paper to be reviewed by the Writing Center?  If so please visit the Writing Center's Paper Review Website and make an appointment with us! 


Further Questions?

Do you have other general writing questions? Ask OASIS

Other questions about your doctoral capstone or the Form & Style review? E-mail the Dissertation Editors at [email protected].

Want to peruse other writing resources? Go to the Writing Center’s homepage

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