Paraphrasing is expressing what you have read or heard in your own words. It’s a skill you need in academic and professional life. This video teaches six effective techniques to show you how to paraphrase successfully and easily.


  • Original: Her life spanned years of incredible change for women.
  • Paraphrase: Mary lived through an era of liberating reform for women. 
  • Original: Any trip to Italy should include a visit to Tuscany to sample their exquisite wines.
  • Paraphrase: Be sure to include a Tuscan wine-tasting experience when visiting Italy.  


Here is a summary of some of the changes made during the paraphrasing process: 

  • Early in the series = first season
  • More threatened = greatest threat
  • Closest friend and associate = one family member
  • His mother colludes with his uncle = his mother and uncle are conspiring
  • His kids click through Web sites = his children are surfing the Web


How do you paraphrase a source?

  1. Read the original two or three times or until you are sure you understand it.
  2. Put the original aside and try to write the main ideas in your own words. Say what the source says, but no more, and try to reproduce the source's order of ideas and emphasis
  3. Look closely at unfamiliar words, observing carefully the exact sense in which the writer uses the words.
  4. Check your paraphrase, as often as needed, against the original for accurate tone and meaning, changing any words or phrases that match the original too closely. If the wording of the paraphrase is too close to the wording of the original, then it is plagiarism.
  5. Include a citation for the source of the information (including the page numbers) so that you can cite the source accurately. Even when you paraphrase, you must still give credit to the original author.


There are several phrases that can be used to introduce paraphrasing:



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