We often need to borrow an idea or concept from an author to support our position. One way we do this is by paraphrasing; putting someone else’s ideas into our own words. To avoid plagiarizing we need to always include proper citation – giving credit to the rightful owner.
How to write a paraphrase
- Read the original passage to understand it fully. Then reread it again
- Focus on understanding the meaning and not the words
- Lay aside the original passage, and write the author’s intended meaning on a separate piece of paper
- Proper nouns, common facts and common knowledge words do not need to be changed
- Check your paraphrase for accuracy with the original
- Record your source so you can give proper credit
Original: Many international students come to the United States each year to learn English.
Paraphrase: Every year students travel to the United States from many different countries to study English.
Note: Students, countries, The United States and English are common knowledge words, so they do not need to be changed.