Society & Culture & Entertainment Writing

Paraphrases in APA Format

    Defining Paraphrasing

    • Paraphrasing involves putting the idea or concept of another person in your words while still giving credit to the original source. This differs from a quotation in that you use your own words to describe the idea or concept from another rather than the original words themselves. It is important to use your own words as well as unique sentence structure to avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism involves passing off someone else's work as one's own and is grounds for disciplinary action.

    When to Paraphrase in APA

    • Paraphrasing should be used most often in order to clarify hard to understand concepts. This could include describing complex theories without the use of advanced jargon. Use paraphrasing when quotations are in archaic or outdated language. Sources from the Middle Ages would be a good example of this. Paraphrasing should also be used when the original quotation is much too long for use in your work. By paraphrasing, you provide the same information as your original source but in a way that is easier to understand for your reader.

    How to Paraphrase in APA

    • Read and reread your original source. Ensure you understand all that the author is saying. Remember that to paraphrase you must be using only the ideas and concepts of the original source. State in your own words the ideas and concepts of your original source. Be sure to use original diction, as well as sentence structure and syntax different from your source.

    Citing Paraphrases in APA

    • Citing paraphrases in APA is exactly like citing for quotations. The only difference is that it is not required that you include a page number for paraphrases. However, it is encouraged to enable a reader to quickly locate your original source. The common way a paraphrase would be cited would be with the author's last name followed by a comma and year of publication in parenthesis. The page number would be placed after the year of publication if desired. An example would be (Last-Name, 2007, p. 3).

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