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What is Paraphrasing?
TextPlagiarism Video #
Paraphrase: A paraphrase is an important part of writing a paper. Simply put the
paraphrase is when you read another authors work and put it into your own words. It
is also considered paraphrasing when you use statistics and research from another
source. This is the most common citation in a paper. Proper paraphrasing is an art.
This does not mean changing a few words around. It means taking the authors ideas,
summarizing them into your own words and then using them. Of course you must cite
every paraphrase with an in line citation. Paraphrases are mostly used to summarize
paragraphs and main themes. Paraphrases are also used to cite statistics and other
information. YOU DO NOT USE QUOTATION MARKS WHEN
Examples of ParaphrasingParaphrase:
How much higher skyscrapers of the future will
rise than worlds tallest building, the Sears
Tower, is unknown. The design of one twice as
tall is already on the boards, and an architect,
Robert Sobel, thinks we currently have
sufficient know-how to build a skyscraper with
over 500 stories (Bachman 15).
Note the following. The writer never uses the
exact words of the author therefore there is no
need to use quotation marks. The writer
summarizes, uses his or her own words and then
cites the source at the end. Sometimes a
paraphrase will be large and must be broken up.
A good rule of thumb is to break up a paragraph
that is completely paraphrased into two or three
citations. The writer has given credit to the
author and thus has avoided plagiarism. Now the
author would just continue writing after double
Original Text: (From Ron Bachman,
"Reaching for the Sky." Dial (May 1990):
While the Sears Tower is arguably the
greatest achievement in skyscraper
engineering so far, it's unlikely that
architects and engineers have abandoned
the quest for the world's tallest building.
The question is: Just how high can a
building go? Structural engineer William
LeMessurier has designed a skyscraper
nearly one-half mile high, twice as tall as
the Sears Tower. And architect Robert
Sobel claims that existing technology
could produce a 500-story building.
Here is a sample paraphrase:
What It Looks LikeNote the following. The writer never uses the exact words of the author therefore there is no need
to use quotation marks. The writer summarizes, uses his or her own words and then cites the
source at the end. Sometimes a paraphrase will be large and must be broken up. A good rule of
thumb is to break up a paragraph that is completely paraphrased into two or three citations. The
writer has given credit to the author and thus has avoided plagiarism. Now the author would just
continue writing after double spacing.
Your paper will more or less be paraphrase after paraphrase linked together by your own words
and analysis. You need to introduce, analyze and put into context the paraphrases you use. This
is the nature of the research paper, after all, you are not the expert, they are. If you cite from the
same author in the very next citation you do not have to put the authors last name in the in line
citation, just the page number.
How much higher skyscrapers of the future will rise than worlds tallest building, the Sears
Tower, is unknown. The design of one twice as tall is already on the boards, and an architect,
Robert Sobel, thinks we currently have sufficient know-how to build a skyscraper with over 500
stories (Bachman 15). As a matter of fact the architect William LeMessurier claims he designed
a skyscraper that is over a half a mile tall (15).
Citing Sources: Most high schools use the MLA (Modern Language Association)
Direct Quote: A direct quote is when you use another persons words directly in your
paper. Knowing when to use a direct quote is important. Do not quote everything you
want to say. Most things should be paraphrased. Use a direct quote when you want
the reader to read an important historical line or it is something someone said that is
important. Use direct quotes sparingly, there should only be a few in the paper and
they better be good ones. The key difference in citing a direct quote is that you must
put quotation marks around the sentence and then cite at the end. IF YOU FAIL TO
USE QUOTATION MARKS AROUND A DIRECT QUOTE YOU ARE SAYING
YOU WROTE THE SENTENCE. THIS IS PLAGIARISM!!!
Citing a Direct Quote
Citing a direct quote uses the same form as citing a paraphrase. The differences is that you are using
someone else's words directly. In order to avoid plagiarism you MUST USE QUOTATION MARKS
unless the direct quote is over four lines.
Here is a sample direct quote:
Original Text: (From "Captain Cousteau," Audubon (May 1990):17.
"The Antarctic is the vast source of cold on our planet, just as the sun is the source of our heat, and it
exerts tremendous control on our climate," [Jacques] Cousteau told the camera. "The cold ocean
water around Antarctica flows north to mix with warmer water from the tropics, and its upwellings
help to cool both the surface water and our atmosphere. Yet the fragility of this regulating system is
now threatened by human activity."
The importance of the sea to the environment of the earth cannot be underestimated. "The Antarctic
is the vast source of cold on our planet, just as the sun is the source of our heat, and it exerts
tremendous control on our climate (Cousteau 17)."
Note the following. The first sentence is neither a paraphrase or a quote. It is the writers own words.
The writer is introducing and placing the Cousteau quote into context.
Direct Quote Over Four Lines:
Use these VERY RARELY. A great speech or famous quote might justify using a direct quote over four lines. To do this skip
a line, indent five spaces on both sides of the quote, single space and use italics. Place the citation on the next line to the
lower right of the quote. Go to the next line and then continue with your paper. DO NOT USE QUOTATION MARKS.
Abraham Lincoln said in his famous Gettysburg Address:
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take
increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these
dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of
the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
What Lincoln was saying was that those that died had died for a cause. They had died to preserve the Union and to keep the
United States together (67 - 68).
Note the following. The long quote follows the format prescribed above. The quote is also followed by a paraphrase from the
same author. The citation is the name of the book you found the quote in, not the name of the writer of the quote, if they are
different. You must however say who made the quote in prefacing or concluding use of the quote.
When the book has no author use a keyword from the title. Usually the first word in the citation. When there are two book by
the same author designate one as book one and the other as book two. For example: (Winthrop1 282) and (Winthrop2 58-71).
Works Cited Page
Works Cited Page: This is the last page of your paper where you list, using the format
shown below, all the books, articles, web sites, SIRS articles, magazines articles, etc.
you have used. This must be done in the proper format.
All of this information was created by:
Your research note cards should include all the information necessary to write your term paper. You
should take extreme care as you create these note cards.
1. Start with a fresh pack of research note cards. Large, lined cards are probably best, especially
if you want to make your own detailed personal notes. Also consider color coding your cards by
topic to keep your paper organized from the start.
2. Devote an entire note card to each idea or note. Don't try to fit two sources (quotes and notes)
on one card. No sharing space!
3. Gather more than you need. Use the library and the Internet to find potential sources for your
research paper. You should continue to research until you have quite a few potential sources—about
three times as many as your teacher recommends.
4. Narrow down your sources. As you read your potential sources, you will find that some are
helpful, others are not, and some will repeat the same information you already have. This is how you
narrow your list down to include the most solid sources.
5. Record as you go. From each source, write down any notes or quotes that could be useful in your
paper. As you take notes, try to paraphrase all information. This reduces the chances of committing
6. Include everything. For each note you will need to record:
6. Include everything. For each note you will need to record:
•Title of reference (book, article, interview, etc.)
•Reference publication information, to include publisher, date, place, year, issue, volume.
•Your own personal comments
7. Create your own system and stick to it. For instance, you may want to pre-mark each card
with spaces for each category, just to make sure you don't leave anything out.
8. Be exact. If at any time you write down information word for word, be sure to include all
punctuation marks, capitalizations, and breaks exactly as they appear in the source. Before you
leave any source, double-check your notes for accuracy.
9. If you think it might be useful, write it down. Don't ever, ever pass over information
because you're just not sure whether it will be useful! This is a very common and costly mistake
in research. More often than not, you find that the passed-over tidbit is critical to your paper,
and then you won't find it again.
10. Avoid using abbreviations and code words as you record notes —especially if you plan
to quote. Your own writing can look completely foreign to you later. It's true! You may not be
able to understand your own clever codes after a day or two, either.