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Module 1: Grammar Module 2: Sources Module 3: Structure
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Unit 1:  About sourcesUnit 2: Evaluating sourcesUnit 3: Quoting & paraphrasingUnit 4: Reporting evidenceUnit 5: Referencing

Summary: Paraphrasing

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Use paraphrasing to present ideas from your sources that develop your own arguments or position. Paraphrase selective sources to show your reader that you understand the ideas, arguments and perspectives (i.e. the meaning) of the sources you have read.

Don't paraphrase simply to disguise the source or pretend the ideas are your own.

Make sure that you:

  • choose material from your sources that is relevant to the assessment question.
  • restate the ideas of the source in your own words.
  • understand what you intend to paraphrase. (If you do, it will be much easier to restate it in your own words).
  • paraphrase in a way that integrates the ideas from the source material into your own argument.
  • reference the sources of your paraphrased evidence.
  • find out about the referencing conventions required in your discipline before you start writing.


Paraphrasing - checklist
Have I … ? Checkbox
selected for paraphrasing only evidence relevant to my writing purpose and argumentation
understood the meaning of the original text
taken the meaning of the original as my starting point in paraphrasing, rather than its organisation, grammar and vocabulary
reviewed my own writing purpose to see which parts of the original best support or add to the arguments I am developing
made clear the relationship between my paraphrase and the other evidence I am using
focused on recreating meaning rather than mechanically substituting new words and phrases for the original ones
acknowledged the source of the ideas and perspectives in my paraphrase which are not my own

You have completed Module 2, Unit 3: Quoting & Paraphrasing.

Choose another unit, or have a break and return to The WriteSite later.