Paraphrasing is intellectually challenging, and that’s why you should try it in your academic writing. It shows that you’ve understood what you’ve read enough to explain it to someone else. When you paraphrase a source,

  • Avoid changing only a word here and there. If your paraphrase mimics the original sentence structure of the source, it is considered a close paraphrase, a form of plagiarism.
  • Read the passage, think about it, and write it in your own words. Then compare your version to the original. It should mean what your source said, but the paraphrase should express the idea in different words and sentence structure.
  • Do not twist the author’s meaning. Paraphrase, cite, and then you can give your own analysis or opinion if it’s appropriate to the project.

Try our simple four-step process to write a paraphrase.