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Writing and Presentations

Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing means putting someone else’s ideas into your own words. If you want to paraphrase a source, you need to rewrite it in your own words but without changing the meaning of the original text. Paraphrasing is an alternative to quoting. In academic writing it is often better to paraphrase instead of using quotes as it shows that you have understood the source and made your own work sound more original. Every time you paraphrase, it is important that you cite the source to give credit to the original author, as well as making sure your own words aren’t too similar to the original as you can risk committing plagiarism.

Check out our writing guide on paraphrasing on this page for Do's and Don't's and a step-by-step guide on how to paraphrase. You can also visit the section on Paraphrasing, Summarising and Synthesising (under the menu item Reporting) by the organisation called Using English for Academic Purposes For Students in Higher Education.