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Hajian: Digital Literacy 21: II: Paraphrasing & Citing

Paraphrasing Video (from Imagine Easy Solutions)

What is Paraphrasing?

  • Putting someone else's facts and information into your own words.  
  • Because it is not your information, you must include an in-text citation to give credit to the original source.
  • You must rework the entire sentence and put in your own voice.
  • Paraphrasing is not only replacing words with synonyms.
  • Paraphrasing is not only changing the simple word order.  

Original:  Ronald Reagan liked jelly beans and monkey bread.

Bad Paraphrase:  Ronald Reagan enjoyed monkey bread and jelly beans (Olver).

Better Paraphrase:  Jelly beans and monkey bread were a few of Ronald Reagan's favorite foods (Olver).

How to Paraphrase

  1. READ the material completely.
  2. JOT down notes in bullet form.
  3. DO NOT COPY notes word-for-word.
  4. SET NOTES ASIDE and write new sentence.
  5. COMPARE notes and your new sentence to make sure facts are correct.
  6. INCLUDE in-text citation.



How to Successfully Paraphrase

Paraphrasing is NOT changing out a few words/phrases or changing the simple order of words.  

You MUST REWORK the entire sentence and put it in your own words, sentence structure and voice.  In doing so, you must also be careful to keep the material factually accurate.   

Here are some helpful steps to paraphrase successfully.  With practice, paraphrasing will become much easier.  

1.  Read the material completely, writing down bullet points on the facts or opinions presented.  Be CAREFUL NOT to copy down "word for word" sections or phrases without using quotation marks.  

2.  Set the material and your notes aside.  Breifly explain, in complete sentences, the information your have learned from the resource.  

3.  Check your explanation against your notes and make any factual corrections necessary.

4.  In ALL cases, you MUST include an in-text citation to the original resource.  Example:  ...scientific studies of global warming (Gore 160).

-steps taken from HUHS Plagiarism LibGuide

Example of Acceptable Paraphrase

Original Sentence:  As new, larger, steam-powered factories became a feature of the American landscape in the East, they transformed farm hands into industrial laborers, and provided jobs for a rising tide of immigrants. 


UNACCEPTABLE Paraphrase:  As steam-driven companies became more visible in the eastern part of the country, they changed farm hands into factoryworkers and provided jobs for the large wave of immigrants (Williams 1).  

This paraphrase is unacceptable because the paraphrase follows the same structure of the original sentence.  The writer only replaced the words and phrases with synonyms and similar phrases.  


ACCEPTABLE Paraphrase:  Steam-powered production had shifted labor from agriculture to manufacturing, and as immigrants arrived in the US, they found work in these new factories (Williams 1). 


-from Read Write Think

In-text Citations - Basic Rules

In-text Citation Basics
  • Period is always at the very end, whether a direct quote or paraphrase. 
  • If author is known, ALWAYS use author’s last name.  …..(Goldstein 25).
  • If more than one author, list all authors last names. ......(Smith and Pearson).  
  • If 3 or more authors, use et al (Wallace et al.).
  • If NO author, use first word of article title. …. (“Texting").
  • If article title begins with A, An or The, use second word of article title.  "The Rules of Texting" should be ("Rules").
  • If it is a PRINT source, ALWAYS use page number. …(Goldstein 87).  Electronic sources rarely have page #s.
  • There is NO punctuation or abbreviations (p. pg.) between author/title and page number.   ......(Smith 216).
  • In-text citations must match up with Works Cited page.  If you have not used a source from your Works Cited page within your paper (in-text citations), that source MUST be removed from your Works Cited page.


Make a Cheat Sheet from your Works Cited Page



Make a Cheat Sheet from your Works Cited Page

Sample Paragraph with In-Text Citations


Progress has been made slowly but surely in the area of cyberbullying and there are several reasons this is true. According to research studies conducted in 2014, there was a decrease in cyberbullying among adolescents when compared to the same time the previous year; 24% of teenagers have been cyberbullied vs. 31% in 2013 ("Cyberbullying").  High profile companies, such as Cox and Cartoon Network have launched public interest campaigns that encourage teens, parents, and educators to all who speak up when cyberbullying occurs,  Parents who assure their children that their computer privileges will not be revoked if they inform them of experiencing cyberbullying are much more likely to help prevent serious future ongoing harassment ("What").  The goal is to build trust within the family and at home with the hope of significantly reducing the extent of cyberbullying by at least 10% by 2018 when the next survey will be conducted ("Cyberbullying").   Finally, educators can play a powerful role by instituting academic and institutional sanctions against known cyberbullies.  When caught, cyberbullies may be pulled from sports teams or suspended or expelled from school (Lewin).


Works Cited

“Cyberbullying Crackdown.” Current Events, vol. 111, no. 5, 17 Oct. 2011, p. 4. EBSCOhost,

Lewin, Tamar. “Teenage Insults, Scrawled on Web, Not on Walls.” New York Times, May 06, 2010, New York Times,

“What Parents Can Do about Cyberbullying.” National Crime Prevention Council, Accessed 23 May 2017.