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Hajian: Digital Literacy 21: II: Paraphrasing

Mrs. Hajian's Paraphrasing Video

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 factory workers and provided jobs for the large wave of immigrants (Williams).  

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). 


-from Read Write Think

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.  
  • A Good paraphrase changes the wording AND sentence structure AND includes an in-text citation.  

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.