How to Paraphrase

By: CSU-Pueblo University Library

This is the CSU-Pueblo University Library Quick Class on How to Paraphrase. So why is this worth knowing? Well, paraphrasing is a skill which takes time to perfect. If it's done incorrectly.. can lead to charges of unintentional plagiarism... ...and we really want to avoid that. Finally, knowing how to paraphrase... going to make you better at writing papers. So this class is going to address three parts of paraphrasing. First, what it is. Second, why it's done. And third, how it works.

First, what is paraphrasing? Paraphrasing is when you take someone else's ideas... ...and put them into your own words. Why do we paraphrase? Well, sometimes the initial source that you're looking at... really long, complicated, or inappropriate. It's not the sort of thing you would want to include..

...directly in your paper as a quote. So instead, you summarize what is included in that inital source... ...and put it into your own words.

How to Paraphrase

When it comes to how paraphrasing works...'s helpful to think of it as a three step process. First, you need to find a source and read it. Identify those sections that you would like to use. Second, summarize the source and put it into your own words. Third, and this is the really important part.. still need to include a citation... ...even though you've reworded the initial source. The citation is to tell your reader... ...that you got the idea from someplace else, not just the exact wording.

So this is just a quick overview of how to paraphrase... ...but if you have any questions at all... ...please feel free to ask a librarian.

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