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Tips on Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing is similar to summarizing in that you: Paraphrasing differs from summarizing in that you:
  • Do not include your interpretation/analysis within the paraphrase—make a clear distinction between your thoughts and someone else's
  • Should vary how you introduce or attribute your sources, like "according to…," or "so-and-so concludes that..."
  • Always include a citation
  • Usually write about the same length as the original
  • Use your own words, but you may occasionally want to include a sequence of words or a brief quote from the original (Remember to use "quotation marks" if you decide to include any sequence of words from the original.)

Here's an example of what a paraphrase would look like in your paper if you were using MLA:

Original Summary in a Paper Using MLA
In the third season, Giles was officially relieved from his Watcher duties, but he ignores that and continues as Buffy's trainer, confidant, and father-figure. Despite his termination by the Watcher's Council in season three, Giles persists to teach and counsel Buffy while playing a "father-figure" role (DeCandido 44).

And this complete citation would go in your "Works Cited" list.

DeCandido, Graceanne A. "Bibliographic Good vs. Evil in Buffy the Vampire Slayer." American Libraries, Sept. 1999, pp. 44-47.

Need more? See Resources for UCLA Students.