How To Paraphrase In An Essay

Quoting sources in an essay is a bit like cutting your toenails: useful to do now and then, but you can definitely go too far.However, rather than leading to sore toes, excessive quoting can mean you lose marks on your work (which is arguably far worse). Paraphrasing and quoting are two ways of referring to someone else’s ideas in your writing.

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Penguins often lash out at any life form around them, and their behavior shows evidence of wild mood swings (Smith 94-96).

If you mention the name of the author you are paraphrasing in your paraphrase, you only need to cite the page numbers you are paraphrasing in parentheses.

When we quote someone, we use their exact words and place them within quotation marks.

When we paraphrase something, on the other hand, we try to express the same idea in our own words.

The Modern Language Association sets specific guidelines for the proper citation of sources.

Even if you do not quote a source directly and only paraphrase a source, you must still give direct credit to that source with an in-text citation when adhering to MLA guidelines.

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Also, the original passage might be written in a style or language not readily understood by the intended readers.

Here are some guidelines for paraphrasing correctly. If you copy from another work, you must cite the author and then place the copied parts in quotation marks.


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