Answered By: Jennifer Harris
Last Updated: Nov 09, 2015     Views: 342

When you paraphrase, you use your own words. This is usually preferable to direct quotes because the information gets neatly in your own style of writing. It also shows that you really do understand what the author is saying. However, you must take care that you don't change the meaning. Even when you use your own words, you must still acknowledge where you got the idea from by including a text citation.

When citing paraphrased information, APA requires you to include the author and date. It is also recommended (but not required) that you include the page number. See APA manual (6th ed.), pp. 171 and the APA Style Blog for more information.

Examples of Citing Paraphrased Information at the Beginning of a Sentence:

A study (Krankenstein, 2006) reported that empirical research was identified.

Bass and Avolio (2008) disputed on the findings.

Several dissertations (Annan, 2010; Batson-George, 2008; Long, 2007) examined the issues.

"Tech Trends" (2010) identified a number of social media applications.

Examples of Citing Paraphrased Information in the Middle of a Sentence:

After looking into the issue, Lynch (2007) quit.

Several issues in the instructional design process were identified (Dick & Carey, 2002).

Students use the Merrian Webster Dictionary (2011) to check for the accepted spelling of words in question.

Examples of Citing Paraphrased Information at the End of a Sentence:

The report concluded that they were victims of cyberterrorism (Windhorst, n.d.). A recent poll in the Dallas Morning News

found the 70% of Catholics supported state funding (Anonymous, 2011).

The study looked at the findings of Stonebraker et al. (2009), Jones (2010), and the American Psychological Association  (2010).

Here is an example of how the original quotation might be paraphrased:

Original quotation:

Language, then, like everything else, gradually transforms itself over the centuries. There is nothing surprising in this. In a world where humans grow old, tadpoles change into frogs, and milk turns into cheese, it would be strange if language alone remained unaltered. In spite of this, large numbers of intelligent people condemn and resent language change, regarding alterations as due to unnecessary sloppiness, laziness or ignorance. (Aitchison, 1981, p. 16)

The essay incorporating the paraphrasing:

... Many people believe that the Americanisation of the media, and what is called dumbing down, is having disastrous results on English. One answer to this is that language change is natural, so there is no reason for people to condemn it (Aitchison, 1981, p. 16). Aitchison clearly sees every change in language as neither good nor bad, but inevitable ...

This information is intended to be a guideline, not expert advice. Please be sure to speak to your professor about the appropriate way to cite paraphrased information in your class assignments and projects.

You may also want to consider:

For more information about citing paraphrased information in APA Style, please visit our APA guide or contact the Learning Center (UC Students) or Online Writing Center (COCE Students).

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