Answered By: Jennifer Harris
Last Updated: Dec 27, 2018     Views: 18908

When you paraphrase, you use your own words. This is usually preferable to direct quotes because the information is written in your own style, but you must be careful not to change the meaning. When paraphrasing, you must still acknowledge where you got the idea from by including a parenthetical 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 review (Selby et al., 2017) identified several laws pertaining to cancer research in the UK that might be affected because of Brexit.

Patafio et al. (2016) investigated the relationship between cancer research funding and cancer research output and found that research output is not well correlated with the public health burden of individual cancers that was measure by mortality rates.

The authors (Lindqvist & Neumann) argue that security and privacy are crucial in the Internet of Things (IoT) because if future attacks are successful they can cause widespread destruction and even cost lives.

Bernard (2011) argues that Henry VIII's Catholicism was more than just Catholicism without the pope.

Examples of Citing Paraphrased Information in the Middle of a Sentence

Surgery is considered a last resort in the treatment of plantar fasciitis Owens (2017) argues.

Strength training as treatment for plantar fasciitis, according to (Huffer et al. 2017), does not contribute to the improved function and pain relief.

Many physical therapists use ultrasound therapy as treatment; however, numerous studies highlighted in the review published by Sanke and Radwan (2015) show that the therapy does not have any effect on the condition. 

Examples of Citing Paraphrased Information at the End of a Sentence

There are multiple types of cyberbullying (El Asam & Samara, 2016).

A significant amount of youths' social interaction takes place through technology and children as young as 10 have access to mobile devices (Williford & DePaolis, 2016).

The authors found that undergraduate students are afraid to report cyberbullying (Watts et al., 2017, p. 273).

Example of how the original quotation might be paraphrased

Original quotation:

American commitment to self-government rested on the early experience of colonization. English common law was introduced with the first settlers, and each new colony soon had an elected assembly designed to represent and protect the interests of the settler population, acting like a local equivalent of the Westminster House of Commons.  In theory, popular participation in government was balanced by a strong executive, in the person of the governor, supported by an advisory council.  Bit in the first years of settlement, when colonies were sponsored by private companies rather than the Crown, governors and councils were often themselves elected, reinforcing the tendency towards local control (Conway, 2013, p. 33).

The essay incorporating the paraphrasing:

The early settlers in Colonial American may have considered themselves English and loyal to the Crown.  However, the local government structure supported a system of relative self-governance (Conway, 2013, p. 33).

More information:

For further help please contact the Wolak Learning Center at 603.645.9606 (Campus Students) and Online Writing Center at 866.721.1662 (Online Students) for assistance with citing paraphrased information in APA Style.

You may also want to consider:

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 a source with no author in your class assignments and projects.


American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

Bernard, G. W. (2011). The dissolution of the monasteries. History, 96(324), 390-409. 

Conway, Stephen. (2013). A short history of the American Revolutionary War. London: I.B.Tauris.

El Asam, A., & Samara, M. (2016). Cyberbullying and the law: A review of psychological and legal challenges. Computers In Human Behavior, 65, 127-141. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2016.08.012

Lindqvist, U., & Neumann, P. G. (2017). The future of the internet of things. Communications Of The ACM, 60(2), 26-30. doi:10.1145/3029589

Owens, J. M. (2017). Diagnosis and Management of Plantar Fasciitis in Primary Care. Journal For Nurse Practitioners, 13(5), 354-359. doi:10.1016/j.nurpra.2016.12.016

Patafio, F. M., Brooks, S. C., Wei, X., Peng, Y., Biagi, J., & Booth, C. M. (2016). Research output and the public health burden of cancer: is there any relationship? Current Oncology, 23(2), 75-80. doi:10.3747/co.23.2935

Sanke, P. L., & Radwan, T. S. (2015). Ultrasound as an effective treatment for chronic plantar fasciitis. Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery, 54(4) 481-487.

Selby, P., Lawler, M., Baird, R., Banks, I., Johnston, P., & Nurse, P. (2017). The potential consequences for cancer care and cancer research of Brexit. Ecancermedicalscience, 11(752-769), 1-3. doi:10.3332/ecancer.2017.ed63

Watts, L. K., Wagner, J., Velasquez, B., & Behrens, P. I. (2017). Cyberbullying in higher education: A literature review. Computers In Human Behavior, 69, 268-274. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2016.12.038

Williford, A., & Depaolis, K. J. (2016). Predictors of cyberbullying intervention among elementary school staff: The moderating effect of staff status. Psychology In The Schools, 53(10), 1032-1044. doi:10.1002/pits.21973

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