Paraphrasing Pointers

Paraphrasing is a necessity, but it can be dangerous if you don't know how to do it correctly. Since your paper should use direct quotations sparingly, you'll have room for several paraphrased passages. Just remember that you still need to express plenty of your own ideas in between. Use paraphrasing to support those ideas.

Because there is a fine line between an acceptable paraphrase and plagiarism, an example of each follows.

Original Source:

"America today has veered too far in the direction of formal testing without adequate consideration of the costs and limitations of an exclusive emphasis on that approach."  8

Paraphrase Version 1:

America has now gone too far toward formal testing, without realizing the costs and limitations of exclusively emphasizing that approach (Gardner 179).


Although the source is cited, the paraphrasing is too light, retaining too much of the original wording and sentence structure.

Paraphrase Version 2:

In the United States, the education system places too much emphasis on formal testing, overlooking the limitations and expenses imposed when that assessment strategy is employed exclusively (Gardner 179).


This paraphrase is different enough from the original source that it would not be considered plagiarism, so long as Gardner is credited.

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