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APA Citation Style, 7th Edition: In-Text Citations & Paraphrasing

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When do I use in-text citations?

When should you add in-text citations in your paper .

There are several rules of thumb you can follow to make sure that you are citing your paper correctly in APA 7 format. 

  • Think of your paper broken up into paragraphs. When you start a paragraph, the first time you add a sentence that has been paraphrased from a reference -> that's when you need to add an in-text citation. 
  • Continue writing your paragraph, you do NOT need to add another in-text citation until: 1) You are paraphrasing from a NEW source, which means you need to cite NEW information OR 2) You need to cite a DIRECT quote, which includes a page number, paragraph number or Section title. 
  • Important to remember : You DO NOT need to add an in-text citation after EVERY sentence of your paragraph. 

Paragraph Rules of Thumb: Cite after 1st paraphrase, continue writing, add a new cite for a new source or a direct quote.

What do in-text citations look like?

In-text citation styles: , let's look at these examples if they were written in text: .

An example with 1 author:

Parenthetical citation:  Following American Psychological Association (APA) style guidelines will help you to cultivate your own unique academic voice as an expert in your field (Forbes, 2020). 

Narrative citation : Forbes (2020) shared that by following American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines, students would learn to find their own voice as experts in the field of nursing. 

An example with 2 authors: 

Parenthetical citation: Research on the use of progressive muscle relaxation for stress reduction has demonstrated the efficacy of the method (Bennett & Miller, 2019). 

Narrative citation: As shared by Bennett and Miller (2019), research on the use of progressive muscle relaxation for stress reduction has demonstrated the efficacy of the method. 

An example with 3 authors: 

Parenthetical citation: Guided imagery has also been shown to reduce stress, length of hospital stay, and symptoms related to medical and psychological conditions (Jones et al., 2020).

Narrative citation: Jones et al. (2020) shared that guided imagery has also been shown to reduce stress, length of hospital stay, and symptoms related to medical and psychological conditions. 

An example with a group/corporate author: 

Parenthetical citation: Dr. Philip G. Rogers, senior vice president at the American Council on Education, was recently elected as the newest chancellor of the university (East Carolina University, 2020). 

Narrative citation: Recently shared on the East Carolina University (2020) website, Dr. Philip G. Rogers, senior vice president at the American Council on Education, was elected as the newest chancellor. 

Tips on Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing is recreating someone else's ideas into your own words & thoughts, without changing the original meaning (gahan, 2020).  .

Here are some best practices when you are paraphrasing: 

  • How do I learn to paraphrase? IF you are thoroughly reading and researching articles or book chapters for a paper, you will start to take notes in your own words . Those notes are the beginning of paraphrased information.
  • Read the original information, PUT IT AWAY, then rewrite the ideas in your own words . This is hard to do at first, it takes practice, but this is how you start to paraphrase. 
  • It's usually better to paraphrase, than to use too many direct quotes. 
  • When you start to paraphrase, cite your source. 
  • Make sure not to use language that is TOO close to the original, so that you are not committing plagiarism. 
  • Use theasaurus.com to help you come up with like/similar phrases if you are struggling. 
  • Paraphrasing (vs. using direct quotes) is important because it shows that YOU ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND the information you are reading. 
  • Paraphrasing ALLOWS YOUR VOICE to be prevalent in your writing. 
  • The best time to use direct quotes is when you need to give an exact definition, provide specific evidence, or if you need to use the original writer's terminology. 
  • BEST PRACTICE PER PARAGRAPH: On your 1st paraphrase of a source, CITE IT. There is no need to add another in-text citation until you use a different source, OR, until you use a direct quote. 

References : 

Gahan, C. (2020, October 15). How to paraphrase sources . Scribbr.com .   https://tinyurl.com/y7ssxc6g  

Citing Direct Quotes

When should i use a direct quote in my paper .

Direct quotes should only be used occasionally: 

  • When you need to share an exact definition 
  • When you want to provide specific evidence or information that cannot be paraphrased
  • When you want to use the original writer's terminology

From:  https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/whaddyamean/ 

Definitions of direct quotes: 

  • Western Oregon University's APA Guidelines on Direct Quotes This is an excellent quick tutorial on how to format direct quotes in APA 7th edition. Bookmark this page for future reference!

Carrie Forbes, MLS

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APA Citation Guide (7th edition) : Paraphrasing

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Paraphrasing

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On This Page

Paraphrasing examples.

  • In-Text Citation for More Than One Author

In-Text Citation for Group or Corporate Authors

No author and/or no date.

When you write information from a source in your own words, cite the source by adding an in-text citation at the end of the paraphrased portion as follows:

Mother-infant attachment became a leading topic of developmental research following the publication of John Bowlby's studies (Hunt, 1993).

Note : If you refer to the author's name in a sentence you do not have to include the name again as part of your in-text citation, instead include the year of publication following his/her name:

Hunt (1993) noted that mother-infant attachment became a leading topic of developmental research after the publication of John Bowlby's studies.

Original Source

Homeless individuals commonly come from families who are riddled with problems and marital disharmony, and are alienated from their parents. They have often been physically and even sexually abused, have relocated frequently, and many of them may be asked to leave home or are actually thrown out, or alternatively are placed in group homes or in foster care. They often have no one to care for them and no one knows them intimately.

Source from: 

Rokach, A. (2005). The causes of loneliness in homeless youth. The Journal of Psychology , 139, 469-480. 

Example: Incorrect Paraphrasing

The homeless come from families with problems. Frequently, they have been physically or sexually abused, or have lived in group homes. Usually no one cares for them or knows them intimately (Rokach, 2005). 

Note : In this incorrect example the writing is too similar to the original source. The student only changed or removed a few words and has not phrased the ideas in a new way. 

Example: Correct Paraphrasing

Many homeless experience isolation in part due to suffering from abuse or neglect during their childhood (Rokach, 2005).

Note : The example keeps the idea of the original writing but phrases it in a new way.

In-Text Citation For Two or More Authors/Editors

No Known Author:

Note that in most cases where a personal author is not named, a group author may be cited instead (eg. Statistics Canada). However, in certain cases, such as religious ancient texts, the author is unknown. Where you'd normally put the author's last name, instead use the first one, two, or three words from the title. Don't count initial articles like "A", "An" or "The". You should provide enough words to make it clear which work you're referring to from your References List.

If the title in the References list is in italics, italicize the words from the title in the in-text citation.

If you are citing an article, a chapter of a book or a page from a website, put the words in double quotation marks.

Capitalize the titles using title case (every major word is capitalized) even if the reference list entry uses sentence case (only first word is capitalized).

( Cell Biology , 2012, p. 157)

("Nursing," 2011, p. 9)

No Known Date of Publication :

Where you'd normally put the year of publication, instead use the letters "n.d.".

(Smith, n.d., p. 200)

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Citation Practices and Avoiding Plagiarism: Examples of Paraphrase

  • Getting Started
  • Understanding a Citation
  • Penn's Plagiarism Policy
  • Examples of Quotation
  • Examples of Paraphrase
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Paraphrases—rewordings of text—need to be cited. Paraphrasing without providing a citation is plagiarism. Even paraphrases with citations can be instances of plagiarism if they are so similar to the original that the paraphraser claims credit for the original author's language.

A paraphrase that avoids plagiarism:

  • cites the source of the material being paraphrased.
  • differs enough from the original that it doesn't require quotation marks.

Paraphrase Examples

Wines drunk at Greek tables did not always come from Greece itself. The wine snobbery of the time extolled the merits of wines from the slopes of Mount Lebanon, from Palestine, Egypt and Magna Graecia-Greater Greece, i.e., southern Italy. The ten litres a day drunk by the famous wrestler Milo of Croton was a wine famous in Calabria, where Milo lived: this wine, Ciro, is still made.

from Maguelone Toussaint-Samat's A History of Food (Cambridge: Blackwell, 1992. 263).

Wines drunk by Greeks were not always made in Greece itself. The wine snobs of that period celebrated wines from Mount Lebanon, Palestine, and Egypt. The famous wrestler Milo of Croton, who consumed ten liters of wine a day, drank wine made in Calabria outside of Greece; this wine, Ciro, is still made.

This paraphrase plagiarizes in two ways:

1. By having no citation, the paraphrase misleads readers into believing that the ideas, facts and sense of the passage are a result of the author's own research and knowledge.

2. The language of the paraphrase is too similar to the original. Even if the author had provided a citation, some instructors would consider this plagiarism.

Not Plagiarism:

Although Greeks were picky about their wine, they enjoyed wine from outside Greece. Upstanding Greeks enjoyed wine from many of Greece's local trading partners—including Palestine, Egypt and southern Italy. One story tells of the famous wrestler Milo of Croton, who consumed ten liters of foreign wine daily (Toussaint-Samat 263).

This paraphrase cites the original and rephrases its words to create an original construction.

Paraphrase that Uses Too Much of the Original Language

Up, up, up, groping through clouds for what seemed like an eternity....No amount of practice could have prepared them for what they encountered. B-24s, glittering like mica, were popping up out of the clouds all over the sky.

from Thomas Childers. Wings of morning: the story of the last American bomber shot down over Germany in World War II , Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley (1990), 83. 

Up, up, up he went, until he got above the clouds. No amount of practice could have prepared the pilot and crew for what they encountered-B-24s, glittering like mica, were popping up out of the clouds over here, over there, everywhere.

This comes from The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s over Germany  by Stephen E. Ambrose. Ambrose cites but does not quote Childers' original work despite using its imagery and language.  Ambrose should have either used Childers' passage as a direct quotation or modified his own passage so that it consisted of his own language.

Not Plagiarism

 Despite their training, the pilot and crew's experience was surreal and surprising, seeing for the first time "B-24s, glittering like mica, ... popping up out of the clouds all over the sky" (Ambrose 83).

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Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing

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This handout is intended to help you become more comfortable with the uses of and distinctions among quotations, paraphrases, and summaries. This handout compares and contrasts the three terms, gives some pointers, and includes a short excerpt that you can use to practice these skills.

What are the differences among quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing?

These three ways of incorporating other writers' work into your own writing differ according to the closeness of your writing to the source writing.

Quotations must be identical to the original, using a narrow segment of the source. They must match the source document word for word and must be attributed to the original author.

Paraphrasing involves putting a passage from source material into your own words. A paraphrase must also be attributed to the original source. Paraphrased material is usually shorter than the original passage, taking a somewhat broader segment of the source and condensing it slightly.

Summarizing involves putting the main idea(s) into your own words, including only the main point(s). Once again, it is necessary to attribute summarized ideas to the original source. Summaries are significantly shorter than the original and take a broad overview of the source material.

Why use quotations, paraphrases, and summaries?

Quotations, paraphrases, and summaries serve many purposes. You might use them to:

  • Provide support for claims or add credibility to your writing
  • Refer to work that leads up to the work you are now doing
  • Give examples of several points of view on a subject
  • Call attention to a position that you wish to agree or disagree with
  • Highlight a particularly striking phrase, sentence, or passage by quoting the original
  • Distance yourself from the original by quoting it in order to cue readers that the words are not your own
  • Expand the breadth or depth of your writing

Writers frequently intertwine summaries, paraphrases, and quotations. As part of a summary of an article, a chapter, or a book, a writer might include paraphrases of various key points blended with quotations of striking or suggestive phrases as in the following example:

In his famous and influential work The Interpretation of Dreams , Sigmund Freud argues that dreams are the "royal road to the unconscious" (page #), expressing in coded imagery the dreamer's unfulfilled wishes through a process known as the "dream-work" (page #). According to Freud, actual but unacceptable desires are censored internally and subjected to coding through layers of condensation and displacement before emerging in a kind of rebus puzzle in the dream itself (page #).

How to use quotations, paraphrases, and summaries

Practice summarizing the essay found here , using paraphrases and quotations as you go. It might be helpful to follow these steps:

  • Read the entire text, noting the key points and main ideas.
  • Summarize in your own words what the single main idea of the essay is.
  • Paraphrase important supporting points that come up in the essay.
  • Consider any words, phrases, or brief passages that you believe should be quoted directly.

There are several ways to integrate quotations into your text. Often, a short quotation works well when integrated into a sentence. Longer quotations can stand alone. Remember that quoting should be done only sparingly; be sure that you have a good reason to include a direct quotation when you decide to do so. You'll find guidelines for citing sources and punctuating citations at our documentation guide pages.

Paraphrasing & Citation

Return to Student Resources

Plagiarism is using someone else's words or ideas without giving proper credit. It can take many forms, including the following:

  • Omitting documentation of a source
  • Inadequately documenting the words or ideas you are using
  • Closely paraphrasing the writing of another person without documentation

Remember, an author deserves credit for their ideas as well as their sentence structure, word choice, and sequence of thoughts. Changing several words in someone else's sentence does not make that sentence or idea your own.

If you are unsure if something you've written constitutes plagiarism or you would like more tips on how to avoid plagiarism, feel free to visit us in the Writing Center. You can also check your department's website for guidance. For Swarthmore's official policy on academic honesty, see the Academic Freedom and Responsibility section of the Swarthmore College Student Handbook Academic Policies .

Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing is putting another person's ideas in your own words. It is useful to paraphrase when your reader needs to understand or be exposed to the argument of another author in order to understand your argument. Paraphrasing ALWAYS requires a citation. Even if you are using your own words, the idea still belongs to someone else.

Sometimes there is a fine line between paraphrasing and plagiarizing someone's writing. Here's one strategy for paraphrasing effectively: read over the paragraph of interest. Then close the book or turn the page of the article and write a short summary. If you're still stuck with the author's language and sequence of thoughts, wait a few hours and try again. Once you have internalized the author's ideas, you will be able to express them in your own words. One of the keys to paraphrasing effectively is applying what you have learned instead of simply duplicating another author's writing or ideas in your paper.

If you're having trouble getting away from an author's exact words, you might want to simply include their exact words as a quotation with proper citations. Sometimes you can't express the same thought any other way because the precise meaning is lost when the phrasing is changed. There is nothing wrong with directly citing a source when you need to.

Common Knowledge

There are a few situations in which source material does not need an accompanying citation. It's very important to know when omitting a citation is acceptable. If you're not sure, consult your professor or the Writing Center.

Two common situations when you shouldn't cite a source are:

  • When the information you are providing is "common knowledge," which means that someone could easily find the information in multiple reference texts. For example, stating that George Washington was president from 1789-1797 does not require a citation because the reader could easily find this information in any encyclopedia or American history book. The particular book you used is not significant.
  • When the information you are providing is considered common knowledge in your field and you are writing for colleagues in that field, you shouldn't burden them with citations for commonly known theories and ideas. In Rules for Writers, Diana Hacker gives two examples: the current population of the United States could be common knowledge in the fields of sociology and economics, and Freud's theory of the unconscious could be common knowledge in psychology.

Citations allow you to give credit where credit is due. They also help your readers to track down your sources easily. For citations to serve their purpose (and for you to avoid plagiarism), it is imperative that you cite correctly and completely. Your choice of citation format may depend on specifications from your instructor, conventions for your discipline, or your personal preference.

The Writing Center library (Trotter 120) contains books that provide citation instructions, including the MLA Handbook, ACS Style Guide, APA guidelines, and multiple books from the Short Guide to Writing About... series. The reference librarians in McCabe and Cornell can help you format citations correctly. Also, many departments offer guidelines for citation. Check department websites or ask your professor.

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APA Citation Guide (7th edition): Quotes vs Paraphrases

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What's the Difference?

Quoting vs paraphrasing: what's the difference.

There are two ways to integrate sources into your assignment: quoting directly or paraphrasing.

Quoting  is copying a selection from someone else's work, phrasing it exactly as it was originally written. When quoting place quotation marks (" ") around the selected passage to show where the quote begins and where it ends. Make sure to include an in-text citation. 

Paraphrasing  is used to show that you understand what the author wrote. You must reword the passage, expressing the ideas in your own words, and not just change a few words here and there. Make sure to also include an in-text citation. 

Quoting Example

There are two basic formats that can be used:

Parenthetical Style:

Narrative Style:

Quoting Tips

  • Long Quotes
  • Changing Quotes

What Is a Long Quotation?

A quotation of more than 40 words. 

Rules for Long Quotations

There are 4 rules that apply to long quotations that are different from regular quotations:

  • The line before your long quotation, when you're introducing the quote, usually ends with a colon.
  • The long quotation is indented half an inch from the rest of the text, so it looks like a block of text.
  • There are no quotation marks around the quotation.
  • The period at the end of the quotation comes before your in-text citation as opposed to after, as it does with regular quotations.

Example of a Long Quotation

At the end of Lord of the Flies the boys are struck with the realization of their behaviour:

The tears began to flow and sobs shook him. He gave himself up to them now for the first time on the island; great, shuddering spasms of grief that seemed to wrench his whole body. His voice rose under the black smoke before the burning wreckage of the island; and infected by that emotion, the other little boys began to shake and sob too. (Golding, 1960, p.186)

Changing Quotations

Sometimes you may want to make some modifications to the quote to fit your writing. Here are some APA rules when changing quotes:

Incorrect spelling, grammar, and punctuation

Add the word [sic] after the error in the quotation to let your reader know the error was in the original source and is not your error.

Omitting parts of a quotation

If you would like to exclude some words from a quotation, replace the words you are not including with an ellipsis - ...

Adding words to a quote

If you are adding words that are not part of the original quote, enclose the additional words in square brackets - [XYZ]

Secondary Source Quotes

What is a secondary source.

In scholarly work, a primary source reports original content; a secondary source refers to content first reported in another source.

  • Cite secondary sources sparingly—for instance, when the original work is out of print, unavailable, or available only in a language that you do not understand.
  • If possible, as a matter of good scholarly practice, find the primary source, read it, and cite it directly rather than citing a secondary source.

Rules for Secondary Source Citations

  • In the reference list, provide an entry only for the secondary source that you used.
  • In the text, identify the primary source and write “as cited in” the secondary source that you used. 
  • If the year of publication of the primary source is known, also include it in the in-text citation.

Example of a Secondary Source Use

Quote & In-Text Citation

Reference List Entry

Paraphrases

Paraphrasing example.

When you write information from a source in your own words, cite the source by adding an in-text citation at the end of the paraphrased portion as follows:

If you refer to the author's name in a sentence you do not have to include the name again as part of your in-text citation, instead include the year of publication following his/her name:

NOTE : Although not required, APA encourages including the page number when paraphrasing if it will help the reader locate the information in a long text and distinguish between the information that is coming from you and the source.

Paraphrasing Tips

  • Long Paraphrases

Original Source

Homeless individuals commonly come from families who are riddled with problems and marital disharmony, and are alienated from their parents. They have often been physically and even sexually abused, have relocated frequently, and many of them may be asked to leave home or are actually thrown out, or alternatively are placed in group homes or in foster care. They often have no one to care for them and no one knows them intimately.

Source from: 

Rokach, A. (2005). The causes of loneliness in homeless youth. The Journal of Psychology, 139, 469-480. 

Example: Incorrect Paraphrasing

Example: correct paraphrasing.

If your paraphrase is longer than one sentence, provide an in-text citation for the source at the beginning of the paraphrase. As long as it's clear that the paraphrase continues to the following sentences, you don't have to include in-text citations for the following sentences.

If your paraphrase continues to another paragraph and/or you include paraphrases from other sources within the paragraph, repeat the in-text citations for each.

Additional Resource

  • Paraphrasing (The Learning Portal)

Tip sheet on paraphrasing information

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Apa citation guide (apa 7th edition): quoting vs. paraphrasing.

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Quoting vs Paraphrasing

Quoting vs paraphrasing: what's the difference.

There are two ways to integrate sources into your assignment: quoting directly or paraphrasing.

Quoting  is copying a selection from someone else's work, phrasing it exactly as it was originally written. When quoting place quotation marks (" ") around the selected passage to show where the quote begins and where it ends. Make sure to include an in-text citation. 

Paraphrasing  is used to show that you understand what the author wrote. You must reword the passage, expressing the ideas in your own words, and not just change a few words here and there. Make sure to also include an in-text citation. 

  • Long quotations
  • Modifying quotations

Quoting - Examples

There are two basic formats that can be used when quoting a source:  

Parenthetical Style

Narrative style, what is a long quotation.

A quotation of more than 40 words. Long quotations are formatted as blocks of texts called block quotations.

Rules for Block Quotations

There are 4 rules that apply to block quotations that are different from regular quotations:

  • The line before your block quotation, when you're introducing the quote, usually ends with a colon.
  • The block quotation is indented half an inch from the rest of the text, so it looks like a block of text.
  • There are no quotation marks around the quotation.
  • The period at the end of the quotation comes before your in-text citation as opposed to after , as it does with regular quotations.

Example of a Block Quotation

At the end of Lord of the Flies the boys are struck with the realization of their behaviour:

The tears began to flow and sobs shook him. He gave himself up to them now for the first time on the island; great, shuddering spasms of grief that seemed to wrench his whole body. His voice rose under the black smoke before the burning wreckage of the island; and infected by that emotion, the other little boys began to shake and sob too. (Golding, 1960, p.186)

Modifying Quotations

Sometimes you may want to make some modifications to the quote to fit your writing. Here are some APA rules when changing quotes:

Incorrect spelling, grammar, and punctuation

  • Add the word [sic] after the error in the quotation to let your reader know the error was in the original source and is not your error.

Omitting parts of a quotation

  • If you would like to exclude some words from a quotation, replace the words you are not including with an ellipsis - ...

Adding words to a quote

  • If you are adding words that are not part of the original quote, enclose the additional words in square brackets - [XYZ]

Additional Resource

Additional resource:.

  • Using Quotations (The Learning Portal) Tip sheet on how and when to use quotations

Paraphrasing

  • Correct vs. incorrect paraphrasing
  • Long paraphrases

Paraphrasing - Examples

When you write information from a source in your own words, cite the source by adding an in-text citation at the end of the paraphrased portion as follows:

If you refer to the author's name in a sentence you do not have to include the name again as part of your in-text citation, instead include the year of publication following their name:

  Note: Although not required, APA encourages including the page number(s) when paraphrasing long or complex sources, such as books, so that the reader can easily refer to the paraphrased information in your source. Always clarify with your instructor about their preference regarding page numbers in paraphrase in-text citations.

Correct vs. Incorrect Paraphrasing

Original Source

Homeless individuals commonly come from families who are riddled with problems and marital disharmony, and are alienated from their parents. They have often been physically and even sexually abused, have relocated frequently, and many of them may be asked to leave home or are actually thrown out, or alternatively are placed in group homes or in foster care. They often have no one to care for them and no one knows them intimately.

Source from: 

Rokach, A. (2005). The causes of loneliness in homeless youth. The Journal of Psychology , 139, 469-480.  

Example of Incorrect Paraphrasing:

Example of Correct Paraphrasing:

Long Paraphrases

If your paraphrase is longer than one sentence, provide an in-text citation for the source at the beginning of the paraphrase. As long as it's clear that the paraphrase continues to the following sentences, you don't have to include in-text citations for the following sentences.

If your paraphrase continues to another paragraph and/or you include paraphrases from other sources within the paragraph, repeat the in-text citations for each.

  • Paraphrasing (The Learning Portal) Tip sheet on paraphrasing information

In-text Citation Tips

  • Citing after each sentence
  • Sources with same author and publication year
  • Citing more than one source

Citing only once at the end of the paragraph isn't enough, as it doesn't clearly show where you started using information from another person's work or ideas. When you use a source more than once in a paragraph, you need to cite the source the first time it is mentioned, and then continue to make it clear that the same work is being paraphrased in subsequent sentences. 

This can be tricky though - you want your paper or assignment to flow nicely while properly citing your sources. There is a way you can avoid having to write full in-text citations each and every time by adding a lead-in sentence to your paragraph, "narrative" style.

  Bad (Do not do this).  In this paragraph, the citation occurs only at the end and reader does not know exactly when/where information comes from the source: 

  Correct but ugly.  This paragraph is technically correct for APA, but it is difficult to read in large part because the in-text citations are intrusive and awkward:

  Good.  These paragraphs are "APA correct" and easy to read. Note the reader knows exactly when/where information from the source is used:

Note: The above examples are adapted  from Rasmussen College .

When you are citing two different sources that share the same author and year of publication, assign lowercase letters after the year of publication (a, b, c, etc.). Assign these letters according to which title comes first alphabetically. Use these letters in both in-text citations and the Reference list.

Example In-Text:

Example Reference List entries:

If you would like to cite more than one source within the same in-text citation, simply record the in-text citations as normal and separate them with a semi-colon. List the sources alphabetically by author's last name or first word used from the title if no author is given, in the same order they would appear on the References List.

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  • Last Updated: Jan 12, 2024 8:16 AM
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Home / Guides / Citation Guides / Citation Basics / Quoting vs. Paraphrasing vs. Summarizing

Quoting vs. Paraphrasing vs. Summarizing

If you’ve ever written a research essay, you know the struggle is real. Should you use a direct quote? Should you put it in your own words? And how is summarizing different from paraphrasing—aren’t they kind of the same thing?

Knowing how you should include your source takes some finesse, and knowing when to quote directly, paraphrase, or summarize can make or break your argument. Let’s take a look at the nuances among these three ways  of using an outside source in an essay.

What is quoting?

The concept of quoting is pretty straightforward. If you use quotation marks, you must use precisely the same words as the original , even if the language is vulgar or the grammar is incorrect. In fact, when scholars quote writers with bad grammar, they may correct it by using typographical notes [like this] to show readers they have made a change.

“I never like[d] peas as a child.”

Conversely, if a passage with odd or incorrect language is quoted as is, the note [sic] may be used to show that no changes were made to the original language despite any errors.

“I never like [sic] peas as a child.”

The professional world looks very seriously on quotations. You cannot change a single comma or letter without documentation when you quote a source. Not only that, but the quote must be accompanied by an attribution, commonly called a citation. A misquote or failure to cite can be considered plagiarism.

When writing an academic paper, scholars must use in-text citations in parentheses followed by a complete entry on a references page. When you quote someone using MLA format , for example, it might look like this:

“The orphan is above all a character out of place, forced to make his or her own home in the world. The novel itself grew up as a genre representing the efforts of an ordinary individual to navigate his or her way through the trials of life. The orphan is therefore an essentially novelistic character, set loose from established conventions to face a world of endless possibilities (and dangers)” (Mullan).

This quote is from www.bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians/articles/orphans-in-fiction , which discusses the portrayal of orphans in Victorian English literature. The citation as it would look on the references page (called Works Cited in MLA) is available at the end of this guide.

What is paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing means taking a quote and putting it in your own words.

You translate what another writer has said into terms both you and your reader can more easily understand. Unlike summarizing, which focuses on the big picture, paraphrasing is involved with single lines or passages. Paraphrasing means you should focus only on segments of a text.

Paraphrasing is a way for you to start processing the information from your source . When you take a quote and put it into your own words, you are already working to better understand, and better explain, the information.

The more you can change the quote without changing the original meaning , the better. How can you make significant changes to a text without changing the meaning?

Here are a few paraphrasing techniques:

  • Use synonyms of words
  • Change the order of words
  • Change the order of clauses in the sentences
  • Move sentences around in a section
  • Active – passive
  • Positive – negative
  • Statement-question

Let’s look at an example. Here is a direct quote from the article on orphans in Victorian literature:

“It is no accident that the most famous character in recent fiction – Harry Potter – is an orphan. The child wizard’s adventures are premised on the death of his parents and the responsibilities that he must therefore assume. If we look to classic children’s fiction we find a host of orphans” (Mullan).

Here is a possible paraphrase:

It’s not a mistake that a well-known protagonist in current fiction is an orphan: Harry Potter. His quests are due to his parents dying and tasks that he is now obligated to complete. You will see that orphans are common protagonists if you look at other classic fiction (Mullan).

What differences do you spot? There are synonyms. A few words were moved around. A few clauses were moved around. But do you see that the basic structure is very similar?

This kind of paraphrase might be flagged by a plagiarism checker. Don’t paraphrase like that.

Here is a better example:

What is the most well-known fact about beloved character, Harry Potter? That he’s an orphan – “the boy who lived”. In fact, it is only because his parents died that he was thrust into his hero’s journey. Throughout classic children’s literature, you’ll find many orphans as protagonists (Mullan).

Do you see that this paraphrase has more differences? The basic information is there, but the structure is quite different.

When you paraphrase, you are making choices: of how to restructure information, of how to organize and prioritize it.  These choices reflect your voice in a way a direct quote cannot, since a direct quote is, by definition, someone else’s voice.

Which is better: Quoting or paraphrasing?

Although the purpose of both quoting and paraphrasing is to introduce the ideas of an external source, they are used for different reasons. It’s not that one is better than the other, but rather that quoting suits some purposes better, while paraphrasing is more suitable for others.

A direct quote is better when you feel the writer made the point perfectly and there is no reason to change a thing. If the writer has a strong voice and you want to preserve that, use a direct quote.

For example, no one should ever try to paraphrase John. F. Kenney’s famous line: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

However, think of direct quotes like a hot pepper: go ahead and sprinkle them around to add some spice to your paper, but… you might not want to overdo it.

Conversely, paraphrasing is useful when you want to bring in a longer section of a source into your piece, but you don’t have room for the full passage . A paraphrase doesn’t simplify the passage to an extreme level, like a summary would. Rather, it condenses the section of text into something more useful for your essay. It’s also appropriate to paraphrase when there are sentences within a passage that you want to leave out.

If you were to paraphrase the section of the article about Victorian orphans mentioned earlier, you might write something like this:

Considering the development of the novel, which portrayed everyday people making their way through life, using an orphan as a protagonist was effective. Orphans are characters that, by definition, need to find their way alone. The author can let the protagonist venture out into the world where the anything, good or bad, might happen (Mullan).

You’ll notice a couple of things here. One, there are no quotation marks, but there is still an in-text citation (the name in parentheses). A paraphrase lacks quotation marks because you aren’t directly quoting, but it still needs a citation because you are using a specific segment of the text. It is still someone else’s original idea and must be cited.

Secondly, if you look at the original quote, you’ll see that five lines of text are condensed into four and a half lines. Everything the author used has been changed.

A single paragraph of text has been explained in different words—which is the heart of paraphrasing.

What is summarizing?

Next, we come to summarizing. Summarizing is on a much larger scale than quoting or paraphrasing. While similar to paraphrasing in that you use your own words, a summary’s primary focus is on translating the main idea of an entire document or long section.

Summaries are useful because they allow you to mention entire chapters or articles—or longer works—in only a few sentences. However, summaries can be longer and more in-depth. They can actually include quotes and paraphrases. Keep in mind, though, that since a summary condenses information, look for the main points. Don’t include a lot of details in a summary.

In literary analysis essays, it is useful to include one body paragraph that summarizes the work you’re writing about. It might be helpful to quote or paraphrase specific lines that contribute to the main themes of such a work. Here is an example summarizing the article on orphans in Victorian literature:

In John Mullan’s article “Orphans in Fiction” on bl.uk.com, he reviews the use of orphans as protagonists in 19 th century Victorian literature. Mullan argues that orphans, without family attachments, are effective characters that can be “unleashed to discover the world.” This discovery process often leads orphans to expose dangerous aspects of society, while maintaining their innocence. As an example, Mullan examines how many female orphans wind up as governesses, demonstrating the usefulness of a main character that is obligated to find their own way.

This summary includes the main ideas of the article, one paraphrase, and one direct quote. A ten-paragraph article is summarized into one single paragraph.

As for giving source credit, since the author’s name and title of the source are stated at the beginning of the summary paragraph, you don’t need an in-text citation.

How do I know which one to use?

The fact is that writers use these three reference types (quoting, paraphrasing, summarizing) interchangeably. The key is to pay attention to your argument development. At some points, you will want concrete, firm evidence. Quotes are perfect for this.

At other times, you will want general support for an argument, but the text that includes such support is long-winded. A paraphrase is appropriate in this case.

Finally, sometimes you may need to mention an entire book or article because it is so full of evidence to support your points. In these cases, it is wise to take a few sentences or even a full paragraph to summarize the source.

No matter which type you use, you always need to cite your source on a References or Works Cited page at the end of the document. The MLA works cited entry for the text we’ve been using today looks like this:

Mullan, John. Orphans in Fiction” www.bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians/articles/orphans-in-fiction.  Accessed 20. Oct. 2020

————–

See our related lesson with video:  How to Quote and Paraphrase Evidence

Citation Guides

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what is citation and paraphrasing

In-Text Citations: Quotations vs. Paraphrasing  

When it comes to writing an essay, including in-text citations is invaluable for demonstrating that you have done your research and supported your claim. In-text citations are not just important for those reasons. They can also help you avoid committing plagiarism by referencing where you got your information from. However, choosing the type of in-text citations you will be including can be a difficult decision when presented with the options of using direct quotations or paraphrasing. In this post, we aim to shed light on the differences between the two methods in order to demonstrate their respective strengths along with their optimal use.  

Definitions  

So, what exactly is the difference between paraphrasing and direct quotation? Paraphrasing is taking the information from a source and re-interpreting it into your own words. In contrast, direct quotation is copying the information directly from the source without changing any of the wording in your essay.   

When to Use What  

Although they both serve the same purpose of reinforcing and supporting your claims, paraphrasing and quotations tend to be used under different circumstances. Paraphrasing can be used when referring to the more general information from the source, such as its main idea, recurring theme, or conclusion. Furthermore, paraphrasing can demonstrate to the readers that you understand the topic and material you are referencing because you are not just copying what was said before. Instead, you are putting your spin on the information and presenting it in a new manner, exemplifying your knowledge in that field.  

Quotations, meanwhile, are more beneficial when referring to the technical language used in the original source is imperative for understanding the information being presented in your writing. Doing so can introduce concepts to your audience without having to explain the topic further. Although there can be times when you may be tempted to use several sentences from the original source, sticking to short quotes that only give the necessary information required to understand your paper is far more effective than including two or three sentences that do little to back your claims. If you do have to insert a larger quote, you will have to separate it from the rest of the paper’s body into what is known as a “block quote”. As the name suggests, block quotes take up their own small paragraphs that squeeze too much information into them.   

Different Formats Have Different Guidelines  

One of the first things you need to know even before starting your essay is the citation style that you will be using. Depending on the purpose of your writing, the citation style may be APA, MLA, Chicago (CMS), IEEE, or any other options. Typically, APA is used for education, psychology, and science, MLA is used for humanities, and Chicago is used for history, business, and fine arts. Moreover, each style has its own set of guidelines on how to format your paper, from titles and headings to listing sources and citations throughout your writing.  

Things to Avoid When Citing  

Generally, there are a few common mistakes to avoid when citing information in your writing. The most important thing to look out for is plagiarism –you should always make sure to cite information properly by giving credit to original sources. If you summarize an author’s ideas, quote someone’s work, or discuss information that you learned, you should reference the source through in-text citations and references.   

The next common mistake is over-relying on quotes . Remember that the purpose of writing is typically to communicate your thoughts, analyses, and interpretations of information, and therefore, your audience wants to read your ideas, not the ideas of used sources. Instead, choose only the most necessary quotes, which may be those that mention specific information and phrases that either cannot be reworded or can lose meaning when they are rephrased.   

The final mistake is to include long quotes to fulfill word counts or to avoid having to explain concepts in your own words. In general, a good writing tip to follow is to include only the information that is completely necessary to make your point or get your purpose across. If the quotes in your writing are getting too long, your perspective may get lost and make the writing feel as if it is someone else’s.   

Final Takeaways  

In short, using the proper citation methods is important because not only will it help you avoid plagiarism, but also help strengthen your stance. Although each common citation style has its own specific guidelines to follow, the same general idea behind citations carries across. Whether it is through paraphrasing to demonstrate your understanding of the source or quoting to provide detailed information, citations are the foundation on which your arguments are built. Overall, if you ever have doubts about your writing or want to get another pair of eyes to look over your work and help you, visit the University Writing Center!   

Additional Resources  

Purdue Owl. (2022). Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing . Purdue Owl. https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/using_research/quoting_paraphrasing_and_summarizing/index.html  

Libguides. (2023). APA 7: Paraphrasing vs. Quoting . Libguides https://holyfamily.libguides.com/c.php?g=1058037&p=7756103  

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Paraphrasing - an overview

Paraphrasing is ..., what are the differences between quoting, paraphrasing & summarising .

  • Why Paraphrase?
  • Paraphrasing versus Plagiarism
  • The Do's and Don'ts of Paraphrasing
  • Paraphrasing - examples
  • Further Information

what is citation and paraphrasing

Paraphrasing is 'a restating of someone else’s thoughts or ideas in your own words. You must always cite your source when paraphrasing’ (Pears & Shields, 2019 p. 245).  

(Solas English, 2017)

  • Quoting means using someone else’s exact words and putting them in quotation marks.. 
  • Paraphrasing means expressing someone else’s ideas in your own voice, while keeping the same essential meaning.
  • Summarising means taking a long passage of text from someone else and condensing the main ideas in your own words.

Watch the video below for more information.  

(UNC Writing Center, 2019)

  • Next: Why Paraphrase? >>
  • Last Updated: Sep 8, 2023 9:42 AM
  • URL: https://lit.libguides.com/paraphrasing

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How to Cite a Paraphrased Statement

Last Updated: December 9, 2022 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Jennifer Mueller, JD . Jennifer Mueller is a wikiHow Content Creator. She specializes in reviewing, fact-checking, and evaluating wikiHow's content to ensure thoroughness and accuracy. Jennifer holds a JD from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2006. There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 42,627 times. Learn more...

When you write a research paper, you integrate material from outside sources with your own thoughts or ideas about a topic. Generally, use an in-text citation for anything other than your original words. A paraphrased statement, generally, is cited the same way a direct quote would be. The in-text citation directs your readers to the reference list at the end of your paper, which provides a more detailed description of the source material used. The specific format of your in-text citations and your reference list varies depending on which citation style you use. [1] X Research source

Placing Citations in Text

Step 1 Provide a citation for all information pulled from another source.

  • You don't have to cite commonly known and accepted facts. However, you always need to cite ideas. If you're not sure whether a fact is commonly known or not, err on the side of caution and provide a citation.
  • In most cases, the in-text citation falls at the end of the sentence that contains the information from the source. Some citation styles, however, require the citation immediately after the paraphrased information, even if that happens to be in the middle of a sentence.

Step 2 Follow the formatting guidelines for your citation style.

  • Modern Language Association (MLA) style uses an author-page number format for parenthetical citations in the body of your paper. If the source isn't paginated, simply leave that part out and include only the author's last name.
  • American Psychological Association (APA) style uses an author-date format for parenthetical citations in the body of your paper. [4] X Research source
  • The Chicago style accepts 2 different methods of in-text citation. You may either use the author-date format, similar to APA style, or you may have footnotes and a bibliography. Chicago-style footnotes include the same information as the full citation in the bibliography, but with slightly different formatting. [5] X Research source

Step 3 Cite after every sentence with a quote or paraphrase.

  • The only exception to this rule is a longer block quote set off from the rest of your text. A block quote only requires one citation, at the very end.
  • Generally, you want to avoid having several sentences in a row that paraphrase from the same source. Type a sentence paraphrasing from the source, then add your own thoughts or analysis of that information in the next sentence.

Step 4 Separate multiple sources with semi-colons.

  • You can also use this format to indicate several sources with more information about a topic that is related to your topic, but beyond the scope of your research. You generally don't have to include full citations to such sources in your reference list.

Step 5 Include a page number for direct quotes.

  • If the source is not paginated, some styles require you to use an abbreviation, such as "n.p." Check your style guide to be sure.
  • MLA and Chicago, among other styles, do not require the abbreviation "p." or "pp." before page numbers. However, APA and others do.
  • If you're citing a video or audio recording that has a runtime, include the timestamp range for the specific material you're quoting. [10] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source

Step 6 Use signal phrases in your text wherever possible.

  • Example sentence with signal phrase, APA style: Jones (1998) found "students often had difficulty using APA style" (p. 199).
  • Same sentence without signal phrase, APA style: Research has shown that "students often had difficulty using APA style" (Jones, 1998, p. 199).

Creating a Reference List

Step 1 Build your reference list before you draft your paper.

  • Your reference list (also called a bibliography or "Works Cited") includes a full citation for every research source you used for your research project. If you compile the list before you start writing, the writing process will be less disjointed, and you'll run less of a risk of leaving something off.
  • Once you finish writing your paper, go through it and place a mark next to each reference on your reference list that appears in an in-text citation. If any of the sources on your reference list are unmarked, remove them from your reference list.

Step 2 Format your reference list according to style guidelines.

  • Look over the rules before you start building your reference list, especially if you're using a different style for the first time.
  • If the rules seem confusing, ask your instructor or a reference librarian for a sample reference list written using that style.

Step 3 Include an entry for every source cited in your paper.

  • For most common citation styles, sources are listed in alphabetical order by the first word in the full citation (usually the author's last name). If you happen to use more than one work by the same author, list them in chronological order starting with the earliest publication date.
  • In rare instances, you may need to include a source in your references that you never cited in the text of your paper. For example, if you're writing a paper about dictatorial regimes and describe them as "Orwellian," you may want to include George Orwell's novel 1984 in your reference list, even though you never cited the novel directly. [15] X Research source

Quoting or Paraphrasing a Source

Step 1 Take abbreviated notes as you read a source.

  • Try to avoid looking at the source at all while you're writing. You might inadvertently plagiarize the original content – especially if the author is a particularly efficient writer. Look at the original passage after you've finished your paraphrase to ensure your wording is sufficiently different.

Step 2 Change the structure of the original passage.

  • For example, suppose your source says "Students have difficulty with new citation styles, usually because they didn't buy a copy of the style guide or ask their instructors enough questions." You can move the start to the middle and paraphrase to say "When students don't have their own copy of the style guide, they have more difficulty adapting to a new citation style."

Step 3 Use synonyms to further distance your paraphrase from the original.

  • For example, suppose your source equates EU import rules with "trade protectionism" rather than "reasonable consumer protection." An effective paraphrase could state "EU import rules seem to benefit EU companies more than consumers."
  • After you've changed the structure of the original passage, go back to the source and underline all phrases in your paraphrase that are identical to the original. Try to change as many of these as possible.
  • You can use a thesaurus to find alternate words, but stay away from direct synonyms. For example, if the original source uses the word "feline," changing that word to "cat" won't necessarily help improve your paraphrase.

Step 4 Place quotation marks around unique phrases.

  • Example: It would be easy for US companies to conclude that EU import restrictions and labeling rules amount to "trade protectionism," because they do little to assist consumers.

Step 5 Quote the source directly if the passage is unique or compelling.

  • Different styles vary in how long a direct quote can be before you have to set it off as a block quote. Generally, you can quote in line with your text if the quote is fewer than 40 words, or the equivalent of a line or two of text.

Step 6 Separate longer quotes from the main text.

  • When you use a block quote, you only need a citation at the end of the block, regardless of how many sentences you quote.
  • Generally, block quotes should be limited. Only use them if absolutely necessary, and try to limit the length to 3 or 4 sentences at the most.

Expert Q&A

You might also like.

Cite the WHO in APA

  • ↑ https://pitt.libguides.com/citationhelp
  • ↑ https://libanswers.snhu.edu/faq/102912
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_in_text_citations_the_basics.html
  • ↑ https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/citations/paraphrasing
  • ↑ http://liu.cwp.libguides.com/c.php?g=45846&p=291624
  • ↑ http://askus.baker.edu/faq/217530
  • ↑ https://guides.libraries.psu.edu/mlacitation/intext
  • ↑ https://butlercc.libguides.com/mla/intext
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/reference_list_basic_rules.html
  • ↑ https://pr.princeton.edu/pub/integrity/pages/cite/
  • ↑ https://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/QPA_paraphrase2.html
  • ↑ https://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/QPA_paraphrase.html

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Citing Your Sources

Quoting & paraphrasing.

Regardless of the citation style you use, if you use the exact words of a source in the exact order in which they are presented, you must put them in quotation marks " " followed by an in-text citation, which references the full citation located in the list of all sources used at the end of the paper.

  • Plagiarism 101: Quoting Material
  • Signal Verbs to Use with Sources (SNHU OWC) [PDF]

Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing summarizes details of a text or rephrases in different words and structure, primarily the main concepts. No quotation marks are necessary, however, you MUST still cite it with an in-text citation.

  • Plagiarism 101: How to Paraphrase
  • How to Paraphrase (SNHU OWC) [PDF]
  • How to Summarize Sources (SNHU OWC) [PDF]

  • << Previous: Plagiarism Checkers
  • Next: What Style Should I Use? >>

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Using evidence: paraphrase, paraphrasing sources video playlist.

Basics of Paraphrasing

A successful paraphrase is your own explanation or interpretation of another person's ideas. Paraphrasing in academic writing is an effective way to restate, condense, or clarify another author's ideas while also providing credibility to your own argument or analysis. Successful paraphrasing is essential for strong academic writing, and unsuccessful paraphrasing can result in unintentional plagiarism. Look through the paraphrasing strategies below to better understand what counts as an effective paraphrase.

In order for a reader to understand the impact of a direct quotation or paraphrased source material, you should work to integrate your evidence into your paragraph's overall discussion. A strong way to integrate source material is to use  transitions . As you integrate sources, you will also often begin  analyzing the evidence

Citing Paraphrases

  • Paraphrased material must be cited. Even though paraphrasing means that you are restating information in your own words, you must give credit to the original source of the information.
  • Citations for paraphrased material should always include both the author and the year. In-text citation can be placed within the sentence or at the end:

Example: According to Johnson (2012), mirror neurons may be connected with empathy and imitation.

Example: Mirror neurons may be connected with empathy and imitation in human beings (Johnson, 2012).

Note: Be sure to consider the frequency of your source citation when you are paraphrasing.

Integrating Paraphrases Into Your Paragraphs

Paragraph with paraphrased material not integrated.

The causes of childhood obesity are various. Greg (2005) found that children need physical activity to stay healthy. One study found that the amount of time spent in front of the television or computer had a direct correlation to an individual's BMI (Stephens, 2003). Parsons (2003) debated whether nature or nurture affects childhood obesity more. Scientists have linked genetics to obesity (Parsons, 2003). Parents often reinforce bad lifestyle habits (Parsons, 2003).

Here there is a list of paraphrased sentences, but again they seem to be missing any links or connections to show how the different ideas are related. Rather than simply using a list of paraphrased sentences from these sources, the author of the next example integrates each piece of information from the sources by using extra explanation or transitions.

Paragraph With Paraphrased Material, Revised (Revisions in Bold)

The causes of childhood obesity are various. Greg (2005) found that children need physical activity to stay healthy. However, children's inactive lifestyles and the time they spend in front of a screen seem to consume the time they could otherwise spend playing outdoors or involved in physical activities. In fact, this lack of physical activity has a direct effect on body mass index (BMI). One study found that the amount of time spent in front of the television or computer had a direct correlation to an individual's BMI (Stephens, 2003). Although screen time is correlated with high BMI, Parsons (2003) still debated whether nature or nurture affects childhood obesity more. Though Parsons admitted that scientists have linked genetics to obesity, he also explained that parents often reinforce bad lifestyle habits.

Adding transitions allows the author to make connections while still presenting the paraphrased source material.

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Paraphrasing Vs citation: which one is best to Prevent Plagiarism?

Want to know the difference between Paraphrasing and citation. This tutorial Paraphrasing Vs citation will tell you which is the best to prevent Plagiarism.

Most people may be confused about the bad impacts of plagiarized content, so what to do now?

There are some techniques and tools needed to remove Plagiarism and make content unique, and we are going to explain these steps.

As there are many techniques but we have shortlisted the best and the easiest two and these two are paraphrasing and citations.

Paraphrasing Vs citation

Paraphrasing Vs citation

We can say that both are effective and useful, but some circumstances can easily differentiate both. And if you will have a look below, you’ll surely pick the best option on your own so, let’s start.

What is paraphrasing in actuality?

In simple words, paraphrasing is a process introduced to change the words with their synonyms without changing the intent of the content.

According to the  Oxford Dictionary :

“ A statement that expresses something that somebody has written or said using different words, especially in order to make it easier to understand”

Is it possible?

Yes, it is possible and straightforward as well. When you are using different words, then you will indeed don’t charge for using plagiarized content.

There are majorly two approaches to rephrasing the content; one is to do it on your own, and secondly, you can use a paraphraser.

We know most people are known about paraphrasers, and some people still don’t know about a paraphraser or paraphrasing tool.

How to rephrase using an online tool?

As we all know, many tasks can quickly be done using an online tool, and paraphrasing is one.

You can easily use a paraphraser for rephrasing your content, as they are specifically designed to do this job.

When we talk about the working of this tool, it is straightforward and straight.

  • All you need to do is, pick the best paraphrasing tool .
  • Simply paste the content you want to rephrase in the input field or upload content.
  • Click on the submit button.

what is citation and paraphrasing

It just needs a couple of seconds and just a few clicks, and that’s why this method is considered the best and most straightforward approach to prevent Plagiarism.

What is citation?

Citation is majorly used in the educational sector, especially in assignments or in project reports.

But if you are a blogger and need to make your blog plagiarism-free, you need to avoid citations.

We can say that citations refer to giving the credits to the original author or writer; you need to provide sources if your preference is to remove Plagiarism.

APA: Citing Within Your Paper | UAGC Writing Center

There is more than one type of citation, and you can use any of them regarding your content, but in-text citations are most common.

Now, let’s talk about the usage of citations in content. If you prepare a report for your project or use copied data in your assignment, you need to add citations.

How to generate citations?

There are many tools or websites available on the internet that can generate citations for your content, and you can go for any type of citation.

Now, you need to find out a tool on the internet, and then you can start using that tool and generate the citations.

These online tools are used to generate citations and can also help make a bibliography.

Where can we use citations?

As we have mentioned above that citations are majorly used in assignments and many other educational documents.

But you cannot use them frequently; use citations in the content that will be published on the internet.

If you are willing to make your blog or any other content related to the internet unique, there are many more options.

We can say that it depends on you whether to choose citations or to go for paraphrasing tools.

Which approach is best for removing Plagiarism?

It is not wrong to say that both are pretty effective and very useful, but here we have to favor any one of them.

But this favor must be under the consideration of general specifications and usefulness of both of these approaches.

We recommend you to go for paraphrasing as it is more helpful and limitless like there is no limit, and you can easily rephrase any content using a paraphraser.

Using citations will surely free you from plagiarized content, but it can make your content messy and stuff.

So, from our point of view, using a paraphrasing tool or paraphrasing can be the best option for making your content unique.

We cannot ignore any of these two options, but we can pick anyone by determining the easiness and effectiveness.

If you are willing to improve your vocabulary and make your content unique, you need to paraphrase.

But if you are a student and need to prepare your assignments, then choosing citations is acceptable and valuable.

By reading this guide, you can simply choose anyone on your own, and you can easily differentiate both of them.

You must also use any one of the Best Grammar checker tools like Grammarly to correct your grammar.

Related: Grammarly review

I hope this tutorial Paraphrasing Vs citation helped you to know the difference between paraphrasing and citation. If you like this article, please share it with your friends. If you want more blogging tips, follow BlogVwant on Facebook ,  Twitter , and YouTube .

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Not sure why you need to document your sources? 

Read our Documentation & Plagiarism Guide to find out.

Signal phrases

Figuring out how to fit a quote or paraphrase from a source into your paper can be tricky. You must craft a sentence so that the quote flows grammatically. We often introduce a quote or paraphrase with a signal phrase that helps setup the quote. In MLA  we use the present tense of verbs for this signal phrase. So a sentence with a quotation or paraphrase from a person with the last name Smith might start something like this:

Smith argues that "..."

Smith disputes the idea that ...

According to Smith, "..."

More information on and examples of signal phrases can be found on the OWL Purdue site.

Figuring out how to make your paper flow between your words and quotes from other authors can be tricky at first, but with practice you can learn to seamlessly support your writing with quotations from other authors.

Chicago/Turabian Documentation style

  • Chicago/Turabian citation guide Covers the basic citation rules and provides citation examples of the commonly used source types.
  • Purdue OWL: Chicago Formatting and Style Guide A guide from Purdue University on using MLA guidelines in research papers and and citing all sources.

Citation Generators

Remember, even if you use a citation generator, it's still your responsibility to check over your citations to make sure they're correct!

  • Citation Machine A citation generator for MLA, APA, Turabian and Chicago styles.
  • KnightCite A citation generator created by the Hekman Library of Calvin College. It assists with creating citations in MLA, APA, and Chicago for all types of resources. You have the option to register for additional features such as saving and exporting citations.
  • NoodleTools Use NoodleBib Express to quickly create citations in MLA or APA, or register for a NoodleBib MLA Starter account for additional features such as the ability save citations and format a works cited page.
  • Zotero A Firefox extension that helps with the collection, management, and citation of sources. Note: For FIREFOX only.

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What's a paraphrasing tool?

This AI-powered paraphraser lets you rewrite text in your own words. Use it to  paraphrase articles, essays, and other pieces of text. You can also use it to rephrase sentences and find synonyms for individual words. And the best part? It’s all 100% free!

What's paraphrasing

What's paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing involves expressing someone else’s ideas or thoughts in your own words while maintaining the original meaning. Paraphrasing tools can help you quickly reword text by replacing certain words with synonyms or restructuring sentences. They can also make your text more concise, clear, and suitable for a specific audience. Paraphrasing is an essential skill in academic writing and professional communication. 

what is citation and paraphrasing

Why use this paraphrasing tool?

  • Save time: Gone are the days when you had to reword sentences yourself; now you can rewrite a text or a complete text with one click.
  •  Improve your writing: Your writing will always be clear and easy to understand. Automatically ensure consistent language throughout. 
  • Preserve original meaning: Paraphrase without fear of losing the point of your text.
  • No annoying ads: We care about the user experience, so we don’t run any ads.
  • Accurate: Reliable and grammatically correct paraphrasing.
  • No sign-up required: We don’t need your data for you to use our paraphrasing tool.
  • Super simple to use: A simple interface even your grandma could use.
  • It’s 100% free: No hidden costs, just unlimited use of a free paraphrasing tool.

Features of the paraphrasing tool

what is citation and paraphrasing

Rephrase individual sentences

With the Scribbr Paraphrasing Tool, you can easily reformulate individual sentences.

  • Write varied headlines
  • Rephrase the subject line of an email
  • Create unique image captions

Paraphrase an whole text

Paraphrase a whole text

Our paraphraser can also help with longer passages (up to 125 words per input). Upload your document or copy your text into the input field.

With one click, you can reformulate the entire text.

what is citation and paraphrasing

Find synonyms with ease

Simply click on any word to open the interactive thesaurus.

  • Choose from a list of suggested synonyms
  • Find the synonym with the most appropriate meaning
  • Replace the word with a single click

Paraphrase in two ways

Paraphrase in two ways

  • Standard: Offers a compromise between modifying and preserving the meaning of the original text
  • Fluency: Improves language and corrects grammatical mistakes.

Upload any document-to paraphrase tool

Upload different types of documents

Upload any Microsoft Word document, Google Doc, or PDF into the paraphrasing tool.

Download or copy your results

Download or copy your results

After you’re done, you can easily download or copy your text to use somewhere else.

Powered by AI

Powered by AI

The paraphrasing tool uses natural language processing to rewrite any text you give it. This way, you can paraphrase any text within seconds.

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Avoid accidental plagiarism

Want to make sure your document is plagiarism-free? In addition to our paraphrasing tool, which will help you rephrase sentences, quotations, or paragraphs correctly, you can also use our anti-plagiarism software to make sure your document is unique and not plagiarized.

Scribbr’s anti-plagiarism software enables you to:

  • Detect plagiarism more accurately than other tools
  • Ensure that your paraphrased text is valid
  • Highlight the sources that are most similar to your text

Start for free

How does this paraphrasing tool work?

1. put your text into the paraphraser, 2. select your method of paraphrasing, 3. select the quantity of synonyms you want, 4. edit your text where needed, who can use this paraphrasing tool.

Students

Paraphrasing tools can help students to understand texts and improve the quality of their writing. 

Teachers

Create original lesson plans, presentations, or other educational materials.

Researchers

Researchers

Explain complex concepts or ideas to a wider audience. 

Journalists

Journalists

Quickly and easily rephrase text to avoid repetitive language.

Copywriters

Copywriters

By using a paraphrasing tool, you can quickly and easily rework existing content to create something new and unique.

Bloggers

Bloggers can rewrite existing content to make it their own.

Writers

Writers who need to rewrite content, such as adapting an article for a different context or writing content for a different audience.

Marketers

A paraphrasing tool lets you quickly rewrite your original content for each medium, ensuring you reach the right audience on each platform.

The all-purpose paraphrasing tool

The Scribbr Paraphrasing Tool is the perfect assistant in a variety of contexts.

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Paraphrase sources smoothly in your thesis or research paper.

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Craft memorable captions and content for your social media posts.

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The Scribbr Paraphrasing Tool lets you rewrite as many sentences as you want—for free.

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Frequently asked questions

The act of putting someone else’s ideas or words into your own words is called paraphrasing, rephrasing, or rewording. Even though they are often used interchangeably, the terms can mean slightly different things:

Paraphrasing is restating someone else’s ideas or words in your own words while retaining their meaning. Paraphrasing changes sentence structure, word choice, and sentence length to convey the same meaning.

Rephrasing may involve more substantial changes to the original text, including changing the order of sentences or the overall structure of the text.

Rewording is changing individual words in a text without changing its meaning or structure, often using synonyms.

It can. One of the two methods of paraphrasing is called “Fluency.” This will improve the language and fix grammatical errors in the text you’re paraphrasing.

Paraphrasing and using a paraphrasing tool aren’t cheating. It’s a great tool for saving time and coming up with new ways to express yourself in writing.  However, always be sure to credit your sources. Avoid plagiarism.  

If you don’t properly cite text paraphrased from another source, you’re plagiarizing. If you use someone else’s text and paraphrase it, you need to credit the original source. You can do that by using citations. There are different styles, like APA, MLA, Harvard, and Chicago. Find more information about citing sources here.

Paraphrasing without crediting the original author is a form of plagiarism , because you’re presenting someone else’s ideas as if they were your own.

However, paraphrasing is not plagiarism if you correctly cite the source . This means including an in-text citation and a full reference, formatted according to your required citation style .

As well as citing, make sure that any paraphrased text is completely rewritten in your own words.

Plagiarism means using someone else’s words or ideas and passing them off as your own. Paraphrasing means putting someone else’s ideas in your own words.

So when does paraphrasing count as plagiarism?

  • Paraphrasing is plagiarism if you don’t properly credit the original author.
  • Paraphrasing is plagiarism if your text is too close to the original wording (even if you cite the source). If you directly copy a sentence or phrase, you should quote it instead.
  • Paraphrasing  is not plagiarism if you put the author’s ideas completely in your own words and properly cite the source .

Learn How to Paraphrase a Quote in this Guide

Published on: Feb 20, 2024

Last updated on: Feb 26, 2024

How to Paraphrase a Quote

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When Can Paraphrasing be Used

Quotes hold the power to inspire, provoke thought, and lend authority to our words. Yet, there are times when directly quoting someone may not align with the flow or purpose of our writing.

This is where paraphrasing comes into play, allowing us to convey the essence of a quote in our own words while maintaining its original meaning and integrity.

Paraphrasing isn't merely about swapping words or reordering sentences; it's a skill that requires finesse and respect for the original author's intent. Whether you're a student, a creative writer, or a professional, learning the paraphrasing skill can promote your work to new heights.

Here are the steps to paraphrase a quote effectively:

Step 1: Understand the Quote

Step 2: break it down, step 3: put it in your own words, step 4: maintain accuracy, step 5: synthesize and simplify, step 6: cite your source, step 7: practice, practice, practice.

Let’s go through each step for further understanding:

Before attempting to paraphrase a quote, take the time to thoroughly comprehend its meaning and context.

What message is the original author conveying? What emotions or ideas are being expressed? Understanding the essence of the quote is crucial to paraphrasing it accurately.

However, it's important to note the distinction between direct quotes and paraphrasing so be mindful of that when paraphrasing a quote.

Deconstruct the quote into its core elements. Identify key terms, concepts, and phrases that encapsulate their meaning. By breaking down the quotation into manageable components, you gain insight into its underlying message and can effectively convey it in your paraphrase.

Paraphrasing involves expressing the ideas of the original quote using your unique voice and language. Start by articulating the main idea of the quote in your own words, focusing on clarity and precision.

Resist the temptation to rely too heavily on the structure or wording of the original quote; instead, strive to convey its essence in a fresh and authentic manner.

Do not forget to understand the difference between rephrasing and paraphrasing is the key here; it's not just about altering words but about reshaping the message in a unique form.

While paraphrasing allows for creative expression, accuracy should never be compromised. Ensure that your paraphrase captures the intended meaning of the original quote without distorting its message or context.

Refer back to the original quote as needed to verify that your paraphrase remains faithful to the author's intent.

Paraphrasing offers an opportunity to synthesize complex ideas and simplify complex language. Look for opportunities to simplify the wording and structure of the original quote while retaining its core meaning.

By distilling the essence of the quote into clear and concise language, you enhance its impact and accessibility to your audience.

Even though you're paraphrasing the quote, it's essential to acknowledge the original source to give credit to the author and uphold academic integrity.

Depending on the style guide you're following, such as MLA, APA, or Chicago, ensure that you cite the original source appropriately within your text (in-text citations) or bibliography.

Like any skill, learning the art of paraphrasing requires practice and persistence. Set aside time to engage in paraphrasing exercises, experiment with different techniques, and seek feedback from peers or mentors.

Over time, you'll develop a keen instinct for paraphrasing quotes effectively and seamlessly integrating them into your writing.

Struggling to Paraphrase? Try Our Free Tool!

When paraphrasing quotes feels like a challenge, our Free Paraphrasing tool is here to help. Save time and effort by utilizing our tool to express quotes in your own words while maintaining accuracy and integrity.

Enhance your writing and engage your audience effortlessly. Try it now!

Caleb S. (Mass Literature and Linguistics, Masters )

Caleb S. is an accomplished author with over five years of experience and a Master's degree from Oxford University. He excels in various writing forms, including articles, press releases, blog posts, and whitepapers. As a valued author at MyEssayWriter.ai, Caleb assists students and professionals by providing practical tips on research, citation, sentence structure, and style enhancement.

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Quotation, Paraphrasing and Citation Assignment

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COMMENTS

  1. Paraphrasing

    How to cite your own translations If you translate a passage from one language into another on your own in your paper, your translation is considered a paraphrase, not a direct quotation. APA Style webinar on citing works in text

  2. How to Paraphrase

    Table of contents How to paraphrase in five easy steps How to paraphrase correctly Examples of paraphrasing How to cite a paraphrase Paraphrasing vs. quoting Paraphrasing vs. summarizing Avoiding plagiarism when you paraphrase Other interesting articles Frequently asked questions about paraphrasing How to paraphrase in five easy steps

  3. Paraphrasing

    Research and Citation Using Research Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing Paraphrase: Write It in Your Own Words Paraphrase: Write It in Your Own Words Paraphrasing is one way to use a text in your own writing without directly quoting source material.

  4. PDF Paraphrasing and Citation Activities, APA Style 7th Edition

    Activity 3: Writing a Long Paraphrase. This activity consists of three steps: Read the following published paragraphs and summarize them in your own words in two to three sentences (a long paraphrase). Do not repeat every idea. Instead, highlight important findings and accurately represent the meaning of the original.

  5. Paraphrasing in APA

    Citation Generator Source Type Search Paraphrasing is the art of putting information into your own words while writing a research paper, in order to maintain the academic integrity of your project. This is important because you need to use solid evidence as a researcher, but you need to put information into the proper format to avoid plagiarism.

  6. APA Citation Style, 7th Edition: In-Text Citations & Paraphrasing

    Cite by paragraph number - count down the website to see what number paragraph the direct quote is in and in the citation where you would place the page number, add = para. Cite by heading or section name - many websites are divided into sections, find the name of the section that contains the direct quote you are using and add that information ...

  7. LibGuides: APA Citation Guide (7th edition) : Paraphrasing

    When you write information from a source in your own words, cite the source by adding an in-text citation at the end of the paraphrased portion as follows: Mother-infant attachment became a leading topic of developmental research following the publication of John Bowlby's studies (Hunt, 1993).

  8. Examples of Paraphrase

    Paraphrases—rewordings of text—need to be cited. Paraphrasing without providing a citation is plagiarism. Even paraphrases with citations can be instances of plagiarism if they are so similar to the original that the paraphraser claims credit for the original author's language. A paraphrase that avoids plagiarism:

  9. Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing

    Paraphrasing involves putting a passage from source material into your own words. A paraphrase must also be attributed to the original source. Paraphrased material is usually shorter than the original passage, taking a somewhat broader segment of the source and condensing it slightly.

  10. Paraphrasing & Citation :: Writing Associates Program

    Paraphrasing ALWAYS requires a citation. Even if you are using your own words, the idea still belongs to someone else. Sometimes there is a fine line between paraphrasing and plagiarizing someone's writing. Here's one strategy for paraphrasing effectively: read over the paragraph of interest. Then close the book or turn the page of the article ...

  11. APA Citation Guide (7th edition): Quotes vs Paraphrases

    Paper Formatting Tutorials What's the Difference? Quoting vs Paraphrasing: What's the Difference? There are two ways to integrate sources into your assignment: quoting directly or paraphrasing. Quoting is copying a selection from someone else's work, phrasing it exactly as it was originally written.

  12. The Basics of In-Text Citation

    Example: Paraphrase with APA Style in-text citation The evolutionary process consists of a series of incremental changes over a long period of time (Darwin, 1859, p. 510). However, to avoid over-citation, bear in mind that some information is considered common knowledge and doesn't need to be cited. For example, you don't need a citation to ...

  13. APA Citation Guide (APA 7th Edition): Quoting vs. Paraphrasing

    When you write information from a source in your own words, cite the source by adding an in-text citation at the end of the paraphrased portion as follows:

  14. Quoting vs. Paraphrasing vs. Summarizing

    Paraphrasing means taking a quote and putting it in your own words. You translate what another writer has said into terms both you and your reader can more easily understand. Unlike summarizing, which focuses on the big picture, paraphrasing is involved with single lines or passages. Paraphrasing means you should focus only on segments of a text.

  15. In-Text Citations: Quotations vs. Paraphrasing

    Definitions. So, what exactly is the difference between paraphrasing and direct quotation? Paraphrasing is taking the information from a source and re-interpreting it into your own words. In contrast, direct quotation is copying the information directly from the source without changing any of the wording in your essay.

  16. What is Paraphrasing?

    Paraphrasing is ... Paraphrasing means 'to state something written or spoken in different words, especially in a shorter and simpler form to make the meaning clearer' (Cambridge Online Dictionary, 2022). Paraphrasing is 'a restating of someone else's thoughts or ideas in your own words. You must always cite your source when paraphrasing ...

  17. Why are citations an important element in paraphrasing content?

    Why are citations an important element in paraphrasing content? If you don't properly cite text paraphrased from another source, you're plagiarizing. If you use someone else's text and paraphrase it, you need to credit the original source. You can do that by using citations. There are different styles, like APA, MLA, Harvard, and Chicago.

  18. 3 Ways to Cite a Paraphrased Statement

    A paraphrased statement, generally, is cited the same way a direct quote would be. The in-text citation directs your readers to the reference list at the end of your paper, which provides a more detailed description of the source material used.

  19. Research Guides: Citing Your Sources: Quoting & Paraphrasing

    Quoting. Regardless of the citation style you use, if you use the exact words of a source in the exact order in which they are presented, you must put them in quotation marks " " followed by an in-text citation, which references the full citation located in the list of all sources used at the end of the paper. Plagiarism 101: Quoting Material.

  20. Paraphrase

    Paraphrased material must be cited. Even though paraphrasing means that you are restating information in your own words, you must give credit to the original source of the information. Citations for paraphrased material should always include both the author and the year. In-text citation can be placed within the sentence or at the end:

  21. A Guide to In-Text Citation

    Example: Paraphrase with APA Style in-text citation If you feel afraid during a nightmare, it may mean that your worries are temporary and will resolve soon (Miller, 1988, p. 250). There are certain situations in which you don't have to cite, like repeating common knowledge. There is no need to cite a source saying the sky is blue or our ...

  22. Free Paraphrasing Tool

    Paraphrasing is the act of putting someone else's idea or writing in different words. You might use paraphrasing to clearly convey a concept or integrate another person's ideas into an article or paper; you'll also need to cite your source when including paraphrased text in your written work.

  23. Paraphrasing Vs citation: which one is best to Prevent Plagiarism?

    Paraphrasing Vs citation. We can say that both are effective and useful, but some circumstances can easily differentiate both. And if you will have a look below, you'll surely pick the best option on your own so, let's start.

  24. LibGuides: HIST 1301

    You must craft a sentence so that the quote flows grammatically. We often introduce a quote or paraphrase with a signal phrase that helps setup the quote. In MLA we use the present tense of verbs for this signal phrase. So a sentence with a quotation or paraphrase from a person with the last name Smith might start something like this:

  25. #1 Free Paraphrasing Tool

    Paraphrasing involves expressing someone else's ideas or thoughts in your own words while maintaining the original meaning. Paraphrasing tools can help you quickly reword text by replacing certain words with synonyms or restructuring sentences. They can also make your text more concise, clear, and suitable for a specific audience.

  26. How to Paraphrase a Quote in 7 Easy Steps

    Paraphrasing isn't merely about swapping words or reordering sentences; it's a skill that requires finesse and respect for the original author's intent. Whether you're a student, a creative writer, or a professional, learning the paraphrasing skill can promote your work to new heights. Here are the steps to paraphrase a quote effectively:

  27. Quotation, Paraphrasing and Citation Assignment (docx)

    Citing sources is a crucial component of academic writing since it supports the assertions and arguments that are made therein. Plagiarism occurs when authors use the thoughts, words, or information of others without properly attributing the source. A student who plagiarizes may face academic repercussions, such as failing the assignment or the course, as well as professional repercussions ...