Paraphrase perfection

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  • 1. Paraphrase perfection
    The oh so attainable goal
  • 2. paraphrase? What does that even mean?
    • A paraphrase is a restatement of a section of text in your own words
    • 3. Especially useful when you want to use a longer quote, paraphrasing allows you to use another person’s ideas but in your language
    • 4. Because paraphrasing still involves using the ideas of others, you still need to cite where you found it and/or who wrote or said it originally
    • 5. Paraphrasing can be extremely beneficial in your writing, but it can lend itself to plagiarism if you aren’t careful
  • How do you paraphrase without Plagiarizing?
    To successfully paraphrase and not plagiarize, remember the following tips:
    1. Mention the source where you found the information, the original author, and the page (if applicable) where you located it.
    2. Always use wording and sentence structures that differ from those of the author you are paraphrasing.
  • 6. An example of Fitzgerald, Paraphrased
    So you’re writing a paper about symbolic imagery in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and you want to use the following quote:
    “This is a valley of ashes--a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air. Occasionally a line of gray cars crawls along an invisible track, gives out a ghastly creak, and comes to rest, and immediately the ash-gray men swarm up with leaden spades and stir up an impenetrable cloud, which screens their obscure operations from your sight."- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Ch. 2
    …but it’s so long. The solution: paraphrase Mr. Fitzgerald.
  • 7. An Example of Fitzgerald, Paraphrased
    For example, you could say:
    Fitzgerald makes great use of imagery throughout his novel, The Great Gatsby, with one particularly vivid example in the second chapter in which he describes the valley as one composed of ashes, giving a sense desolation (78).
    In the example above, I paraphrased Fitzgerald’s description of the valley but did so while still mentioning his name, the name of the book, and the page number where I found the description.
  • 8. So to Sum things up
    Paraphrasing is a great way to incorporate longer or confusingly worded quotes, especially in shorter papers like response papers and book reports where you’re limited for space
    Remember though, that paraphrasing can easily lead to plagiarism so be mindful and include these three things: author’s name, name of work or source where you located the quote, and the page number
    So good luck and happy paraphrasing!