How to Paraphrase In Research Papers APA and AMA
What is paraphrasing? What is paraphrasing in academic writing? How to paraphrase without plagiarizing? How to cite a paraphrase and a lot more questions about paraphrasing is our focus for today’s article. So let’s get to it.
What is paraphrasing mean?
Paraphrasing is putting someone else’s work into your own words, instead of quoting directly. Paraphrasing can save space. It can truncate the information in a research paper, and it can distill the complex information that may exist in another study and make your study easier to understand.
So how to quoting and paraphrasing different exactly?
Well, when you quote, you essentially copy and paste the exact words of another researcher into your own study. Every time you quote, you must use citations in quotation marks, regardless of formatting guidelines. A paraphrase on the other hand, may use some key terms from the original text, but must use new language to express this idea.
When you paraphrase. You do not need to include quotation marks, but you must still use citations.
Let’s look at one example to see how a quote in a paraphrase differ. First, the quote,
*Davidson notes, in heart patient sample groups experiencing even mild tumor hypoxia, uptake of 300 cc injected finaflex was reduced by 1/3 for each 0.5% of increased hypoxia in the tumor organ.
And the citation follows this.
Now the paraphrase:
Davidson concluded that the tumor hypoxia can impact the delivery and efficacy of anti-cancer drugs citation.
This paraphrase differs significantly from the quote in length, structure and word choice is shorter and gives the gist or provides the main point of the original text.
To place only very specific lines or details from another work into your study. Use a combination of quotes and paraphrasing e.g
Davidson citation concluded that tumor hypoxia poses a problem for doctors administering anti-cancer drugs. Since even in tumors with mild hypoxia uptake of 300 cc injected finaflex was reduced by 1/3 for each 0.5% of increased hypoxia.
Note that well in the paraphrased version key terms remain. It reserved the quotes for very specific details which cannot be paraphrased easily and might be essential to the paper.
So when do you paraphrase and when do you quote let’s take a look at some situations where one method might be preferable to the other;
you should paraphrase to show you understand the main ideas or arguments of the authorto help explain difficult concepts or terminologyto highlight original ideas that are interesting when the original language is not as interestingTo change the emphasis of information to match your own arguments. Or to provide a clear voice in your paper that isn’t directly connected to other words,
You should use quotes when;
The original wording is strong and engaging on its own.If the quote is very well known or difficult to paraphrase well,where the exact words of an authority will lend support to your own ideas, orwhen you want to present the author’s detailed methods or findings or exact stated position.
Keep in mind that you should not paraphrase too often as it can take away some of the strength of the original content.
Similarly, you shouldn’t quote too often as well as it can take away the authorial voice of your own paper.
What you want to do is maintain a balance by using ample quotes and paraphrases in conjunction.
So here are some steps you can take to paraphrase effectively.
Read the source material; yes, read the source material until you fully understand what the author’s meaning is, i.e. what is he or she is saying not only in details, but what is the larger picture. And it might take three or four readings at least to digest this information.Take Notes: take some notes that include key terms of the original passage.Write your own paragraph without looking at the source material, use only the key terms that you wrote down in step 2/4.Double check to make sure that your version captures all of the important parts, and especially the intent of the original. Finally,Don’t forget your in-text citation. You want the reader to be sure where your paraphrasing begins and where it ends.
When paraphrasing you can show your position to the content you’re discussing by choosing a verb that shows whether you’re in agreement and disagreement or are neutral to the content being discussed. Here are some examples of verbs you can use to show your position.
These verbs show that you are neutral to the content being discussed. Believe, conclude, propose, argued, observe and write.
Young citation believes that the cause of this problem is x.Johnson et al proposed several solutions to this problem including x y, z.
The verbs believe and propose, both merely show what the author is thinking or doing.
They do not indicate any particular position that you might have on these topics.
To show agreement with the statement you’re paraphrasing. Use verbs such as these show, demonstrate, evidence, proof, point out, confirm.
Brooks citation showed how nitrogen was essential to the development of life.Garcia demonstrates the efficiency of this method of analysis when applying it to x citation.
Both of these terms showed and demonstrates have fairly positive connotations and indicate that you generally agree with how the original work was performed or analyze them.
To show your disagreement with the word that you’re paraphrasing. Use verbs such as these neglect, overlook, disregard, pay little attention to, fail to note.
Although the author of this study says that Robin’s account for 10% of North American neighborhood birds, he neglects to include the most important method of analysis (citation),Becky (citation) disregards additional potential contributing factors, citing only x and y as being instrumental.
Both terms neglects and disregards, carry fairly negative connotations in indicate that you generally disagree with how the author carried out their work or analyzed it.
How you paraphrase, will generally depend on the context and the specific reason for putting another author’s work into your study.
But there are some tools and tips you can use to help put their words into your own. One way to do this is to change the voice of the passage.
If the original is written in the active voice, change it to the passive and vice versa.
If the original study reads as follows,
a study of infant feeding practices was carried out,
You might paraphrase like this,
In her study of breastfeeding cars (citation) found that only 1/5 of mothers nurse their babies.
By changing the voice, you can alter the syntax of the sentence and make room for your own words to describe the original author’s meaning.
Another tool you can use to describe content in your own way is a thesaurus. But be careful when using a thesaurus. You want to make sure you understand the terms you’re using and that it makes sense in the context you’re using it.
The last tip is more of a reminder, you want to avoid looking at the work when you’re writing your paraphrase. Instead, give yourself 10 to 20 seconds after reading the passage.
Your mind needs a little bit of time to digest Guess what the meaning of the passage is, and then go ahead and write your paraphrase.
By giving yourself some time you’ll make sure not to plagiarize the text. Before we go. Here are some rules for paraphrasing, you should keep in mind,
The paraphrase statement must always be written in your own words.
Never copy the text verbatim unless you use quotation marks.
Always include a citation when you paraphrase. Usually, these things parentheses, because you’re always using someone else’s work, even though it’s in your own words.
Finally, always keep your study at the focus of your writing. That means you don’t want to quote too often and you don’t want to paraphrase too often. So try to keep a blend of both so that you have a strong authorial voice but that you also have external support for your own arguments. For more excellent tips on academic and research writing, subscribe to our newsletter, or visit our blog, where you’ll find dozens of articles to help you improve your paper composition. Stay tuned and happy writing
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