Recreation Management and Leadership: APA Style Quick Guide (7th Edition)

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Introduction to APA Style

Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing: To restate an idea in your own words.

APA Style prefers that authors paraphrase ideas from sources rather than directly quoting from them. Paraphrasing allows you to connect the ideas in a source to the ideas in your paper more clearly and succinctly. It cuts down on wordiness and demonstrates your understanding of the source itself.

Although we regularly paraphrase our experiences when sharing them with others (think about how you answer when someone asks you how spring break went), paraphrasing content from scholarly articles is not easy to do! This is because you are learning new content and a new academic communication style as your read.

Below are some tips from to help you successfully paraphrase the ideas of others:

  1. Closely read the section of the source you want to paraphrase. Read it more than once until you truly understand it.
  2. Note how this source connects to your thesis/paper topic. Ask yourself: Why do I want to use this source?
  3. Hide the source from view, so you can't see that section anymore.
  4. Imagine explaining the section to a friend or classmate. Write down what you would say.
  5. Compare your paraphrase to the source itself to make sure you have captured the idea, but not copied the author's words or phrasing.
  6. Revise your paraphrase, so that it's written in your own voice and it doesn't mimic the phrasing or sentence structure of the original source. If you do need to use a specific term from the original in your paraphrase, put it inside quotation marks.
  7. Cite the source!

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