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Guide to the Research Process: 4a. Paraphrasing

This guide provides an introduction to the skills needed to conduct research.


To avoid plagiarizing when paraphrasing, you must change both the sentence structure and the words of the original text, and cite the source.

Steps to Paraphrasing

To paraphrase, follow the steps below:

  1. Read the original text until you grasp its meaning; then set it aside.
  2. Using your memory, write down the main points or concepts. Do not copy the text verbatim.
  3. Change the structure of the text by varying the opening, changing the order of sentences, lengthening or shortening sentences, etc.
  4. Replace keywords within the sentences with synonyms or phrases with similar meanings.
  5. Check your notes against the original to ensure you have not accidentally plagiarized. 

Avoid Plagiarism by Paraphrasing

Posted with permission from Emily Nimsakont.