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Academic Honesty

Learn what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.

How to paraphrase

Paraphrasing is when you take an entire statement and put it into your own words. This means you mention all the points made by the author rather than just the main points (summarizing). 

When paraphrasing do not simply put in synonyms for words. You need to restructure the paraphase in your own style.

Let's paraphase this passage from Manolha Dargis' Harry Potter review:

"Mr. Radcliffe and his co-stars Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, as Harry’s friends Hermione and Ron, have grown up into three prettily manicured bores. Unlike the veterans, notably the sensational Alan Rickman, who invests his character, Prof. Severus Snape, with much-needed ambiguity, drawing each word out with exquisite luxury, bringing to mind a buzzard lazily pulling at entrails, Mr. Radcliffe in particular proves incapable of the most crucial cinematic magic."

Paraphrase: According to Dargis, the performances of the young stars of the latest Harry Potter -- Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint -- fall flat. Dargis singles out Daniel Radcliff, the young actor who plays Harry Potter, as particularly disappointing. However, the more experienced actors in the film, namely Alan Rickman, delivered nuanced performances.