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UGS 302: The Development of Moral Action / Repp

How to Paraphrase in your Annotated Bibliography

Effective Paraphrasing (Tips from the UWC)

Paraphrasing is putting information from a source into your own words.

Let’s say you need to paraphrase information from these sentences on page 42 of Nature Watch Big Bend: A Seasonal Guide by Lynne and Jim Weber:

  • Of the 90 species of scorpions identified in the United States, 18 of them occur in Texas, and only a single one occurs statewide. The number of species found increases as you move west to south in the state, culminating in 14 species occurring in Big Bend National Park.

INEFFECTIVE PARAPHRASING

Here is an example of paraphrasing that is NOT EFFECTIVE:

  • Of the 90 species of scorpions identified in the United States, 14 species occur in Big Bend National Park.

This example in ineffective paraphrasing because it repeats exact wording from the source. It doesn’t matter that the phrases copied are from different sentences.

To paraphrase effectively, you need to get some distance from the phrasing of the original. You might want to read a passage, close the book (or window), and wait 5 minutes before trying to paraphrase. This may keep you from repeating language word for word.

Here is another example of paraphrasing that is NOT EFFECTIVE:

  • Big Bend is home to 14 species of scorpions.

This example avoids copying word for word, but it is ineffective paraphrasing because the writer has not shown us where the information is from.

EFFECTIVE PARAPHRASING in APA STYLE (note that the page number is optional, but helpful):

  • Weber and Weber (2017) observed that Big Bend is home to 14 species of scorpions.
  • Big Bend is home to 14 species of scorpions (Weber and Weber, 2017, p. 42).

Note that the Works Cited list at the end of the paper includes a full citation:

Weber, Lynne and Weber, Jim. (2017). Nature Watch Big Bend: A Seasonal Guide. College Station, Texas: Texas A&M UP.

Ever visit the Writing Center?

The Writing Center is in PCL. 

The UWC can assist you at any point in the writing process, from brainstorming to final revisions. They can work with any kind of writing, including personal statements and other non-course related projects.

UT undergraduates can visit up to 3 times per assignment.

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