How to paraphrase quotes

How to Paraphrase Quotes


Quotes are an invaluable part of academic writing, and frequently you need to paraphrase them. When you quote someone else’s work, it is essential to give credit where is due. It is not enough to copy the words from their paper or website. If your professor asks for a citation, they will want more than just a reference.

The three most common ways that quoting and paraphrasing differ are MLA format vs. APA format vs. Chicago format. The first two methods use in-text citations with parenthetical references like (Author) or (Author) (year). In contrast, the last method does not require any extra information to establish context for the reader. This method uses footnotes instead of in-text citations. This method is also called a footnote style.

This blog post will walk you through the difference between quoting and paraphrasing in APA format, MLA format, and footnote style.

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Do you put paraphrases in quotations?

Paraphrases in quotations are acceptable in the MLA and APA style. It would be best to quote words in a statement when you are trying to represent those words directly. If you want to explain the meaning of that quotation, then paraphrase them instead.

In MLA style, quotes should be enclosed with double quotations marks, while an apostrophe does not need to precede or follow (unless it would make sense). APA format uses single quote marks for quoted text and does not place any punctuation before or after unless it is necessary grammatically.

“Quote within a quote.” This means making sure we never misrepresent other people’s work by taking things out of context. If that happens, they would probably sue us.

How to paraphrase quotes?

There exist different ways of paraphrasing an article. There exist unique guidelines for quoting and paraphrasing depending on the type of work being done.

However, there is a basic understanding that can be applied to all forms of writing. Quotes should not be copied word-for-word or in their entirety without quotation marks.

Paraphrasing quotes can be boiled own to five key steps:

  • First, you need to read the text severally before paraphrasing it. It also helps to internalize the text.
  • After you have a rough idea of the text, identify the main points
  • Jot down the text in your own words
  • Compare your text with the original version and reduce the similarity between the two texts.
  • Remember to include a citation for the source of your borrowed ideas.

Quotation Marks

Quotation marks are used to signify an exact quote of someone or something – “Quote” by Jane Smith.

Quotation marks, are also used when you want to paraphrase what somebody else has said in your own words. But still get their meaning across and not change it too much to be misleading or dishonest with the reader, which is called plagiarism – for example: “[quote].” Its common practice on Wikipedia articles where they use [cite] tags instead of quotes.  Because that way, if they ever have questions about accuracy later down the line. There’s no risk of misquoting themselves since citations always go directly back to the source material for verification purposes.

Own Words

– Quote or cite the original Quote and paraphrase it in parentheses afterward to credit the quotation.

– Add information about your source for citing the quotation when necessary.

This is an example in my own words. I am quoting from “The Importance of Quoting” by Helen Sword: “Writing is not just what authors do, but also what readers do—we make meaning out of texts that are already written.” To continue, this idea could be rephrased as something like “Reading is more than simply interpreting text; we create new meanings out of existing ones.” This would require me to include at least one citation because I have used two quotes within a sentence.

The Difference between Paraphrasing and Quoting

The difference between paraphrasing and quoting is significant. Paraphrasing is rewriting text in your own words without changing the meaning or thought of what was said. Quoting means you are using somebody’s exact wording but still giving credit by citing where that Quote came from at the end of your blog post with a footnote citation (Author ABC 2016).

Quotes have more weight than paraphrases because quoting shows readers how an expert says something while paraphrasing changes some words around. The most common way to signal quotation marks on a blog is using double quotes.

The Difference between Paraphrasing and Summarizing

Paraphrasing is rewriting someone else’s work in your own words while avoiding mirroring of the other person’s work.

On the other hand, a summary is a brief or total description of someone else’s work. It mostly occurs in research.

Both involve writing in your own words.

However, the difference is that in paraphrasing, the length of the paraphrased text will be roughly the same as the original text, while summarizing only considers the main points. The length of a summary will be considerably shorter than the original text.

How do you reword a quote?

You reward a quote with a paraphrase by rewording it using your own words. You will still need to cite the Quote source, but you’ll have fewer citations in your paper because all of them won’t be copied and pasted from other sources.

The reader should know where you got what is being said without reading footnotes or endnotes throughout your paper. You also might have more time for analysis if there are not as many quotes that must be analyzed inside this paragraph alone.

Source: ____________ _____________________ (Mention who wrote the article)

Paraphrased Quote; “The goal of any dissertation is to make an original contribution.”

This sentence could’ve been written as: “The goal of the dissertation is to make an original contribution.”

Paraphrased Quote; “I’m not saying that you should avoid quoting. In fact, I recommend giving yourself a little bit more time for your analysis by paraphrasing quotes rather than copying and pasting them from other sources in order to save time on the citations.”

This sentence could’ve been written as: “To save some time, it might be best to use paraphrase instead of quoting when appropriate.”

Source: ____________ _____________________ (Mention who wrote the article)

Cited Paragraph Citations – After each paragraph with quotations or long-form content from another source, add at least one citation so that readers know where to get the original information.

You may check on our other guides to know, for example, how to cite when the source is a book chapter.

Some tips on paraphrasing correctly

  1. Consider starting your paraphrased text at another point of the original sentence.
  2. To reduce the similarity between your text and the original work, use synonyms. However, be careful not to use too many of them to alter the meaning.
  3. You could also alter the word order
  4. Break the text into smaller bits.

 How to Paraphrase a Quote in MLA

When paraphrasing a quote in MLA, you should try to summarize the idea of what is being said, rather than copying and pasting it into your work. You can do this by summarizing in one sentence, including a citation for the Quote supporting your summary statement.

One way to paraphrase quotes from someone else in MLA style is first to give an overview of the passage with no more than two sentences. This includes everything necessary about the paraphrase; next, provide a quotation or reference (which also includes information about the publication) to back up your understanding of what was just summarized.

Your summary paragraph will be followed by another section discussing how relevant these findings are to modern society today.

Another way to paraphrase in MLA is to use general statements or questions rather than quoting. You can do this by summarizing in one sentence, including a citation for the Quote supporting your summary statement.

The following is an excerpt from a book called “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, by Oscar Wilde.

Example: “The studio was filled with the rich odour of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden, there came through the open door the heavy scent of the lilac or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn.” (Wilde 1).

Paraphrased text: Wilde offers a vivid description of how a room was laden with the sweet fragrance of roses, mixed with the dense lilac and flowering thorn scents, catalyzed by the wind (Wilde 1).

Common mistakes to avoid while paraphrasing in MLA

  • Avoid adding your opinion by using words such as “I feel” or “in my personal opinion.”
  • Avoid changing the person who is being paraphrased. For example, don’t say “Thomas Jefferson said,” when Thomas Jefferson wrote that; instead use: “Jefferson writes.”
  • Avoid inserting commentaries and explanations in the middle of a sentence; if possible, keep them at the end.
  • Avoid using contractions such as “it’s,” and “don’t.”
  • Avoid changing tense to reflect punctuation. For example, if a sentence starts with an exclamation point and ends in a question mark, don’t paraphrase that way. The correct format is: he asks?
  • Use “p.” (without any punctuation) to refer to a page number in a book, not “pp.”
  • Don’t use ibid. Or op. cit., which are used for subsequent citations of the same work.
  • For books with three authors: list all three at first mention and introduce them as “et al.,” meaning “and others” [source].

Tips for writing an excellent MLA quote

  • Use quotation marks to signify the words have been lifted as they appear in the original text.
  • Use double quotes for an indirect or paraphrased statement. Make sure that your function of language is clear by adding parenthetical and end parentheses in brackets after the sentence if it’s not apparent from the context, e.g., “He said (parenthesis) I can’t do this anymore (end parentheses),” she explained. /p>” ‘I’m sorry,’ he told me,” she whispered/em.
  • If you are quoting more than one paragraph from another work, use single spacing between each paragraph with no extra space before or after paragraphs. If there is a gap in time represented by ellipses at any point within the sentence, use brackets to designate how many ellipses, e.g., “I’m sorry,” he told me (ellipsis).
  • If you’re quoting a paragraph that is already in single spacing and does not contain an ellipse, use double spaces before the beginning of each new sentence within that quotation./p>”‘ I hear what you are saying,’ I said.”
  • Don’t forget to place your name after any quote or paraphrase if it’s included in your work.
  • Include page numbers when citing sources with multiple pages and line numbers for poetry citations.
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How to cite a paraphrase in MLA

When citing in MLA, you use the following in-text citation style:

Example: “The studio was filled with the rich odour of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden, there came through the open door the heavy scent of the lilac or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn.” (Wilde 1).

Paraphrased text: Wilde offers a vivid description of how a room was laden with the sweet fragrance of roses, mixed with the dense lilac and flowering thorn scents, catalyzed by the wind (Wilde 1).

Our MLA guide on citing websites may be of help if you wish to learn more about the MLA style!

How to cite a paraphrase in APA

When citing a paraphrase in APA, you need to include a footnote that identifies the paraphrased source and provides an in-text citation for the original Quote.

The following example cites President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself” speech:

Roosevelt (1933) “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Paraphrased text: In his speech, President Franklin D. Roosevelt provided an introspective look at bewilderment (Roosevelt, 1993).

It should be noted that this would not apply if you are citing quotes from sources where each paragraph includes an explicit reference or attribution such as published books, written interviews, or online archives.

In APA style, it’s important to remember what type of quotation you’re using. Make sure you understand well the differences between direct, indirect, and reported speech.

In case the bible is your source, it would be better to quote it directly instead.

Tips on how to avoid mistakes while citing in APA

  • Use the heading “SUMMARY OF INPUT” for quotes that are less than 40 words.
  • Use the heading “QUOTE,” to cite longer and more complex quotations.
  • Please include the author’s name in parentheses at first mention, followed by a comma and space after their last name on subsequent statements. For example: (Smith).
  • For direct quotes, use quotation marks around long or complex sentences but not paragraphs of text without any dialogue from another person, such as an essay or storytelling passage. If you have multiple quotations within one paragraph, they should be separated with a semi-colon after each Quote, so it reads like this: Author A wrote, “This is what I think.” Quotation Bread; “I disagree with the notion that students should be allowed to design their own assignments.”
  • QUOTE: “The most important thing in the world is that you are a good person and not just an expert.” – Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Emeritus.
  • “I cannot forgive myself for what I have done,” he said without expression. “Nor can I forget it.” – Albert Camus, Algerian-French Philosopher, and Novelist.

Our exclusive guide on how to cite websites in APA may help you learn more about the APA style.

How to cite a paraphrase in Chicago

Using the example from the MLA section, a Chicago citation should look like this:

Example: “The studio was filled with the rich odour of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden, there came through the open door the heavy scent of the lilac or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn.”

Paraphrased text: Wilde1 offers a vivid description of how a room was laden with the sweet fragrance of roses, mixed with the dense lilac and flowering thorn scents, catalyzed by the wind.

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is using other people’s words and ideas as one’s own, without giving credit.

Plagiarism is not about surpassing the bounds of copyright but using other people’s work in a way that makes it appear as you wrote it.

It can be easy to plagiarize unknowingly because there are many ways we engage with others’ writing:

I was reading online articles or books. You are quoting something from memory.

  • We were copying phrases and sentences into our papers for better comprehension (a form known as “paraphrasing”).

The problem arises when these quotes remain unacknowledged in your paper, which renders them unattributed sources. This could lead to serious consequences such as punishment by law or expulsion from school if detected while still enrolled.

Remember that each part of your paper, even the abstract, should be original. However, you are allowed to include some appendices from other sources, but those must be cited accordingly too.

Effects of Plagiarism

  • Plagiarism leads to the loss of credibility and the inability to be taken seriously.
  • It is a form of cheating that damages work performance and ethics.
  • Plagiarism causes many problems, including inefficiency, lack of originality, time wasted on research or redoing tasks already done by others, and embarrassment due to dishonesty.
  • Thus, it’s crucial not only to cite what you borrow from someone else but also to provide your own experiences about the topic at hand.

How to avoid plagiarism

-Use your own words to convey your point.

-Do not copy word for word from the source; it is still plagiarism if you do so even with quotation marks.

-Paraphrase using synonyms or phrases that express the same idea in different ways.

-Try paraphrasing what someone said by rephrasing their ideas and adding new information relevant to your audience.

-Analyze the information provided and come up with a different way of expressing the same.

-Replace quoted words with synonyms and still has the same meaning.

-You can also change a word or phrase from what was said to focus on an important point you want to make

-Analyze your source material for sentences that are not relevant but could be paraphrased

-Ensure that it is clear when something has been taken out of context and cited correctly instead of copied verbatim without citation.

Paraphrasing offers the writer flexibility to impose their command in their writing.

However, quotes are often used for impact in a text.

It is essential for a writer to know the right balance of quotes. Sometimes, it is better to paraphrase a quote, especially when the quote is vital for your text, yet cannot fit your context.

In case you still have doubts about paraphrasing, our premium writers can do it for you.

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