Discussion: Practice Paraphrasing

Academic writing also involves heavy use of paraphrasing sources.  Paraphrasing is actually much more common than quoting, particularly in APA-style writing. 

Paraphrasing has several advantages:

  • it lets you keep a consistent tone and voice throughout the essay
  • it demonstrates your mastery of the concepts coming from outside sources
  • it lets you be flexible in wording and vocabulary to best meet the needs of your readers

Paraphrasing seems simple on the surface: it’s just putting another author’s ideas into your own original words.  In practice, though, this is one of the most challenging aspects of writing academic work.

To help us all feel more comfortable and confident with our paraphrasing skills, let’s practice it here. 

In your post, copy and paste the original wording (a direct quote) from the source you’re using for the Source Evaluation Essay.  Be sure to include the title of the source and a link to it, if possible, and put the quote inside of quotation marks.

Beneath this quote, draft a paraphrase that states the idea of the quotation in unique language.    The paraphrase should include a “signal” phrase, so that we have some context for where it’s coming from.  Guidance about how to draft a paraphrase can be found in earlier module contents.


Your post should be about 100-200 words.  It doesn’t have to be grammatically perfect, but should use standard English (no text-speak, please) and normal capitalization rules.

You will also need to return to this Discussion to reply to at least two of your classmates’ posts.  Content could include, but is not limited to, any of the following: Commenting on the style or quality of your classmate’s paraphrase.  Be sure to point out if the paraphrase contains too much borrowed language from the original article that your classmate may not have noticed.

Responses are weighed as heavily as your initial posting, and should be roughly as long (100-200 words) when combined.  Responses should indicate you’ve read your classmate’s post carefully.  Include specific details from the post you’re responding to in your reply.