Paraphrasing: Putting the Author's Words into Your Own Words
In order to better understand what an author is saying, your best approach is to put what the author writes into more easily understood words. By taking the main points from short passages that confuse you and re-writing these ideas in your own words , you can take apart what an author says and put it back together again so that it makes sense to you.
Another reason to use paraphrasing is to avoid copying--plagiarism. If a writer "lifts" and uses what an author says and then implies that it is the writer's own original thoughts or words, the writer is stealing. However, if you put what an author says in your own words and give credit to the author, you show that you can cleverly find sources to support your ideas and have done some thinking about someone else's ideas. Paraphrasing can show your reader that you are resourceful.
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Watch the following PowerPoint presentation and learn how to paraphrase short passages: