UDL 3.2

Paraphrasing is a part of the research and writing process in which students summarize information in their own words in order to explain ideas from a text they have read while avoiding plagiarism. Paraphrasing should take place when students are writing about source material for an essay or research project; students must use this strategy when they refer to an author’s ideas but do not quote directly. Paraphrasing supports students in deeply analyzing and understanding the full meaning of and intention behind a text in order to rephrase and clearly explain the information in their own words. Paraphrasing helps students thoughtfully approach and respect source material in an information-saturated world while learning from an author’s ideas. Successful Paraphrasing empowers students to transfer research ideas into their writing while avoiding plagiarism and integrate those ideas effectively into an essay with proper citation.

Implementation Tips

Focusing on Main Ideas
Direct students to read and reread the original passage, highlighting and looking up unknown words. Students should focus on the most important key ideas and examples (using a graphic organizer) to understand the full meaning of and intention of the author's words, so they can accurately restate the ideas.
Read, Reread, Explain
First, students should read the passage once. Then given a specific task (e.g. explain two main ideas from the article to a classmate), read a second time. Students will cover or hide the passage and explain the ideas aloud to a classmate and/or write out the author's ideas from memory.
Paraphrase vs. Direct Quote
Help students determine when they should use the author’s exact words to make a point instead of restating by paraphrasing. Use a direct quote when the author has coined a term unique to his/her research or when the wording is so compelling and powerful that quoting is best.
Integrating Information
Show students how to incorporate the paraphrased information with the rest of their writing. Provide them with sentence starters such as “the text states,” or “according to [the author].” Frame the paraphrased information by introducing and then explaining the relevance of the information in relation to the essay’s central idea.
Compare Paraphrase to Original Source
Compare the student’s account of an author's idea to the original text. Be sure the author’s ideas have been accurately represented, but in a unique style in the student’s own words, without borrowing any exact phrases to prevent plagiarism.
Model the Rephrasing Process
Model how rephrase ideas and choose synonyms by analyzing examples with students and thinking aloud while paraphrasing. Use a thesaurus and analyze good/bad examples like [[| these]] to illustrate what their paraphrased final products should look like.
Citing Sources
Show students how to cite sources using the appropriate format to give credit for the author’s ideas. All paraphrased information from sources should be followed by an in-text citation and a works cited list according to prescribed guidelines (most common include [[| MLA]] and [[| APA]]).


Paraphrasing Exercise
The teacher instructs students to read one paragraph of an assigned text and focus on understanding the full meaning and intention behind the author’s words.The teacher says, “Look up any words or concepts you don’t understand, and note the key ideas and examples.” Students can highlight unknown words in one color and important ideas in another and/or take notes in a graphic organizer. After reading twice, students cover the original passage and write down the main ideas from memory without using the exact words or phrases from the original text, causing them to use their own words and paraphrase.
Verbally Processing with Partners
After reading a text to paraphrase, the teacher directs students to reread a specific paragraph, paying close attention to key ideas. The teacher partners students and announces, “Put your passages away, and talk to each other about the author’s main ideas for one minute.” After verbally processing with each other, students return to their desks to write a summary of their conversation, still not referring directly to the original text. This exercise is best used as paraphrasing practice, not for a specific assignment. Later, students can apply the same process to their writing assignments.
Rephrasing Together
As a class, students and teacher read through an entire text once. Together they examine a specific line or paragraph to paraphrase. The teacher helps students brainstorm a list of synonyms to help rephrase the author’s original words, which can assist students with limited vocabulary in particular. The teacher says, “Can you think of another way to say this?” and prompts students with example rephrasing. The class makes a list together on the board. Students practice paraphrasing specific sentences or ideas in small groups practice with a similar text, before applying to their research project.