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Using Information Sources Ethically and Legally

The guide is designed to help students maintain their academic integrity by using information sources ethically and legally.

What is paraphrasing and when do I use it?

Paraphrasing is describing someone else's idea or ideas in your own words.

Paraphrasing is used to avoid excessive direct quoting and convey the idea expressed in the source using your own language. This is especially useful if the source is long or too detailed.

The challenge of correct paraphrasing is that you need to understand your source really well and at the same time avoid using its original language and structure.

Tips for correct paraphrasing

  1. Carefully read the original passage until you are sure that you completely understand it.
  2. Hide the original and try to restate the ideas in your own words.
  3. Check your version against the original to see if you inadvertently used any exact terms or phrases. These should be in quotes.
  4. Write down the citation information for the original source. You will need to give credit to the author at the end of your paraphrase.


Practice and test yourself: sample essay and exercises

Case Studies (York University at Toronto) - interactive exercises in paraphrasing. Follow the link at the bottom for more studies.

Paraphrasing Exercise and Exercise Answers (Purdue OWL)

Sample Essay for Summarizing, Paraphrasing, and Quoting (Purdue OWL)

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