Discover our blogs

Aerospace | Cranfield University

Aerospace

Agrifood | Cranfield University

Agrifood

Alumni | Cranfield University

Alumni

Careers | Cranfield University

Careers

Careers | Cranfield University

Defence and Security

Design | Cranfield University

Design

Energy and Power | Cranfield University

Energy and Power

Environment | Cranfield University

Environment

Forensics | Cranfield University

Forensics

Libraries | Cranfield University

Libraries

Libraries | Cranfield University

Manufacturing

Libraries | Cranfield University

School of Management

Libraries | Cranfield University

Transport Systems

Water | Cranfield University

Water

Homepage / Using paraphrasing in academic writing

Using paraphrasing in academic writing

26/10/2021

If you’re writing a paper or assignment, you’ll soon realise that there are many rules to citing and referencing. Following our recent post on using quotations in your academic writing, here we aim to answer some of the most common questions about paraphrasing.

So, what do we mean by paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing is when you use your own words to describe another author’s ideas, but, instead of summarising which provides just a short overview, a paraphrase will include a lot more detail.

Why might I paraphrase someone else’s work in my assignment?

Paraphrasing is a key part of academic writing as it demonstrates to the reader your understanding and analysis of the sources you have read.  Paraphrasing is therefore seen as more appropriate than quoting as it demonstrates your own interpretation of the work.

So, if I change a few words around of the original text, will that be ok?

No! There is a lot more to paraphrasing than just word substitution.  This would be classed as plagiarism as it will be too similar to the original text.

How do I paraphrase correctly?

To paraphrase well, you will need to read and understand the original text and re-write it in your own words. This will allow your writing to flow and demonstrate that you have understood what you have read. Remember, if you write something too similar to the original, it would count as plagiarism.

Here’s an example:

According to Belbin (1993), individuals can be categorised by nine types of roles, each of which can bring a distinct contribution to team performance. If all nine roles are represented, the team is considered balanced and is predicted to be high performing.

What about my in-text citation?

Anywhere in your work where you have referred to another author’s work, you must include an in-text citation.  As shown in the example above, if you are referencing using APA7 or the Author-date style, this should include the author’s surname and the year of publication in brackets.  Because you are not quoting, there is no need for a page number. As always, you’ll also need to add a full bibliographic reference to the source at the end of your work. Remember to always allow enough time to check through your references.

If you have any questions about referencing, please get in touch with MIRC, Kings Norton Library or Barrington Library.

Feature image from Pixabay. Available at: https://pixabay.com/en/office-startup-business-home-office-594132/CC0

Written by: Karen Stokes

Written By: Tom Jaycocks

Categories & Tags:

Leave a comment on this post:

Sign up for more information about studying master’s and research degrees at Cranfield

Sign up now
Go to Top