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Effective paraphrasing skills are essential to good academic writing, and can help you to write and think more critically

5 things you need to know...

Paraphrasing is the process of reading a section of text and then re-writing it using your own words to produce the essence of the original work. It is necessary in university study as it shows that you have understood the information enough to paraphrase, and that you have digested it sufficiently in order to be able explain it in your own words.

REMEMBER - the information has come from text that somebody else has written, so you must still cite the author appropriately according to the referencing system used on your course. If you do not reference the source it will be classed as plagiarism, even if you have put into your own words.

For effective paraphrasing it is important to:

1. Read first for understanding

2. Summarise the key points

3. Re-write the statement in your own words

4. Place in quotation marks any phrases used from the original source

5. Include the appropriate citation 

Need to know more...

We have produced resources to help you to develop your skills in this area.  You will find a factsheet on this topic below, plus others you may find useful.  See also the Online and Books tabs above.  

Related factsheets

De Montford University (2017) How to summarise, paraphrase and use direct quotations.  (Accessed: 2 September 2019).  

University of Bedfordshire (2018) How to paraphrase.  (Accessed: 2 September 2019).  

Need more advice?

You can also discuss your development of this skill with a member of the Academic Skills Team.

Make an appointment for an online discussion or email support  by using our online booking form.

Personalising your device and using assistive tools

There are many assistive technology tools which can help you choose how you want to access material and these can really improve your productivity.

The University has made some applications available on the student PCs within the library and IT Centres; others are free for you to download and use on your own devices (phone, tablet, laptop or computer) .  Find out more on our personalising standard software guide and our assistive tools and software guide.