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