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Quoting & Paraphrasing


Paraphrasing means using your own words to communicate the idea from the source. In academic writing, paraphrasing is typically preferred over direct quotation because it allows for synthesis and summary.

An effective paraphrase should

  • be about the same length as the original,
  • never include any new ideas or facts that are not in the original, and
  • not copy more than three words in a row from the original.


The following is an excerpt from a book:

Over the past seven decades, theorists have worked to understand how we can best teach adults.

This is an example of how the excerpt may be paraphrased. Notice that the idea has not changed, but the words and sentence structure are made different.

Learning how to effectively teach adults has intrigued academics for 70 years (Cranton, 2000, p. 23).

Remember that the first sentence that you have paraphrased must always be cited using the in-text citation format. If the paraphrase continues, there is no need to repeat the citation if it is contextually clear that material from the same source is still being paraphrased. If the paraphrase continues into a new paragraph, you must repeat the citation even though it is the same.

This is an example of how you may include a longer section of paraphrased material in a paper and omit repeating a citation if it is contextually clear the material is still being paraphrased.

Vijay Prashad (2007) indicated that Indira Gandhi’s position as the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru played a role in her lifelong political career (p. 208). He suggested it helped her become a major figure in the Congress Party and later serve as the prime minister of India from 1966 until 1977.