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Examples of Paraphrasing: Good and Bad

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Patricia Escarcega

on 9 June 2016

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Transcript of Examples of Paraphrasing: Good and Bad

Examples of Paraphrasing: Good and Bad
To paraphrase a source for use as evidence, you should:
- use as little as the language from the sentence or sentences you are paraphrasing as possible
- put the passage in your own voice and sentence structure.

Also, because paraphrasing involves wrapping your words around someone else’s idea, people often forget to give credit to the author. Even though a paraphrase is in your words, it is not your idea. Remember to cite your source when you paraphrase.

Let's take a look at some examples . . .
"The cause of autism has also been a matter of dispute. Its incidence is about one in a thousand, and it occurs throughout the world, its features remarkably consistent even in extremely different cultures. It is often not recognized in the first year of life, but tends to become obvious in the second or third year." - Oliver Sacks, "An Anthropologist on Mars":
Paraphrase A:
In "An Anthropologist on Mars," Sacks lists some of the known facts about autism. We know, for example, that the condition occurs in roughly one out of every thousand children. We also know that the characteristics of autism do not vary from one culture to the next. And we know that the condition is difficult to diagnose until the child has entered its second or third year of life (2007, p. 143).
Original Passage:
"In order to communicate effectively with other people, one must have a reasonably accurate idea of what they do and do not know that is pertinent to the communication." - Raymond S. Nickerson's "How We Know-and Sometimes Misjudge-What Others Know: Imputing One's Own Knowledge to Others."
Paraphrase A:
For effective communication, it is necessary to have a fairly accurate idea of what our listeners know or do not know that is pertinent to the communication (Nickerson, 1999, p. 737).
Paraphrase B:

Nickerson (1999) suggests that effective communication depends on a generally accurate knowledge of what the audience knows (p.737).
Which one is better, and why?
Paraphrase B:
The cause of the condition autism has been disputed. It occurs in approximately one in a thousand children, and it exists in all parts of the world, its characteristics strikingly similar in vastly differing cultures. The condition is often not noticeable in the child's first year, yet it becomes more apparent as the child reaches the ages of two or three (Sacks, 2007, p. 143).
Poor paraphrasing can lead to accidental plagiarism . . .
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