Online ESL Classroom

How to paraphrase

A Beginner’s Method of Paraphrasing

When we write an essay, we often need to borrow ideas or concepts from other writers to support our position. One way we do this is by paraphrasing; putting someone else’s ideas into our own words.
To avoid plagiarizing we need to always include proper citation – giving credit to the rightful owner.

How to write a paraphrase

        • Read the original passage to understand it fully
        • Rewrite the passage in your own words
          • First change verbs
          • Next change grammar
          • Use synonyms
        • Check your paraphrase for accuracy with the original
        • For APA in-text citation include author’s last name and date
        • For MLA in-text citation include author’s last name and page number


Original: Many international students come to the United States each year to learn English.

First change the verbs: Many international students travel to the United States each year to study English.

Next change the grammar: Every year students travel to the United States from many different countries to study English.

NoteStudents, countries, The United States and English are common knowledge, so they do not need to be changed.

Richard Carrigan

Richard Carrigan has been an educator for over 30 years. He has experience teaching professional and academic English. He earned his graduate degree from Shenandoah University.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Close Menu