Transcript: Activity – Which is an acceptable way of paraphrasing?

Read the Following paragraphs. How well do you think this paragraph has been paraphrased?

Original source: Lester, James D. Writing Research Paper. 2nd ed. (1976): 46-47.

Students frequently overuse direct quotation in taking notes, and as a result they overuse quotations in the final [research] paper. Probably only about 10% of your final manuscript should appear as directly quoted matter. Therefore, you should strive to limit the amount of exact transcribing of source materials while taking notes.

Paraphrase:

Students often use too many direct quotations in their assignments. It is recommended that only 10% of an essay should be direct quotations. Consequently, it is important to limit writing direct quotes when taking notes.

Answer: The writer has made an attempt at paraphrasing but has not gone far enough. Notice that words and phrases have simply been substituted with others, but that the structure of the sentences have not changed.

Next

Now read the new paraphrase. Is it better or worse than the previous one?

Original source: Lester, James D. Writing Research Paper. 2nd ed. (1976): 46-47.

Students frequently overuse direct quotation in taking notes, and as a result they overuse quotations in the final [research] paper. Probably only about 10% of your final manuscript should appear as directly quoted matter. Therefore, you should strive to limit the amount of exact transcribing of source materials while taking notes.

Paraphrase:

In research papers students often quote excessively, failing to keep quoted material down to a desirable level. Quoted material should not take up mor than ten percent of the research paper. Since th problem usually originates during notetaking, it is essential to minimise the material recorded verbatim (Lester, 1976, pp.46-47)

Answer: This is a much better attempt at paraphrasing. Notice that the writer has incorporated more of their own words and has changed the structure of the sentences.