When writing a paraphrase, you should aim to translate the ideas of your source into your own words. The more you read the original text and take notes on it, the easier it will be to restate its arguments in your own language. However, it is important to distinguish between a summary and a paraphrase: A summary is a brief statement of the main idea; a paraphrase is an entire rewrite that restates all the significant points in the excerpt.
To ensure your work is accurate, it is important to keep the original text in front of you as you write. You should read it several times to ensure that you understand what the author is saying. While you read, make a note of any key word or phrase that you think will be important when it comes time to rewrite the passage in your own words. Also, jot down the page number so that you can reference it later.
Once you have your list of key words and phrases, it is time to start writing your paraphrase. You should try to use your own vocabulary as much as possible, but remember that specialized terms and conventional designations are often used within specific disciplines, so you will need to use the appropriate terminology to avoid sounding too formal. You should also avoid using too many quotation marks.
This excerpt demonstrates how the use of a summary and a paraphrase can improve your understanding of an original text. By reading the excerpt several times and comparing it to the original, you can be sure that your paraphrase is accurately conveying the argument of your source.