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Citation Guide - Valparaiso

What is a Paraphrase

paraphrase translates the source's words into your own style and your own words. If you copy three or more words in a row, you must put those words in quotation marks and name the source. Just like a quotation, a paraphrase is always cited in the body of your paper/document and in your reference list at the end of the paper/document.

5 Steps to Effective Parapharsing

  1. Read Carefully. Read the passage until you comprehend its full meaning. As you read, write down bullet points on the facts or opinions expressed, but do not copy "word for word" without using quotation marks. 
  2. Put the passage aside and write out your paraphrase in full sentences. 
  3. Check your version with the original to make sure its accurate. Make any corrections as needed. 
  4. Use quotation marks to identify any uniqure phrases that you used directly from the source. 
  5. Record the source and page number so you can refere back to it when creating your reference list. 

Adapted from the Purdue Online Writing Lab's Guide to Paraphrasing


Introduce the quotation or paraphrase by setting it in context.

  • For a nonfiction source, identify the author the first time you cite the source.
  • For a literary source, identify the speaker or writer and the position of the quoted piece in its work for every quotation.

There are three ways to introduce quotations or paraphrases (APA examples):

1. You can use a full sentence followed by a colon to introduce a quotation

The fossil evidence for human evolution is consistent with the idea promulgated by Darwin: “the tree of life is a branching one with numerous lineages, not a single evolutionary lineage from ancient to modern” (Alcott, 2009, p. 278).

2. You can use a lead-in naming the author or character, followed by a comma.

The renowned Russian geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky once remarked, “All species are unique, but humans are uniquest” (Dawson, 2009, p. 275).

3. You can also begin a sentence with your own words and complete it with quoted words. In this case, do not use a comma before the quotation.

Frederick (2009) proposed that if the primate “was using its hands to make and wield tools, it was, in all likelihood, walking upright” (p.151 ).

Set off a long quotation (“block quotation”) by beginning a new line and indenting the body of the quotation in by 1/2 inch from the left margin of your text. Block quotations are not surrounded by quotation marks. 

For APA - A quotation of more than 40 words should be double-spaced and indented by ½ inch:

The nursing profession is an art and a science: 

In the realm of healthcare, nursing stands as a beacon of compassion and expertise. Nurses, through their unwavering dedication and clinical acumen, serve as frontline advocates for patient well-being. As Florence Nightingale aptly stated, 'Nursing is an art, and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation as any painter's or sculptor's work.' (Johnson, 2009, p. 76)

For MLA - A quotation longer than 4 lines (3 lines for poetry) should be double-spaces and 1/2 inch from the margin. 

It is not until near the end of The Hound of the Baskervilles that the hound itself is actually seen:

A hound it was, an enormous coal-black hound, but not such a hound as mortal eyes have ever seen. Fire burst from its open mouth, its eyes glowed with a smouldering glare, its muzzle and hackles and dewlap were outlined in flickering flame. Never in the delirious dream of a disordered brain could anything more savage, more appalling, more hellish be conceived than that dark form and savage face which broke upon us out of the wall of fog. (Doyle 82)