Example of Correct Paraphrase

Hoemann says that there is very little absolutely new knowledge. Most of our discoveries take advantage of work done by those who have gone before us. The process of learning is, in fact, a long tradition passed on from generation to generation. Acknowledging the source of ideas gives recognition to the contributions of others in this tradition and is, as Hoemann says, an “act of humility.”

Hoemann, George. Electronic StyleWhy Cite? 14 September 1998. University of Tennessee. 3 Oct. 2000 <http://web.utk.edu/~hoemann/why.html> (site discontinued).


This paraphrase is acceptable because it:

  • accurately conveys the information,

  • re-expresses it in substantially different words and phrases,

  • identifies where words are exactly copied from the original, and

  • cites the original source of the information.

Also notice in this example that the original author is mentioned in the text. It is often considered good form to identify your source in the paraphrase itself, usually in the lead sentence introducing the ideas. The source of the small direct quote is also made clear by preceding it with the author’s name.