Paraphrase (verb)—to put something written or spoken into different words while keeping the same meaning.

  • When you paraphrase, you restate the writer’s ideas in your own words. A paraphrase covers every idea in the same order as in the original and is approximately the same length as the original. Even though you are not using the writer’s exact words (as you would be in direct quotes), you must still give credit to that writer; otherwise you are plagiarizing.
  • A paraphrase helps you the as the writer to explain ideas that you get from other sources in less complicated terms. Here is an example of paraphrasing:

The first part of President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is:

“Fourscore and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”


Model Paper

Sandwiches are one of America’s favorite foods. Eating meat, salads, or even vegetable between two slices of bread is so common now, no one even thinks about it. But the sandwich really isn’t so ordinary and it hasn’t always been around. Sandwiches have an interesting history and an even more interesting present.

Sandwiches have had a long and varied history. The Earl of Sandwich was the first person we know of who thought to place meat between slices of bread (Higgins 24). What a great idea that was! Now people could really eat on the run. They could take their food with them and not have to worry about having forks or knives. Plus, the bread protected people’s hands from the greasy meats that were first used in sandwiches (“History of Sandwiches”). Later on in the sixteenth century the Duke of Deli added the first dressings to sandwiches (Higgins 38). Those people who like extra mayo on their roast beef have him to thank.

Paraphrasing means to tell the meaning of a message in your own words.


“Don’t forget that you need to bring your money for the field trip, as well as a lunch, next Tuesday.”
“Bring money and lunch next Tuesday for the field trip.”