Academic writing typically builds on work published by researchers and other authors. It requires students to locate sources to gather information and evidence about topics. As such, it is important to understand requirements for properly citing sources used in papers.
A common way to integrate another author’s ideas in your own writing is to paraphrase a source or group of sources by rewriting the original information and putting it in your own words. Any time you include information from an outside source, either by paraphrasing or adding direct quotes, you must include a citation in your paper to identify and credit those authors. Direct quotes may also be used sparingly to convey the exact words of authors.
When paraphrasing, rewrite the original text by using your own words, include an in-text citation that refers to the source, and include a corresponding reference entry for the source at the end of your paper. Be mindful when paraphrasing not to simply add/remove a few words from the original text or replace some words with synonyms. Also avoid ‘patch writing,’ which occurs when a writer uses the same sentence structure as the original text. To ensure you are using sources responsibly when paraphrasing, first examine the original information and consider key points that stand out, then rewrite the information using your own words to contribute your thoughts and ideas about the source(s).
According to APA Style, a good rule of thumb is to add direct quotes when it is important to reproduce both what was said and how it was said by an author. When using a direct quote, be sure to include quotations and include (author, publication year, and page number) within the in-text citation.
2-Step Citing Process
APA citing requires adding in-text citations and reference entries.
Source: American Psychological Association. (2022). APA style. https://apastyle.apa.org/