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    How To Paraphrase 

          How many times do you hear teachers say, "Write it in your own words?" You know you're supposed to paraphrase, but how do you do it? 
     
    For this sample I'm using the Article "DNA Sequencing Exposes Fishy Sushi" from the NIH's Finding's Magazine. 
    1.  Understand your source. If you don't understand what you are reading, you will not be able to explain what it means in your own words.
      • It's a good idea to use context clues, read aloud and use any other reading strategy you know.
      • Also, take the time to look up unfamiliar words in a student dictionary, not dictionary.com or Google (See my Resources page for links to some student dictionaries.) 
      • Finally, if you still can't understand it, that's OK, choose a different source that you do understand.

    2. Find the key information in what you are reading or listening to (your source) 
      Ex: "A pair of high school sleuths sequenced the DNA from their dinners to determine that New York City sushi wasn't always what it claimed to be." (Source: Findings, September 2011, p.7)

    3. Use synonyms for some of the words in your source. Use a thesaurus, like the ones on my Resources page, to help you find synonyms for key words. (Remember to make sure you choose appropriate synonyms. That may mean looking them up in a student dictionary too.)
      Ex: "Two high school students studied the DNA from their dinners and discovered that New York City sushi wasn't always what it claimed to be."

    4. Put the ideas in a different order than your source.
      Ex: "By studying the DNA from their dinners, two high school students discovered that New York City sushi wasn't always what it claimed to be."

    5. Change or add phrases to interpret what they mean.
      Ex: "By studying the DNA from their dinners, two high school students discovered that New York City sushi wasn't always what the restaurants said it was.

    By the time you finish doing all that, it will still have the same message, but it will be said in a noticeably different way. That's what it means to put it "in your own words."