Sometimes you will want to refer to the ideas of others using the exact words of the author. In this case you should copy the quotation carefully and use quotation marks. Sometimes you want to write about what an author has said using your own words. Writing a passage you have read in your own words is called paraphrasing.
Good paraphrasing demonstrates an understanding of another person's ideas. You'll want to think about how you can use different expressions from those used by the authors. If you borrow the words and phrases from the passage then you could be penalised for plagiarism. Even when paraphrasing it is important to credit the original writer. You could use a phrase such as 'According to Smith (2000)....' to introduce their ideas.
In order to paraphrase well, you must understand the essence of a writer's argument. Here are some reading strategies that may help you to do that:
The University's 250 acre campus was recently listed in the top ten most beautiful Universities in Britain by The Telegraph. It is a campus that is expanding and improving all the time with our most recent investments being in the planned building of a brand new multi-million pound sports centre, a redeveloped library with a cultural hub and a brand new student hub housed in the iconic Aston Webb building (University of Birmingham, 2014).
The University's large campus was recently listed by The Telegraph in the top ten most beautiful universities in Britain. It is a campus that is growing and developing all the time with its most recent investments being in the planned building of a new sports centre, an improved library with a cultural hub and a brand new student hub housed in the famous Aston Webb building.
The University of Birmingham website (2014) reports that its campus was recently listed in the Telegraphs 'top ten most beautiful Universities in Britain.' It goes on to highlight that the campus is being continually developed. Future plans include a new sports centre, a state-of-the-art library and a student hub.
University of Birmingham (2014) About Birmingham. Available at: www.birmingham.ac.uk/undergraduate/birmingham/About-Birmingham.aspxLinks to an external site. (Accessed: 6 May 2014).