The basics of Harvard UniSA Referencing

How to paraphrase using Harvard UniSA

Paraphrasing is presenting ideas and information in your own words and acknowledging where they come from. By using your own words, you demonstrate your understanding and your ability to convey this information.

Paraphrasing is not simply changing a few words from the original. The process of paraphrasing from a reading involves:

  • reading the source
  • checking your understanding
  • writing the main points down
  • using the points to write new sentences

Compare your paraphrase with the original to check that:

  • the meaning is unchanged
  • strings of words haven't been copied
  • the source has been acknowledged with a reference


It is important to note that if your wording is too close to the original, it can be considered plagiarism,
even if an in-text reference has been included. 


Test your knowledge icon Test your Knowledge

For many second generation Australians the use of the community language is associated primarily with interactions involving members of the first generation: parents, older relatives and family friends. In other words, it is the intergenerational language. In some families and communities, this practice continues to be influenced by the older generation’s limited competencies in English. In most cases though, it is linked to the older generation’s preference for the use of the community language in familial settings for a plethora of reasons. 

(Source: Pauwels, 2011, p. 156)

Look at the paragraph about community languages above. How would you paraphrase this? When you are ready to test your knowledge look at the three paraphrases of the paragraph in the quiz below and decide whether or not they are acceptable.  

(Note: the format used in this quiz is in APA 7.  Always check what referencing style you are required to use and refer to the appropriate guide as advised by your course lecturer or tutor)

Link iconFor more on plagiarism and what is acceptable paraphrasing, click here.