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How to reference when paraphrasing?

How to reference when paraphrasing?

July 18, 2020

How to reference when paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing means using a person's content and idea in their own words. The idea and theme of the content remain the same while the wording and somehow the structure of the content changes. There are some important guidelines for paraphrasing content, such as using a reference to the original content.

When copying content, you may need the permission of the author. If you are unable to contact the author, you can use the paraphrase technique, but it is still better to call the author before giving him the due credit.

In this article we will discuss how to provide a reference to a paraphrased article and when to avoid it.

When are quotations to be used when rewriting?

If you want to paraphrase an article and know when to quote the author, then this article is for you. You need to refer the author so that it looks natural to the reader to the search engines if writing for SEO, while the citation format can be any standard format i.e., APA, Chicago etc.

You must specify the original author if:

  • you paraphrase the content that has the main idea or keyword of the original content.
  • you use the quotation mark; you must specify both the author and the source.
  • copying or rephrasing the research paper, include both the reference to the author and the source of the research.
  • For example, if you are taking quoted references from research of Oxford University, you should include the name of the university and the professor who authored the research.

refrence in paraphrasing image 1

Popular styles of citation

Numerous styles of citation are available while writing the content. However, the popular ones are discussed below:

  • APA

The American Psychological Association APA style for quotes was invented in 1929, when writers and other relevant groups came together to make comprehensive data simple.

This style has the rules and guidelines used by the original author for better representation. It may include the smooth use of headings, length, punctuation, abbreviations, tone, statistics, numbers, references and other factors that are part of manuscripts.

The APA style for citation includes three classes of information including:

  1. Author Name
  2. Date of publishing
  3. Page number (In case of a direct quote from the text)
  4. Example: (Crockatt, 1995, p. 1)
  • MLA

Modern Language Association (MLA) is a style that is mostly used in writing the literature. It is usually mentioned at the end of the article with some extra information.

This style of citation is common in writing research-based work or lengthy writing. However, it keeps the following fundamentals:

  1. Author
  2. Title of source
  3. Title of container
  4. Other Contributors
  5. Version
  6. Number
  7. Publisher
  8. Publication date
  9. Location
  • Chicago

It's another style for citation and documents that was introduced by Chicago University Press in 1906. This style is famous for writing the literature, history, and arts as it provides a complete reference resourcefully.

Here are the basics of this style.

  1. Author’s Name
  2. Title or source
  3. Publication date

Format of citation and refrences

Following are the different format of citation and references. Below are the examples of each format

In-text Citation

For one author, put the author(s)'s last name(s), year, and optionally the number(s) of the page in brackets, separated by commas. 

  • For example: (Walters, 1994); or (Austin, 1996).

For two to five authors, use ampersand '&' before the very last name in the list.

  • For example: (Charniak, Riesbeck, McDermott & Meehan, 1993)
  • For example: (Li & Crane, 1994)

For more than five authors, use the first author's last name, and add "et al," before year

  • For example: (Walters, et al., 1992).

If a quotation has specific page numbers, add them after the year

  • For example: (Walters, 1994: pp. 31-49).

List of References

Create, a list of references of each item cited in the paper. It generally comes at the end of the paper:

Author, Date, Titles

These three are main segments of the reference

Author Format

Last name with initial letters of first name of the author

  • For example: Walters, R.F.

For more than one, the format is

  • For example: Walters, R.F. and Reed, N.E.

Date Format

Enclose the date in the format:

Year, Month Day

  • For example: (1990, October 30)

Title Format

Use the regular font if the title is of an article; If there is a subtitle, it should begin with a capital letter and end with full stop.

  • For example: Computer-based systems integration.

Use it to italicize if the title is of the book. Just capitalize the first word of title and proper nouns in it. 

  • For example: The abc's of MUMPS: An introduction for novice and intermediate programmers.

Newspaper, Journals, Magazine

It should include:

1. Volume, number, and page numbers

  1. volume number in italics
  2. issue number in brackets (if available)
  3. p for page number 
  4. pp for more than one page number

For example: Communications of the ACM, 27(2), pp. 141-195.

2. Publisher and Location

Mention the city and state, then put a colon. Next, mention the publisher name and place full stop at the end.

For example: Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice-Hall.

3. In Interview

Add person's name, professional title and employer. Then add the date, time, and place of the interview.

For example: Madick Mathew (1970, December 5), Professor of Chemistry, XUYZ University, 3:00pm, Princeton, NJ.

Complete References Samples

Journal Article Reference

Keil, C. and Meevk, S. (1992). Magnetic resonance imaging-2: Clinical uses. XYZ Medical Journal 303(2), 105-109.

Interview Reference

Physics, Christopher K. (1990, January 10) Doctor, Physics Department, University of XYZ - Davis, 3:00 pm, Davis, California.

Magazine Article Reference

Cashpier, J. (1990, June 28). What are the rules of trade. Accountancy 108, pp. 81-115.

Printed Book Reference

Brekley, L.M. (2002). The architects' guide to computer-aided-design. Toronto: John Wiley & Sons.

How do you use quotations when you rewrite them?

Whether you change the words of the content or not, you must cite the author and the source. If you even change the wording of the quote, you must cite the owner.

First, you need to know how to quote an author or source.

You can follow the following methods:

  • Name of the author e.g. John, Donald
  • Information about the author (about his profession e.g. professor, doctor)
  • Information about the source (the name of the book, newspaper or other publication)
  • Number of pages or chapter name (not necessary, but good to have)
  • Year in which the content is published or verified

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There are books, blogs and websites available online and offline which mention references at the end of their page or book called "references" or "bibliography". They do so because they want to avoid plagiarism and copyright claim.

In the following example, you can see that Wikipedia always refers to the authors or sources from where the information has been taken.

refrence in paraphrasing image 3

When we searched Wikipedia for "Donald Trump," they mentioned more than 800 quotes against their content.

The following are the ways to write a quote into your content:

  • Look at the content and analyze what part of the content you need to copy or paraphrase.
  • Once you have found a relevant topic to your content, paraphrase it with AI Article Spinner or manually.
  • Give the author and the source an overview (if they are confirmed). For example, "According to John," "In his book says John."
  • You can use online citation tools such as CitationMachine, which automatically add the reference.

This way, the content will be paraphrased without plagiarism. Also, the main idea will remain same.

Example for the reference of a paraphrase

Original Content: The library at our college is one of the best in town. It contains thousands of books and referral materials that are an authentic source for children. The library policies allow outsiders to come and read at the library.

Paraphrased content with reference: One of the best libraries is in our college of the region. It consists of thousands of books and manuals, a repository of children's information. Library policies allow visitors to come and read the books.

Source: (Zach, 2009)

Benefits of Reference in Paraphrased Content

The reference you used to describe the content has the following advantages:

  • The reader believes you have written the content via authentic sources. To verify, they can use your cited information and read through it.
  • It makes you to recognize the efforts of the original researcher or writer.
  • There are advantages of having less chances of plagiarism.


Regardless of the fact that you paraphrase or not, you should always pay homage to the original owner, because he has gone to great lengths to write the original idea. If you are reading the article that does not has an author's name, then you should mention the source of the article.