Steps in Writing a Paraphrase


1. Read the original carefully.

2.a. Substitute words, asking yourself questions about precise meanings.

2.b. Rearrange sentences.

3. Check the meaning of your paraphrase against the original.

4. Identify the source you are paraphrasing.

 Below is paragraph 4 from an article written by Annette Fuentes. Use it to practice the paraphrase process.

In the past two decades, our collective attitude toward children and youth has under­gone a profound change that's reflected in the educational and criminal justice systems as well as in our daily discourse. "Zero tolerance" is the mantra in public schools and juvenile courts, and what it really means is that to be young is to be suspect. Latino and black youth have borne the brunt of this growing criminalization of youth. But the trend has spilled over racial and ethnic boundaries--even class boundaries, to a degree. Youth, with all its innocence and vulnerability, is losing ground in a society that exploits both.

Fuentes, Annette. "The Crackdown on Kids." Nation, June 1998, pp. 15-22. Rpt. in Writing Arguments: A Rhetoric with Readings, John D. Ramage, John C. Bean, and June Johnson, 5th ed., Allyn, 2001. pp. 478-81.


Check your word substitution against a sample

Check your restructured sentences against a sample