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How can I introduce and cite a paraphrased idea?

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chanel9293 | Student | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted December 6, 2012 at 8:51 PM via web

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How can I introduce and cite a paraphrased idea?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 7, 2012 at 11:02 AM (Answer #1)

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Correctly citing and introducing a paraphrased idea is an essential step in avoiding plagiarism. It is also a way that you can make your essays flow more smoothly and naturally while still giving credit to your sources. Often the key to paraphrase is the use of grammatical constructions known as indirect discourse. Imagine that your original quotation was:

  • To say that there is no such thing as intrinsic nature is not to say that the intrinsic nature of reality has turned out, surprisingly, to be extrinsic.  (Rorty, " Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity ", 9)

To rephrase this as indirect discourse one might state "Rorty argues that saying that there is no such thing as intrinsic nature is not to say that the intrinsic nature of reality has turned out to be extrinsic." (Rorty, " Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity ", 9)

An even more paraphrastic version might further simplify the syntax of the statement to say that "Rorty argues that it is not that intrinsic reality is actually extrinsic, but rather that the concept of intrinsic reality is neither useful nor coherent." (Rorty, Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity ", 9)

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