Q. If I read a chapter in a book and then want to answer an question pertaining to the information, how do I cite my work?
To paraphrase correctly:
- Sum up the main idea(s) of the author's argument using your own words and your own sentence structure.
- Simply including one citation at the end of a paragraph is NOT APA compliant.
- The reader cannot know with one citation which ideas are yours and which are from the article.
When you add sources to a paper:
- Make it clear which words are your ideas and which are from the article's author.
- Use sentence structure to signal what is from someone else AND include the citation information.
EXAMPLE 1: Let's say that you want to paraphrase the article "How to write a great paper" by J. Smith (2018).
You would say in your essay:
- According to J. Smith's ideas of paper writing in his essay, "How to write a great paper" the important parts are choosing a great topic, knowing a lot about your topic and being able to synthesize the information you learned about your topic (Smith, 2018). Smith also has some more cool ideas that I am going to mention now (Smith, 2018). And this other cool idea is also something that I read about in the article (Smith, 2018). Then when you are done, you will want to put the citation at the end of the section you are paraphrasing (Smith, 2018).
***Yes, you have to put (Smith, 2018) after EVERY sentence that is part of your paraphrase. You cannot just put one at the end of your paragraph--that is plagiarism. Please read this article for an additional breakdown of why.
But ideally, you would not need to have an entire paragraph that is a paraphrase of someone's ideas. Ideally, you would be interspersing your ideas with John Smith's ideas to show how each of his ideas is important and relevant to your paper.
Ideally, your paragraph would look more like this:
- According to J. Smith's ideas of paper writing in his essay, "How to write a great paper" the important parts are choosing a great topic, knowing your topic well, and being able to synthesize research about your topic (Smith, 2018). These points are important because (insert your own opinion about why this stuff is important). Smith also thinks that X is a useful skill to have when working on A, B, and C (Smith, 2018). This is clearly true because (here is what I think about this issue).
In this way, you are still paraphrasing Smith in a paragraph, but you are also letting your reader know which parts are Smith's ideas and which parts are your ideas, and most importantly why you think Smith is useful for your argument.