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: To paraphrase the article "How to write a great paper" by J. Smith (2019).
The paragraph might look like this:
According to J. Smith's ideas of paper writing in the essay, "How to write a great paper" the important parts are choosing a great topic, knowing a lot about the topic and being able to synthesize the information learned about the topic (Smith, 2019). Smith also has some ideas about ... (Smith, 2019). In the article, J. Smith gives advice about ... (Smith, 2019). At the end put the citation at the end of the section (Smith, 2019).
Putting the citation (Smith, 2019) after EVERY sentence in the above example is part of paraphrasing.
- You cannot just put one at the end of the paragraph, which is plagiarism.
- Please read this article for an additional breakdown of why.
Ideally, you would not need to have an entire paragraph that is a paraphrase of someone's ideas.
- A better way is to intersperse your ideas with J. Smith's ideas.
- This shows how each of the ideas is important and relevant to the paper.
Ideally, the paragraph would look more like this:
According to J. Smith's ideas of paper writing in the essay, "How to write a great paper" the important parts are choosing a great topic, knowing the topic well, and being able to synthesize research about the topic (Smith, 2019). 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, 2019). 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.