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APA guidelines (7th) ENG: Paraphrasing

A detailed explanation of the latest edition of the APA guidelines, with lots of examples. This LibGuide is in English.

When to use a paraphrase?

You use a paraphrase when you want to preserve the meaning of the original text without copying the text verbatim (see quotation).

A paraphrase is representing the ideas of others in one's own words.

A paraphrase is announced or followed by a narrative or parenthetical citation to the original work. 

Rules for paraphrasing

  • The source reference for a paraphrase consists of author's surname and the publication year in parentheses.
  • Citing the page number is not mandatory, but is recommended when referring to a specific passage.

Paraphrase with a parenthetical citation

If you do not name the author(s) in the text then the citation after the paraphrase will appear as follows:

  • one author:
For the research, it is recommended to first analyze the problem or situation (Migchelbrink, 2006).


  • two authors - use ampersand (&) between the two names:
Achieving high ratings is often more important than asking good questions (Donders & Ruijs, 2019).


  • three and more authors - use the Latin et al.
If it is about markets or customers and about products or services then it is market research (Broekhoff et al., 2015).

Paraphrase with a narrative citation

If you cite the author(s) in the text, it is not necessary to repeat the name(s) in the parentheses. The source reference will look like this:

  • one author:
According to Grit (2021), there are different behavioral types. For example, you have introverts, extroverts, thinkers and feelers and you can classify these types back into behavioral colors.


  • two authors - in the text use the word 'and' between the names instead of an ampersand 
The study followed the methods described by Fischer and Julsing (2019).


  • three and more authors - use the Latin 'et al.':
According to Broekhoff et al. (2015), market research is when it involves markets or customers and products or services.   

Paraphrase of multiple publications

To support an argument or hypothesis, you can refer to several publications at once. 

In this case, the authors are arranged alphabetically and separated by a semicolon " ;

Several sources (Baarda et al., 2012; Fischer & Julsing, 2019; Migchelbrink, 2006) indicate that...

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