It is best to only rephrase sentences that you fully understand so that you can accurately restate the content in your own words. The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) suggests writing down the source's main points and then writing your paraphrase on a separate piece of paper without looking at the original. When you have finished, compare your new sentence with the original.
Avoid including your own interpretation or analysis within the paraphrase, recommends UCLA's Library, because the reader must be able to clearly distinguish your thoughts from the source's author. The key to successful paraphrasing is to use as few words from the original text as possible, notes Plagiarism.org. Paraphrases should sound like you wrote them: They should use vocabulary and sentence structures with which you are familiar and that match the style of your writing.
Paraphrased material should also be shorter than the original passage, notes the Purdue OWL, because it is a condensed version of somebody else's ideas and information. It is also essential to attribute a paraphrase to the original source, because without proper citation, your paraphrase could be considered plagiarism. You must also use quotation marks around any direct sequence of words from the original.