Paraphrasing is taking a section of original text and summarizing the ideas or points of an argument. Citations must be used to show where the facts and ideas came from. Care should be taken not to distort or misinterpret the original author's meaning

For example, here is an original passage of a text:

Public outrage at the death of Sherlock Holmes in "The Final Problem," published in the December 1893 [issue] of The Strand magazine, was immediate. Women wept, men wore crepe mourning bands in their hats, and in a letter to Arthur Conan Doyle, a reader addressed him as "You Brute!" (Tibbetts, 184)

Proper paraphrasing of this passage will look like this:

Sherlock Holmes was an incredibly popular character. In fact, when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle chose to kill off his most famous creation, his readers treated the death of the fictional detective just like the death of an actual person. Some readers dressed in mourning, others cried. Doyle even received hate mail from long-time fans. (Tibbetts, 184)
The main ideas and facts from Tibbetts' passage have been taken and rewritten in the students own words. Tibbetts' distinctive phrases are gone and there is a notation at the end that cites the page in The Encyclopedia of Novels into Film to show where the student got these ideas.
Sherlock Holmes as he appeared in The Strand.