In a paraphrase, you are taking someone else's ideas and thoughts and putting them into your own words. When paraphrasing, make sure to:
A paraphrase is not replacing words from the original source with synonyms. You want to capture the essence of the original idea, but the wording and sentence structure are fundamentally different. In short, you are “translating” someone else's ideas into your own words.
ORIGINAL: The dog jumped over the cat.
INCORRECT PARAPHRASE: The canine hopped over the feline.
Why is this plagiarism? The sentence structure is exactly the same, with words substituted.
BETTER PARAPHRASE: Because the cat was in its way, the dog had to make a running leap.
Why is this better? It reflects the meaning of the original, but shows the author thought about it for a little bit.
Source: Radford University Libraries Guide, https://libguides.radford.edu/c.php?g=166590&p=1093774
How to paraphrase?
Please note: paraphrasing is not the same as summarizing. Summarizing is a short passage sharing the main points, and usually involves a citation.
These sites provide information on all steps of the writing process, from organizing your thoughts at the beginning to the mechanics of writing the paper itself to properly citing your sources.