One of the most common mistakes a student makes is bad paraphrasing. You have to cite your source, even when paraphrasing, but you don't use quotation marks if you are putting the concept into your own words. Putting an idea into your own words does not mean changing a word here and there, which is sometimes called patchwriting. You need to restate the concept and fit it into the wording of your paper, making your point clear. This involves reading the source, thinking about it, and then rewriting that concept in a completely different way. Look at the following examples that illustrate good and bad paraphrasing:
Increasingly, researchers have been turning to identical and fraternal twins for answers, with dramatic results. They are finding that genetics, in addition to familial interests, educational, social and other environmental pressures, have a considerable impact on how we choose what we do--and how happy we are with that choice.
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|To answer the question of how genetics influence career choices, researchers have turned to identical and fraternal twins, with impressive results. They have found that genetics, in additional to familial interests, educational, social and other environmental pressures, have a major impact on how people choose what they do—and how satisfied they are with that choice.||Recent research on identical and fraternal twins indicates that while external influences such as social pressure have some impact on career choice, genetics also plays a major role in how people decide what to do for a living (Segal 54).
Segal, Nancy L. “New Twins Studies Show: The Career of Your Dreams May Be the Career of Your Genes.” Psychology Today Sept./Oct. 2006: 54-60. Web. 24 Oct. 2012.