Writing may often require you to paraphrase a sentence. The writing process frequently incorporates including information from published sources into your writing to build credibility and authority. This process is crucial for research and the production of new knowledge.
Paraphrasing can be done as a revision strategy or to ensure that new information is accurately represented in your writing.
It's important not to make the mistake of thinking you are limited by what you've already written, and so always try rewriting paragraphs that seem less effective than others.
Paraphrasing means repurposing an existing text (written material) into another piece of text by using your own ideas, structure and vernacular.
When you paraphrase, the key is to find a way to reinterpret or summarise an existing source text in your own words that supports your argument and helps readers understand what you are writing about.
But first, let's understand what paraphrasing is and the dos and don’ts of paraphrasing.
What is Paraphrasing?
Paraphrasing is the act of taking a sentence or short passage from one text and using it as the basis for another text. This can be done to provide additional information or present different perspectives on a complex topic.
When paraphrasing, it's important to be clear about your intentions and ensure that your wording accurately represents what has been written.
How to Paraphrase in Easy Steps?
While paraphrasing a sentence, make sure to get the main idea behind the original passage. Furthermore, there are various things you should follow:
- Read the passage and understand it: When paraphrasing a quote, read the original source first and then look for words or phrases that play an important part in your subject. After finding the main idea of what you have taken from another text, restate it so you can explain them clearly to your readers. This helps ensure that they understand exactly what is written during the reading process.
- Write your own version without looking at the original text: Once you have found the main idea of your text, it is time to begin creating your own version. Ensure that everything in this content directly relates to what was written before and nothing else. Also, don't forget about how you can make this topic more interesting by adding new information or presenting different perspectives on a subject.
- Compare the original text with paraphrased version: Reviewing the original text, make sure that you have added everything needed to convince your readers that the original text does. After making these adjustments, it is now time to compare both versions, so they are in coordination with each other and help strengthen your point.
- Make adjustments in sentence structure and word choice: Understand the topic of your writing. The purpose of a paraphrase is to make sure that it delivers exactly what was written in another text. The only thing you need to understand when rewriting someone else's work is the main idea behind their sentence. By doing this, you will be able to use similar words and phrases as they would if they were yours.
- Use Citation for the original source: If you are paraphrasing other people's work, the original author must get proper credit for their contribution. Try to provide a citation or reference link at the end of each sentence so readers know where they can find more information on this topic and help support your argument.
How to avoid plagiarism while paraphrasing?
Here is how you can avoid plagiarism while paraphrasing a sentence:
- Use specific phrases or words: Proofread your work thoroughly before submitting it for any academic writing assignment. If you cite a specific word or words from an author, you must put them in quote marks and give credit to the author.
- Use the original source of information: If you acquired the information or thoughts you are presenting from a source, you must document the source, even if you used your own words.
Don'ts of Paraphrasing
- Don't paraphrase merely by using the thesaurus.
Using merely the thesaurus won't help with paraphrasing. This is so because using a thesaurus is a type of patchwriting that is done to substitute a few words from a source. That may be subject to plagiarism.
The difficulty with using a thesaurus is that you're not actually paraphrasing a text with your own words; you're paraphrasing a text with words from a book.
Furthermore, if you're unfamiliar with a concept or have trouble with English, you might choose the incorrect synonym, resulting in a paraphrase like this: "You might use an incorrect word."
- Don't copy without using quotation marks.
If you want to keep a few phrases from the original text and paraphrase the rest, that's absolutely fine. But keep in mind that the source text must be used in a precise manner within quotation marks.
You can use an ellipsis (...) to indicate omissions if you just need to use sections of a long quotation. Editorial modifications can also be made in square brackets [like this].
Simply include any direct quotations (three words or more) in quotation marks to show that the phrase is not your own work.
- Don't paraphrase too closely.
Merely taking sections of a source, referencing it, but only making surface-level changes to the language (such as modifying a few words, the verb tense, the voice, or the word order) is inappropriate paraphrasing.
An appropriate paraphrasing involves changing words and syntactical structure from the source.
How to Cite a Paraphrase?
You must credit the original author once you have perfectly paraphrased the text. You always paraphrase in the same way, no matter what citation style you apply. The in-text citation is the only different thing.
Here are some ways to cite a sentence or quote:
APA format: (Source & para number)
MLA format: (Source link)
Bibliography: Use original naked links or URLs.
Paraphrasing Tips and Strategies
Here are some ways for effective paraphrasing of a sentence:
1. Start your sentence differently from the source: One of the best ways to paraphrase is to start your sentence by using the original text's context, followed by the important part of the original content. Make sure to highlight the main ideas and points.
2. Use as many synonyms as possible: Synonyms can help create a better version of your sentences. A thesaurus can be a useful tool if you are unable to come up with synonyms. Make sure to not overdo it. It's perfectly acceptable to use some of the same words as the original text, and it's often necessary.
3. Break a long sentence to create a shorter piece of information: Although paraphrasing normally results in a word count close to that of the original statement, you may vary the number of sentences to make the text unique.
4. Use the words of the original text: Some authors use descriptive phrases in their writing. It is important to avoid copying them verbatim and change your wording to make more sense and fit better with what you are trying to say, and do not be subject to plagiarism. Your readers will be able to understand exactly what you mean through your paraphrase, even if they have never seen or heard these specific words before.
Quoting vs. Paraphrasing
Quoting is taking a text or passage from another source and using it as the basis for your own writing.
Paraphrasing, on the other hand, requires that you reinterpret an existing text in order to develop ideas of your own which are then inserted into your new piece of work.
You must first consider whether you should be paraphrasing a text or quoting it directly when learning how to paraphrase a quote.
If you find the perfect quote from a reliable source that fits your main topic, strengthens your argument, and lends your paper authority, but it is too long, it should be paraphrased.
Quotes seem relevant in the following cases:
- When you want to give a precise definition.
- Support your argument to provide evidence.
Sharing the author's original language or styles.
- Considering a claim.
Paraphrasing vs. Summarizing
Summarizing is the process of condensing an extended text into a more concise, coherent form. A summary is when you completely or partially describe the outcome of a more significant part of the research.
Paraphrasing extends or amplifies what was said in another source by presenting it in your own words. It adds to the meaning and flow of a passage without losing its essence, message or tone.
Is there any other way of paraphrasing a sentence?
There are a number of paraphrase generators that can help create unique phrases. These generators create paraphrased text by changing the active voice into passive voice or vice-versa.
Here are some of the best paraphrase generators:
Quilbolt is a paraphrasing and summarising tool available online. Quilbolt assists users in improving their writing by giving them the tools they need to restructure and rewrite their material in the most effective manner possible.
It allows users to rework words, reorganize sentences, and rewrite paragraphs.
Quillbot's paraphraser works in a straightforward manner: simply paste your text into the input box on the left, and press the Enter key. The right box displays the paraphrased text.
Quillbot indicates the added modifications and revisions with different colors. For example, the orange color denotes new words, the yellow color denotes structural changes, and the blue color denotes words that haven't changed.
In the free version, Quillbot offers two modes- Standard and Fluency. The paid version offers 7 different modes- Standard, Formal, Simple, Creative, Expand, and Shorten.
Scalenut is a full-fledged SEO Assistant tool that also includes a paraphrasing tool. It paraphrases the full sentences into a new version by changing the structure of the original text and replacing the exact words with a new synonym.
This paraphraser ensures the sentence follows proper grammar and the writing style adjusts to the one used in the original content. It also takes care of punctuation, dividing longer passages into shorter ones.
Along with this, the paraphrased text is 100% plagiarism-free. If you are looking for an error-free and successful paraphrasing tool, this is a must-go tool for you.
3. Paraphrase Online
Paraphrase Online assists you in accurately paraphrasing your articles, sentences, and paragraphs. The program is simple to use and does not require any technical skills or experience.
Because of how simple it is to use and navigate, the tool is suitable for both beginners and professionals, including students. The website has been made simple so that anyone may use it and get right to paraphrasing the text.
For free, the tool can rephrase simple words and make textual content for blogs, websites, documents, and any other thing you need. However, the paid version offers many functionalities.
Duplichecker is a suite of tools that comes with a plagiarism checker, grammar checker, spell check, and paraphrasing tool. The free tool can be set to rewrite basic tasks such as spell testing, and you don't even need to register or sign up to run it.
You may save time and effort by using Duplichecker's paraphrase tool, which is quick, efficient, and absolutely free.
Duplichecker uses advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) and servers that process large amounts of data at once. It also contains synonyms in its extensive word database, which, when combined with the grammar and spell checkers, provides you with the ultimate solution to your writing problems.
Q. Can paraphrasing cause plagiarism?
Ans: Paraphrasing can cause plagiarism if the content that you are paraphrasing is not your own. If you are using the same words, sentences, and ideas as someone else without giving credit, you may commit plagiarism in that case as well.
There are a few things that you can do to avoid plagiarism when paraphrasing:
1. Always cite your sources. This will help you identify where the content came from and give credit where it is due.
2. Be sure to use original language when writing your paraphrase. This will show that you have taken the time to research the source material and develop your own version of it.
3. Make sure that your paraphrase is accurate and does not contain any errors. If there are any mistakes, be sure to correct them before submitting them to a journal or other publication.
Q. Is plagiarism accidental?
Ans: Plagiarism is a conscious decision to take the words or ideas of others and claim them as your own. One of the most common types of plagiarism is accidental plagiarism. Maybe you failed to cite a source, or maybe you paraphrased something too precisely. Perhaps you can't recall where you obtained an idea and aren't sure if it's original or not.
To summarize, paraphrasing is not merely swapping a few words; it takes ideas and explains them using various words and a different sentence structure.
It serves a larger purpose: it demonstrates that you've read and comprehended the literature on your topic and can communicate it to your reader.
In other words, appropriate paraphrasing and citation demonstrate that you are literate and that you are conversant with the ideas in your subject. This further allows you to use in-text citations to support your own study.
Using the paraphrase generators mentioned above, you can create a better version of the original content.