Feb 16, 2022

What is Paraphrasing? Definition, Example & Tips

Priya Jamba, Content Marketer
Priya Jamba
What is Paraphrasing? Definition, Example & Tips
Priya Jamba, Content Marketer
Priya Jamba
Feb 16, 2022

What is Paraphrasing? Definition, Example & Tips

This article will tell you what constitutes a paraphrase, how it’s different from a summary, and how to avoid plagiarism during paraphrasing.
What is Paraphrasing? Definition, Example & Tips

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You might have read some sentence or a paragraph that you found intriguing and wanted to include in your blog, but alas! You can't use those sentences because of the possible risk of plagiarism.

That's when you can think of restructuring the sentences, and the process is called paraphrasing. Honestly, paraphrasing is legit if the sentence makes sense and sounds intriguing to your audience.

In this guide, we have shared the paraphrasing definition and tips on how to paraphrase a sentence without compromising the quality.

Paraphrase Meaning

Paraphrasing is the restatement of a text or a method of retaining ideas in a way slightly different from the original passage.

However, different dictionaries might have different meanings for this word.

According to Merriam Webster’s paraphrasing definition, it is “a statement that says something that another person has said or written in a different way.”

Cambridge dictionary defines it as "to repeat something written or spoken using different words, often in a humorous form or in a simpler and shorter form that makes the original meaning clearer."

The paraphrased content should be close to the original sentence's language and intent while adding extra information or details that make sense for your writing style.

Paraphrasing can also help you avoid plagiarism by not copying someone else's work directly from their website or blog.

Now, paraphrasing is an alternative to quoting. In quoting, you can place the original quote as it is. In paraphrasing, you change the sentence structure of the given sentence to create a different version of the same sentence.

That said, paraphrasing can help create different versions of the sentences with the same meaning.

What is an example of a paraphrase?

An example of a paraphrase is restating a passage or text in your own words while maintaining the same meaning as the original. Let’s look at some paraphrasing examples without plagiarizing, which will help you understand the process better:

Sentence 1 (Original): Giraffes like Acacia leaves and hay, and they can consume 75 pounds of food a day.

Paraphrased: Giraffes can feed on 75 pounds of food per day, thanks to Acacia leaves and hay.

Sentence 2: The federal crackdown on crypto has led to instabilities in the market.

Paraphrase: Because of the federal crackdown on crypto, the market has suffered instabilities.

Sentence 3: The states are merely agents of the federal government.

Paraphrased: The states are only operating as agents of the federal government.

As evident from the above examples, paraphrasing was simply a restatement of the original sentence.

That said:

  • The text was written by using synonyms.
  • The original meaning of the sentence was the same as the rephrased one. This means the main idea of the sentence remained unchanged.
  • Only the common or generic words were changed; there was no change in the proper noun.

Why Should You Paraphrase?

Paraphrasing offers various benefits in content creation that we may often fail to identify. Here are the six major purposes of paraphrasing a sentence:

Better word choice

Sometimes you just want to rewrite the original text in your own words—perhaps to match your own writing style or simply because you prefer your own word choices.

In any event, paraphrasing allows you to use your own words or phrases while keeping the fundamental message intact.

No plagiarism

Writing is a form of expression, and some people plagiarize to pass as their own. The original writer may sue you for copyright infringement or theft.

Instead of paraphrasing an entire sentence, paraphrasing only changes common words or phrases to maintain meaning, such as "academy" for "school."

Avoid problematic language

Using a direct quote may not always be suitable for your writing, and errors such as incorrect subject-verb agreement or gender pronoun can occur.

Paraphrasing allows you to rephrase the original phrase to meet your own standards and avoid unintended implications while keeping the same fundamental message intact.

Convey information more efficiently

Paraphrasing often allows you to convey information more efficiently and effectively.

Sometimes, just rewriting what someone else said can be as simple as writing down their exact words verbatim or translating it by using an online translator. However, it is not always enough because your message will carry too much of the original author's voice. In this case, you need to write from your own voice and perspective.

Avoid overuse of quotes

Using quotes in your writing can be tempting as it requires less effort, but it can be problematic if the author's exact quote wording isn't replaced with words that best fit your message.

Overusing quotes without any paraphrasing can make it seem like the content was copied verbatim from another source. Additionally, using the original sentence requires placing it in quotation marks and giving a citation, which can be challenging to find online.

You can shorten lengthy quotes

When you want to make a long and wordy phrase more easily understood, paraphrasing can be useful for expressing the same idea in a simpler form.

Some authors are paid by the word, but if you're producing anything that needs to be brief, you can paraphrase their original material more effectively.

What is the Difference Between Paraphrasing and Summarizing?

Summarizing replaces a person's ideas with your own, but does not involve writing from another point of view. Paraphrasing requires you to be original, which in turn allows you to convey that idea more effectively than if it were taken from someone else's words alone.

Summaries focus on the main points of a longer work, while paraphrasing deals with specific paragraphs, usually keeping them the same length as their original source. Summaries are always shorter than their original source, while paraphrases are typically around the same length, if not slightly shorter than their source.

How do I use paraphrasing in my writing?

To paraphrase means to make a version of something that is not the original, and is usually done for one or more reasons. It is an important too for avoiding plagiarism. Here is how you can paraphrase better:

Use synonyms and rewording

Replace the important words in an original section with synonyms, such as "ideally" for "preferably" or "antagonist" for "the villain." To make your writing appear new, combine this method with some of the ones listed below.

Rewording may occur when you are rewriting something that was already in your original source, and the words no longer fit very well. In this case, rewording might slightly change the meaning to make your writing sound better or new, but keep its structure close to what was written at first.

Change parts of speech

This is a very effective method of paraphrasing because it can make your writing sound fresh and new. The main thing to remember about this method of rewriting is that you should keep the same meaning as the original source.

If you change from an adjective into a noun or vice versa from the original statement, some readers will think there has been a mistake in your work.

Restructure

Make a few changes to the structure of your writing. An example would be changing "he wanted" into "he wished." Also, if you paraphrase some things in one place and not others, then rearrange them so that they go together better. Additionally, you can personalize an old quotation by adding your own spin to it to assist in contextualizing or adapting it to your theme.

Is Rephrasing the Same as Paraphrasing?

A paraphrase is a restatement of a text's or passage's context using different words. The word itself comes from the Greek word paráphrasis, which means "extra method of talking."

When you paraphrase someone else's words, you say or write them in a different way to make them your own. Rephrasing, on the other hand, is when you speak or write something in a different way than you originally intended (mostly to make it clearer).

Conclusion

In conclusion, you should always take care when paraphrasing texts to ensure that the meaning is retained and that changes are made in a way that does not disrupt the original message. You can also use paraphrasing software, which will help you do your work accurately and quickly.

By following these tips, you can produce fresh and engaging writing. If there are any remaining doubts about paraphrasing, feel free to reach out to us.

Priya Jamba
Content Marketer
ABout the AUTHOR
Priya Jamba
Content Marketer

Priya Jamba is a Content Marketer at Scalenut. She loves marketing technologies and believes that with the right combination of tools and creativity, every organization can build sustainable brands. She is on a mission to help marketing teams across the globe produce tangible results from their marketing campaigns. Currently, she is working along with the Product team to enhance the AI content quality through prompt engineering.

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