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Feb 16, 2022

What is Paraphrasing? Definition, Example & Tips

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 definition of paraphrasing and paraphrasing a sentence without compromising the quality.

Paraphrase Definition

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, paraphrasing 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.

Paraphrasing Examples Without Plagiarizing

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 content 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 while it is true that some people plagiarize in order to pass as their own. This can lead to legal trouble if the original writer files charges against you for copyright infringement or theft.

Paraphrasing avoids this problem by only changing common words or phrases so long as your meaning still remains intact with few exceptions such as "academy" replacing "school", rather than paraphrasing an entire sentence.

Avoid problematic language

A straight quote's terminology may not always be appropriate for what you're writing. An error, such as a partial quote with the incorrect subject-verb agreement or gender pronoun, is frequently the cause.

A paraphrase, on the other hand, provides an opportunity to reword the original phrase so that it meets your own criteria. This allows you to avoid accidentally implying another meaning or word choice with a quote while maintaining its fundamental message intact.

Convey information more efficiently

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

Paraphrasing may involve some effort, but it is well worth the time spent.

Sometimes, just rewriting what someone else said can be as simple as writing down their exact words verbatim or 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

It is often tempting to use a quote in your own writing because it saves effort, but this can be a problem if you do not replace the author's exact wording with words that best suit your message.

If too many quotes are used without any kind of paraphrase being present instead, then someone may assume that the content was copied word for word from another source.

Moreover, if you use the original sentence, you need to put them in quotation marks and lookup for the original source, which might be hard to find on the Internet sometimes.

You can shorten lengthy quotes

Finally, when you need to compress a long, verbose phrase into something more digestible, paraphrasing comes in handy.

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?

Paraphrasing and summarizing may often be confused with each other, but they have slightly different meanings.

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 to Paraphrase (With Examples)?

To paraphrase means to make a version of something that is not the original, and is usually done for one or more reasons.

Here is how you can paraphrase better:

Use synonyms

Replace the important words in an original section with synonyms, such as "ideally" for "preferably" or "antagonist" for "the villain."

This is a frequent method of paraphrasing. However, it isn't sufficient in itself. To make your writing appear new, combine this method with some of the ones listed below.

Use rewording

This is a more creative method of paraphrasing, but it doesn't necessarily always work.

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.

Make adjustments by adding or removing words

Remove any parts of a quote that aren't related to what you're writing about and rephrase the rest in your own words. Similarly, you can personalize an old quotation by adding your own spin to it to assist in contextualizing or adapting it to your theme.

In either case, make sure to rewrite everything that originates from the original source.

Restructure your sentences

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.

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

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