Mastering the Skill of Paraphrasing
20 Jul 2022
Paraphrasing has come into the life of people of the 21st century with the development of technologies and the Internet. Rewording of the texts keeping the original meaning intact is a skill which has a significant value nowadays. If you are a website owner, you will not be able to attract new site visitors without professional writer. Popularity of websites gets extremely low if there is no quality content as the Google search results are ranked according to the originality of the texts there. If you are a student, you need to know how to paraphrase a quote and eliminate all potential issues with plagiarism. The skill of paraphrasing and summarizing is of crucial importance when you are working on a presentation prepared by a team. All of the members of the team have a lot of ideas and the style of their reports is different, so the final version should be redone to include only the key details in the most comprehensive manner. Have a look at our tips on how you can do paraphrasing both applying the techniques to the spoken word and the written text, avoiding the pitfalls.
What Is Paraphrasing?
Paraphrasing, you express the ideas said or written by someone else in your own words. For sure, doing so, you can make sure the impact of the text is greater, the ideas are more relevant to your peculiar audience, and your message is clearer. Paraphrased text can support your own point of view or argument in the text. You can also make the style of the entire text consistent and exclude lengthy quotes from the final text. It is essential to keep the original meaning, incorporate the ideas into your own content.
How to Do Paraphrasing
Take the following steps to paraphrase the text:
- Read the original text and take notes
Be careful, while reading the text for paraphrasing. Decide on the phrases and words to keep and write them down, underline in the text or highlight them to remember.
- Look for equivalent terms
Try to replace the terms you have picked out with corresponding synonyms. Dealing with scientific and technical terms, make sure that you do not change the original meaning. If you cannot find the equivalent terms, you can make use of the online search for synonyms, thesaurus, or dictionary.
- Do rewriting into your own words
Do line-by-line rewriting. Look for all passive structures and try to replace most of them with their active counterparts. Simplify the vocabulary and grammar with adjustment of the order of the sentences and words. It is a common practice to break complicated sentences into shorter ones and remove complex structures at all. A new version should be more comprehensible than the previous one.
- Review what you have written
The stage of editing and revising is of great importance. Check if all the important details are included and the message is simple and clear.
How to Change the Sentence Structure
- Read the sentence several times to gain an insight into the main ideas and eliminate all inconsistencies.
- Write down the key ideas using only your memory.
- Reread the original sentence and make sure that the original content is retained.
How to Change the Vocabulary
Direct copying from another source is a violation of all rules. Changing the words, you should make sure that the style of a new text is consistent with your own, not with the style of the original. At the same time, it is essential to change the vocabulary without any change of original meaning.
- Understand the main ideas in the text you want to paraphrase.
- Look for terms and specialized vocabulary that should be kept in a new version.
- Find the substitutes for other words with the help of a dictionary or thesaurus, if needed.
- Reread the sentence to know for sure that the meaning of the original section has not been changed.
Basic Techniques for Paraphrasing
- Use synonyms to change the vocabulary (i.e. typical – average, classic, conventional, generally accepted, etc.)
- Change the class of the words (i.e. construct – construction, constructed)
- Change the structure of the sentence (i.e. We provide helpful resources for the students – The students may benefit from our valuable resources).
Manual paraphrasing takes a lot of time and effort, and in some cases it is important to get the text ready really soon. You have definitely run across a website which works as a paraphrasing machine. This is a tool for rewriting, which always promises considerable improvements in the vocabulary choice, style, grammar, and readability of content. You can try doing rewriting manually and then paraphrase online to compare the results and see which of the versions sounds more professional and understandable. Some of the tools are multipurpose and they do both paraphrasing and detection for plagiarism. Some of the websites are free to use, while others require registration and fees. There are restrictions in some of the tools and you cannot paste a text longer than it is allowed, but others let you upload any file to paraphrase. Your task is to give proper credit to the source you have used and make sure that you paraphrase, not steal the ideas.
Mostly, the main goal of paraphrasing is to use multiple sources and convey information from them to draw all the ideas together. Researchers, students, and business owners need to present the information clearly and the skills of paraphrasing would serve them right. It is a mistake to believe that the goal of paraphrasing is to steal the ideas of others and avoid independent work. Instead, what you do is interpreting the researched information and giving explanations. In brief, if you say that you are capable of efficient paraphrasing, it means that you have a skill of comprehending the text and presenting the meaning properly without plagiarism. Swapping several words only is not enough! Rather, you should take the ideas and give explanations to show that you are well acquainted with the material. Practice will definitely make perfect, as usual!