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How to Paraphrase | Step-by-Step Guide & Examples

Published on April 8, 2022 by Courtney Gahan and Jack Caulfield. Revised on June 1, 2023.

Paraphrasing means putting someone else’s ideas into your own words. Paraphrasing a source involves changing the wording while preserving the original meaning.

Paraphrasing is an alternative to  quoting (copying someone’s exact words and putting them in quotation marks ). In academic writing, it’s usually better to integrate sources by paraphrasing instead of quoting. It shows that you have understood the source, reads more smoothly, and keeps your own voice front and center.

Every time you paraphrase, it’s important to cite the source . Also take care not to use wording that is too similar to the original. Otherwise, you could be at risk of committing plagiarism .

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paraphrasing techniques with examples

Table of contents

How to paraphrase in five easy steps, how to paraphrase correctly, examples of paraphrasing, how to cite a paraphrase, paraphrasing vs. quoting, paraphrasing vs. summarizing, avoiding plagiarism when you paraphrase, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about paraphrasing.

If you’re struggling to get to grips with the process of paraphrasing, check out our easy step-by-step guide in the video below.

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paraphrasing techniques with examples

Putting an idea into your own words can be easier said than done. Let’s say you want to paraphrase the text below, about population decline in a particular species of sea snails.

Incorrect paraphrasing

You might make a first attempt to paraphrase it by swapping out a few words for  synonyms .

Like other sea creatures inhabiting the vicinity of highly populated coasts, horse conchs have lost substantial territory to advancement and contamination , including preferred breeding grounds along mud flats and seagrass beds. Their Gulf home is also heating up due to global warming , which scientists think further puts pressure on the creatures , predicated upon the harmful effects extra warmth has on other large mollusks (Barnett, 2022).

This attempt at paraphrasing doesn’t change the sentence structure or order of information, only some of the word choices. And the synonyms chosen are poor:

  • “Advancement and contamination” doesn’t really convey the same meaning as “development and pollution.”
  • Sometimes the changes make the tone less academic: “home” for “habitat” and “sea creatures” for “marine animals.”
  • Adding phrases like “inhabiting the vicinity of” and “puts pressure on” makes the text needlessly long-winded.
  • Global warming is related to climate change, but they don’t mean exactly the same thing.

Because of this, the text reads awkwardly, is longer than it needs to be, and remains too close to the original phrasing. This means you risk being accused of plagiarism .

Correct paraphrasing

Let’s look at a more effective way of paraphrasing the same text.

Here, we’ve:

  • Only included the information that’s relevant to our argument (note that the paraphrase is shorter than the original)
  • Introduced the information with the signal phrase “Scientists believe that …”
  • Retained key terms like “development and pollution,” since changing them could alter the meaning
  • Structured sentences in our own way instead of copying the structure of the original
  • Started from a different point, presenting information in a different order

Because of this, we’re able to clearly convey the relevant information from the source without sticking too close to the original phrasing.

Explore the tabs below to see examples of paraphrasing in action.

  • Journal article
  • Newspaper article
  • Magazine article

Once you have your perfectly paraphrased text, you need to ensure you credit the original author. You’ll always paraphrase sources in the same way, but you’ll have to use a different type of in-text citation depending on what citation style you follow.

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It’s a good idea to paraphrase instead of quoting in most cases because:

  • Paraphrasing shows that you fully understand the meaning of a text
  • Your own voice remains dominant throughout your paper
  • Quotes reduce the readability of your text

But that doesn’t mean you should never quote. Quotes are appropriate when:

  • Giving a precise definition
  • Saying something about the author’s language or style (e.g., in a literary analysis paper)
  • Providing evidence in support of an argument
  • Critiquing or analyzing a specific claim

A paraphrase puts a specific passage into your own words. It’s typically a similar length to the original text, or slightly shorter.

When you boil a longer piece of writing down to the key points, so that the result is a lot shorter than the original, this is called summarizing .

Paraphrasing and quoting are important tools for presenting specific information from sources. But if the information you want to include is more general (e.g., the overarching argument of a whole article), summarizing is more appropriate.

When paraphrasing, you have to be careful to avoid accidental plagiarism .

This can happen if the paraphrase is too similar to the original quote, with phrases or whole sentences that are identical (and should therefore be in quotation marks). It can also happen if you fail to properly cite the source.

Paraphrasing tools are widely used by students, and can be especially useful for non-native speakers who may find academic writing particularly challenging. While these can be helpful for a bit of extra inspiration, use these tools sparingly, keeping academic integrity in mind.

To make sure you’ve properly paraphrased and cited all your sources, you could elect to run a plagiarism check before submitting your paper. And of course, always be sure to read your source material yourself and take the first stab at paraphrasing on your own.

If you want to know more about ChatGPT, AI tools , citation , and plagiarism , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

  • ChatGPT vs human editor
  • ChatGPT citations
  • Is ChatGPT trustworthy?
  • Using ChatGPT for your studies
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 Plagiarism

  • Types of plagiarism
  • Self-plagiarism
  • Avoiding plagiarism
  • Academic integrity
  • Consequences of plagiarism
  • Common knowledge

To paraphrase effectively, don’t just take the original sentence and swap out some of the words for synonyms. Instead, try:

  • Reformulating the sentence (e.g., change active to passive , or start from a different point)
  • Combining information from multiple sentences into one
  • Leaving out information from the original that isn’t relevant to your point
  • Using synonyms where they don’t distort the meaning

The main point is to ensure you don’t just copy the structure of the original text, but instead reformulate the idea in your own words.

Paraphrasing without crediting the original author is a form of plagiarism , because you’re presenting someone else’s ideas as if they were your own.

However, paraphrasing is not plagiarism if you correctly cite the source . This means including an in-text citation and a full reference, formatted according to your required citation style .

As well as citing, make sure that any paraphrased text is completely rewritten in your own words.

Plagiarism means using someone else’s words or ideas and passing them off as your own. Paraphrasing means putting someone else’s ideas in your own words.

So when does paraphrasing count as plagiarism?

  • Paraphrasing is plagiarism if you don’t properly credit the original author.
  • Paraphrasing is plagiarism if your text is too close to the original wording (even if you cite the source). If you directly copy a sentence or phrase, you should quote it instead.
  • Paraphrasing  is not plagiarism if you put the author’s ideas completely in your own words and properly cite the source .

To present information from other sources in academic writing , it’s best to paraphrase in most cases. This shows that you’ve understood the ideas you’re discussing and incorporates them into your text smoothly.

It’s appropriate to quote when:

  • Changing the phrasing would distort the meaning of the original text
  • You want to discuss the author’s language choices (e.g., in literary analysis )
  • You’re presenting a precise definition
  • You’re looking in depth at a specific claim

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Gahan, C. & Caulfield, J. (2023, June 01). How to Paraphrase | Step-by-Step Guide & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved February 19, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/working-with-sources/how-to-paraphrase/

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Top Five Paraphrasing Techniques (video included)

When it comes to Writing Task 1 and 2, paraphrasing is an essential skill for every one of your introductions. Many students incorrectly copy the question into their writing, and as such, they get a lower score. 

Are you worried about paraphrasing? Read below for our top paraphrasing techniques and make paraphrasing an essential part of your study routine.

1. Use Synonyms

The most common technique, and maybe most important, is to find synonyms for keywords in the question. For this technique, take note of the important nouns and verbs in the question, and see in which synonyms might be appropriate to replace them. 

Example: The diagram below shows the process by which bricks are manufactured for the building industry.

Paraphrased Example: The diagram illustrates the way bricks are made for the building industry.

In the example above, you’ll notice that we found synonyms for three of the words to help us paraphrase the question.

2. Use a Different Word Form

Another way to paraphrase is to change the form of the words used in the question. It’s helpful to be aware of how word families work in English in order to do so. A common way to do this is to change the nouns to verbs, verbs to nouns, adjectives to nouns, etc.

Example: The line graph below shows the consumption of four kinds of meat in a European country from 1979 to 2004.

Paraphrased Example: The line graph below shows how one European country consumed four kinds of meat from 1979 to 2004.

Here you can see we changed the noun, consumption to its verb form, consumed .

3. Change from the Active to the Passive

Often, we can simply change the grammar structures in the question. Changing active voice to passive is a great way to help paraphrase a question.

Example: The real estate developers invested over $40 million USD into the development of a new senior living community.

Paraphrased Example: $40 million USD was invested in the development of a new senior living community.

Above you see we changed invested to was invested helping us paraphrase by changing the active to the passive.

4. Change the word order

For all this talk about synonyms, changing the word form, or changing grammatical structures, sometimes it’s easy enough to simply change where the words stand in a sentence.

Paraphrased Example: The line graph below shows how four different kinds of meat were consumed over a 25-year period in one European Country.

As you can see, I not only changed the word order, which had a dramatic effect on how the question is read, but I also changed the main verb from active to passive. This leads to our next top tip below.

5. Use a combination of techniques

Typically relying on one technique to paraphrase in your writing is doable, but it can be stressful and not very effective. To get the best results, try using at least two or three different techniques. Using synonyms combined with changing the grammar or word order can have a dramatic effect on your paraphrasing skills.

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How to paraphrase (including examples)

Jessica Malnik

Jessica Malnik

paraphrasing techniques with examples

Paraphrasing has gotten a bad reputation due to its association with plagiarism . However, when used correctly, paraphrasing has the potential to elevate your writing and give you a better understanding of the research.

In this post, we’ll discuss what paraphrasing is, why we do it, and 6 steps to walk you through the process. We’ll also share what not to do with paraphrasing, along with some examples.

Paraphrasing definition and rules

Paraphrasing is simply a way of summarizing someone else’s content in your own words. When you paraphrase, you keep the meaning or intent of the original work without copying it word for word. However, paraphrasing can quickly become a form of plagiarism if done incorrectly. This is why it’s crucial to follow the rules of paraphrasing.

When borrowing the ideas from someone else’s content, there’s one important rule to follow: you must correctly cite your source. This can be done in a number of ways depending on the style guide you use. 

Source citing is different for MLA and APA formatting and style guides. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with the citation formats for whichever one you follow. However, in some cases, simply hyperlinking the source will be sufficient.

Why do we paraphrase?

There are a number of reasons that professional writers and students alike choose to paraphrase content. Here are just a few of the common reasons that a writer would choose to paraphrase instead of including a quote or summarization.

Process information better 

One benefit of paraphrasing is that it helps you process the author’s ideas. When you have to rewrite the material in your own words, it makes you really think about the context and how it fits into your piece. If you want to really understand the material you’re citing, try rewriting it. If you were to quote the same information, you would miss out on the benefit of analyzing the source material.

For example, if you are writing a research paper all about Shakespeare’s influence on modern-day literature, you don’t want to just use a ton of direct quotes, instead by paraphrasing original passages, it can help you comprehend and analyze the material better.  

Improve your credibility with readers

You can also improve your credibility by association with the sources you decide to paraphrase. 

When you rewrite the material, you create a connection between your content and the knowledge from the source. 

Your audience will have a better understanding of the direction of your piece if you’re paraphrasing a reputable source with established authority on the subject.

Present data in an interesting way

If you’re referencing a data-heavy webpage or study, then paraphrasing is an engaging way to present the information in your own writing style. 

This allows you to tell a story with the source material instead of simply citing numbers or graphs.

Show that you understand the source

Another reason for paraphrasing that’s particularly important in academic writing is to demonstrate that you’ve read and comprehended the source material. 

For example, if all of you are doing is copying and pasting the original words of a textbook, you aren’t really learning anything new. When you summarize the material in your own words, it helps you to understand the material faster.  

How to paraphrase in 6 steps

Paraphrasing is simple when you break it down into a series of steps. 

Here are the 6 steps you can use to paraphrase your sources:

1. Choose a reputable source

First, you need to pick a credible source to paraphrase. A credible source will likely have ideas and concepts that are worth repeating. Be sure to research the author’s name and publisher’s credentials and endorsements (if applicable).

You’ll also want to check the date of the publication as well to make sure it’s current enough to include in your writing.

paraphrasing techniques with examples

2. Read and re-read the source material

You want to be sure that you understand the context and information in the original source before you can begin to rework it into your own words. Read through it as many times as you need so you’re sure that you grasp the meaning.

3. Take some notes 

Once you have an understanding of the passage, you’ll want to jot down your initial thoughts. 

What are the key concepts in the source material? 

What are the most interesting parts? 

For this part, it helps to break up the content into different sections. This step will give you a sort of mini-outline before you proceed with rephrasing the material.

4. Write a rough draft

Write your version of the content without looking at the original source material. This part is important. 

With the source hidden, you’ll be less likely to pull phrasing and structure from the original. You are welcome to reference your notes, though. This will help you write the content in your own words without leaning on the source but still hit the key points you want to cover.

5. Compare and revise

Once you have your initial draft written, you should look at it side by side with the original source. Adjust as needed to ensure your version is written in a way that’s unique to your voice. 

This is a good time to break out a thesaurus if you notice you have used too many of the same words as the original source.

6. Cite your source

Whether you use MLA, APA, Chicago, or another style guide, now is the time to give proper credit to the original author or source. When posting content online, you may only need to hyperlink to the original source.

Keep in mind that the paraphrased text will not change depending on the citation style that you follow. It will just change how it’s cited.

What you shouldn’t do when paraphrasing

Now that you understand the process of paraphrasing and can follow the steps, it’s important that you know what to avoid. When paraphrasing, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Do NOT write while you’re still researching

You might be tempted to start writing during the research phase. However, this sets you up to miss information or restate the copy too closely to the source material. Be sure to do your research first, take notes, and then start writing the piece.

2. Do NOT skip the citations

When you pull a small amount of information from a paraphrased source, you may think you don’t need to cite it. However, any idea or copy that’s taken from another source is considered plagiarism if you don’t give it credit, even if it is only a little bit of information.

Paraphrasing examples

Here are some examples to help you understand what paraphrasing looks like when done correctly and incorrectly

Excerpt from LinkedIn’s Official Blog:

“When reaching out to connect with someone, share a personalized message telling the person why you would like to connect. If it’s someone you haven’t been in touch with in a while, mention a detail to jog that person’s memory for how you met, reinforce a mutual interest and kickstart a conversation.”

Here’s another example. This one is from the U.S. Department of Education:

“ The U.S. Department of Education does not accredit educational institutions and/or programs. However, the Department provides oversight over the postsecondary accreditation system through its review of all federally-recognized accrediting agencies. The Department holds accrediting agencies accountable by ensuring that they enforce their accreditation standards effectively. ”

Here’s one more example to show you how to paraphrase using a quote from Mark Twain as the source material:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.”

Paraphrasing can be a beneficial tool for any writer. It can give you credibility and a deeper understanding of the topic. However, to successfully use paraphrasing, you must be careful to properly cite your sources and effectively put the material into your own words each time.

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Paraphrasing Explained: Definition, Techniques, and Examples for Effective Writing

Manvi Agarwal

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When writing content such as an essay or a blog article, you might come across a sentence or a paragraph that you found intriguing from someone else’s work and wanted to include in yours. But you can't use the exact words, right?

Here’s a little secret, you can by paraphrasing.

But what is paraphrasing?

Tweaking and restructuring the sentences is called paraphrasing. Paraphrasing is a tool that not only tweaks sentences but also improves your writing and reading skills.

Here we have shared what paraphrasing is, its benefits, and examples. Keep reading to find out.

What is paraphrasing?

It means, especially in a shorter and simpler form, to make the meaning clearer, along with your thoughts/comments. In addition to borrowing, clarifying, or expanding on information and your comments, paraphrasing is doing all the above-stated actions without plagiarizing the information.

Why do people paraphrase?

There are several reasons why people paraphrase. Following are some of the reasons for paraphrasing.

  • Paraphrasing helps avoid plagiarism.
  • It also provides support for claims or adds credibility to the writing.
  • It demonstrates your understanding and provides an alternative method to using indirect and direct quotes in your own words (referenced) infrequently.
  • Paraphrasing in academic research helps utilize source material for writing essays, providing evidence that the essay is appropriately referenced.
  • Paraphrasing in writing helps you ensure that you use sources to communicate something important to your readers.

What is paraphrasing plagiarism?

Plagiarism is stealing someone else’s ideas without acknowledgment. Plagiarism can come in several forms: global, verbatim, patchwork, paraphrase, and self-plagiarism. However, except for global plagiarism, the other types of plagiarism are often accidental.

Although paraphrasing is accepted , rephrasing sentences or paraphrasing someone else’s idea without citing or acknowledgment is considered paraphrasing plagiarism. Even when translating someone else’s words, if the translated text from another language is not cited, this is also a type of paraphrasing plagiarism.

What is the difference between summarizing and paraphrasing?

Summarizing is a concise statement that briefs the contents of the passage, whereas paraphrasing is when you rewrite sentences using your own words. There is more than one difference between summarizing and paraphrasing.

Refer to the following comparison chart to learn the differences between summarizing and paraphrasing, besides their definition.

How to paraphrase?

Following are 5 digestible paraphrasing tips you can incorporate when paraphrasing your sentences.

Identify the important parts

Since paraphrasing demonstrates your understanding of the original material, it is important to understand its meaning. To do so, read and re-read the original content until you understand the idea enough to explain it in your own words.

Once you get the original source's concept, reduce it to the key concepts or points and not focus on the sentence structures. Another way to rewrite or reword the source without losing your key points is by using a paraphrasing tool .

Change up the words

While noting down the concepts or key points, change up the words by using synonyms. But if you face writer's block and can’t find the right words, which can make your content incompetent, make use of rewording tools .

AI rewording tools can come up with synonyms, organize your phrases, and enhance your sentence structure. Moreover, an AI wording tool ensures the content is unique, original, and plagiarism-free.

Make sure meaning is preserved

Although paraphrasing requires rewording and changing the words, ensure that the same meaning must be maintained along with the ideas. In addition to that, keep your word choices lucid and simple to convey the relevant information from the source without sticking too close to the original source.

One way to keep your writing consistent when paraphrasing is by using paraphrasing tools . The AI tool can alter the sentence structure while maintaining the original meaning.

Double-check for grammar and punctuation

When paraphrasing, ensure to double-check and compare them with the original passage. Make adjustments to ensure it’s completely rewritten and that the grammar and punctuations are on point.

Double-checking your work for grammar and punctuation by reviewing it more than once improves the quality of your work. Paragraph rewriters use AI for paraphrasing, which can tweak the tonality and narrative, ensures a grammar check, and makes the content concise and conceivable.

Use an online paraphrasing tool like Writesonic

As stated previously in the article, using a paraphrasing tool is the fastest and fool-proof way to paraphrase your sources without plagiarizing them. One such creative AI writing tool that assists you with paraphrasing is Writesonic .

Writersonic is trained on billions of parameters. It refines the grammar, spelling, and style to generate original, paraphrased content. In addition to that, Writersonic generates unique and plagiarism-free content that resonates with the target audience with just one click.

With AI chatbots like ChatGPT by Open AI and ChatSonic by Writesonic taking away all the limelight in 2023, they can also be used effectively for paraphrasing text.

Different strategies for paraphrasing

Even though there are AI paraphrasing tools to make the work easier, the following are different strategies you can use to paraphrase your sentence.

Understanding the main ideas

One of the strategies for successful paraphrasing is understanding the source's main idea and writing style. Because when you understand the idea behind the sentence, it becomes easier to explain in your own words.

After taking note of the important nouns and verbs, see which synonyms might be appropriate to replace. You can use a synonym that expresses the same meaning for the key concepts or points in the original sentence.

Making connections

When you use synonyms, it is given that the structure may also need a little changing. So, instead of just swapping a single word, make appropriate changes around the words to make sense of the sentence. Here your paraphrasing skills come to play.

Here is an example of paraphrasing: “ According to scientists, there is another method to achieve a pollution-free environment.”

The paraphrased content would say something like - “Scientists found an alternate way to attain a pollution-free environment.”

In the above sentence, the adjective ‘according to’ is swapped with the verb ‘found’ along with other necessary changes. These changes are made to maintain a harmonious connection between the words and to make the sentence sensible while retaining its meaning and avoiding plagiarism.

Focusing on syntax

The syntax is the arrangement of words in a specific order written in well-formed phrases or sentences. And while paraphrasing is about restating or rewording, ensure to focus on the well-structured and grammatically correct sentences by making appropriate connections or paraphrases.

Benefits of paraphrasing

Paraphrasing has some benefits that you can reap in aspects of your writing skills and learning abilities.

Improves writing skills

As discovered, paraphrasing requires you to paraphrase the passages in your own words, which may help refurbish your writing skills. Rewriting or paraphrasing is a favorable writing skill in writing essays or research papers.

Paraphrasing allows you to express ideas or information in a refreshing and simple manner. It provides an opportunity to enhance your writing skills and stop plagiarizing someone else’s work. This includes rewriting and expressing the ideas in your own voice.

Increases comprehension

Comprehension is understanding the written material and explaining what is read. As stated previously, paraphrasing demonstrates your understanding of the complex details from the source and your ability to explain the connections between main points.

Moreover, it was found that paraphrasing for comprehension is an excellent tool for reinforcing reading skills. It can assist by identifying the main ideas, finding supporting details, and identifying the original author's voice.

So when you rewrite the sentence in your own words, you can double-check your comprehension. This helps improve your awareness and allows you to gain a better understanding of the content, and allows you to write better.

Enhances understanding

To paraphrase words or phrases, you must extract their meaning by reading the material again and again and fully understanding the context. This allows the reader to understand the original statement more clearly by adding more clarity to it. So when you paraphrase the original phrase, you articulate your thoughts and ideas more clearly and come up with new insights and perspectives on the topic..

Saves time & energy

Creating content from scratch is difficult and requires much time and energy. It requires you to do proper research, which is both time and energy-consuming.

An easy solution to the painstaking process is paraphrasing your sentence with appropriate citations. This will allow you to create the content without spending much time on research and ideation, saving much of your time and energy.

Helps avoid plagiarism

Among all the benefits, the most favorable benefit of paraphrasing is that it helps you avoid the accusation of plagiarism. You are simply committing plagiarism (an offense as stated by the federal government) when you use the same idea and speech from the original text, word by word.

However, by rewording the original source, you can present the ideas in your own words and easily avoid plagiarism. What’s more, paraphrasing can save you in both accidental and deliberate cases of plagiarism.

Paraphrasing examples

Now that we have known all about paraphrasing, its reasons for use, and its benefits, let’s look at some examples of paraphrasing and how exactly you can paraphrase.

#1 Example of Paraphrasing

#2 example of paraphrasing, final words.

Once you grasp the concept of paraphrasing, it can be a powerful tool for writers. It provides several benefits in aspects of writing and learning skills. And the correct way and right use of paraphrasing can protect writers from plagiarism accusations.

However, note that successful and correct paraphrasing requires the use of multiple techniques each time. So it is not sufficient to simply replace the keywords or the main concepts with synonyms.

One of the easiest ways to reword the original source is by using an AI writing tool. Writersonic is a well-known AI paraphrasing tool that can refine grammar, spelling, and style to generate original plagiarism-free AI content .

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Paraphrasing for Beginners

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'Paraphrasing' means rewriting the same information in a different way. It helps you better to integrate the ideas into the particular piece you are writing.

1. Step-by-step paraphrasing 2. Text Comparison: Example original text and paraphrased text 3. Sentence Analysis

Step-by-step paraphrasing

  • Decide what the key information is, for the purposes of your discussion.
  • Change the order of the ideas and the words. This can help you to emphasise your interpretation of the original text.
  • Change the word form/grammatical form if necessary.
  • Use synonyms if appropriate, but do not change any specific terminology. In the example below, terms such as 'plagiarism management', 'universities', 'students' and 'distance' were not changed. The best place to find suitable synonyms will be elsewhere in the same article.
  • If some words stay the same in the same order (three or more consecutive words), you need to use quotation marks around these words.
  • Repeat the author's name or a pronoun through the paraphrase, so it is clear that we are still reading a paraphrase.
  • Add a detail about where the information came from, if necessary. In the example below, the information 'through her study of eighteen policies on plagiarism from different universities' was added, to give some context to the claims.
  • Keep the author name and page number. (You may have been told that you do not need the page number for a paraphrase, but if the idea came from one specific page, it is still useful to include it. That way, you can check the information again if you need to.)

Text Comparison

Example original text.

"Universities also place the burden of understanding plagiarism and attribution conventions on students. There are myriad information-laden web-based self-help tutorials and workshops on related sites for the universities in this study. Many are excellent resources and can be helpful. Nevertheless, the lack of additional, detailed individual assistance about the techniques of engaging in academic writing conventions, particularly for students studying in off-campus or distance modes, raises issues of equity for plagiarism management policy makers." (Sutherland-Smith, 2010:9).

References Sutherland-Smith, W. (2010) 'Retribution, deterrence and reform: the dilemmas of plagiarism management in universities', Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management , 32 (1) 5-16. Available at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13600800903440519 Accessed on 19 January 2020.

Example Paraphrased Text

The responsibility for learning how to reference correctly and avoid plagiarism tends to be passed from the university to the students, as Sutherland-Smith (2010:9) found, through her study of eighteen policies on plagiarism from different universities. She also points out that although many universities provide online self-access resources for students to try to learn more about this area, the support provided is, on the whole, inadequate. Sutherland-Smith expands further to explain that this inadequacy is partly because the advice provided is not specific enough for each student, and partly because distance students will often receive even less support. She concludes that these issues carry implications for the decisions around plagiarism management, as some students may receive more assistance than others, leading to questions of inequity.

References Sutherland-Smith, W. (2010) 'Retribution, deterrence and reform: the dilemmas of plagiarism management in universities', Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management , 32 (1) 5-16. Available at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13600800903440519 Accessed on 19 January 2020

Sentence Analysis

^Back to top

Original: Universities also place the burden of understanding plagiarism and attribution conventions on students. Paraphrase: The responsibility for learning how to reference correctly and avoid plagiarism tends to be passed from the university to the students, as Sutherland-Smith (2010:9) found.

Here, the following changes have been made:

  • Order of ideas or words (look for where 'university' appears)
  • Word form (active 'place the burden on' changed to passive 'to be passed to')
  • Synonyms ('understanding' changed to 'learning how to', 'plagiarism and attribution conventions' changed to 'reference correctly and avoid plagiarism'). Note some key terms have not been changed.

Original: There are myriad information-laden web-based self-help tutorials and workshops on related sites for the universities in this study. Paraphrase: She also points out that [...] many universities provide online self-access resources for students to try to learn more about this area,

  • Order of ideas or words (look for where 'university' appears)
  • Word form (descriptive 'There are' changed to active 'many universities provide')
  • Synonyms (' information-laden web-based self-help tutorials and workshops on related sites' changed to 'online self-access resources', 'myriad' changed to 'many'). Note some key terms have not been changed.
  • Some information has been added, to help explain the meaning ('for students to try to learn more about this area')

Many are excellent resources and can be helpful.

Comment: This sentence was not included in the new paraphrase, as the writer felt it was not important for their discussion.

Original:  Nevertheless, the lack of additional, detailed individual assistance about the techniques of engaging in academic writing conventions, particularly for students studying in off-campus or distance modes, raises issues of equity for plagiarism management policy makers.

Paraphrase:   ...the support provided is, on the whole, inadequate. Sutherland-Smith expands further to explain that this inadequacy is partly because the advice provided is not specific enough for each student, and partly because distance students will often receive even less support. She concludes that these issues carry implications for the decisions around plagiarism management, as some students may receive more assistance than others, leading to questions of inequity.

  • The information has been divided into sub-points, to try to express the point more clearly. Some explanatory words and linking words have been added, to help explain the meaning and to show that it is the original author who has made these claims ('Sutherland-Smith expands further to explain that...')
  • Synonyms ('issues of equity' changed to 'questions of inequity', 'raises issues' changed to 'carry implications'). Note some key terms have not been changed.

 ^Back to top

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How to Paraphrase: Dos, Don'ts, and Strategies for Success

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Written by  Scribendi

Is It Considered Plagiarism If You Paraphrase?

How do i paraphrase a source without running the risk of plagiarizing, paraphrasing vs. quoting: what's the difference, paraphrasing vs. summarizing, how to paraphrase a sentence, direct quotation, omissions and editorial changes,  paraphrasing, all you need to know about paraphrasing, when should you paraphrase information, what is the purpose of paraphrasing, understand the text you are paraphrasing, do paraphrases need to be cited, example of paraphrasing, how to cite a paraphrase,  don't start paraphrasing by picking up a thesaurus , don't copy without quotation marks, paraphrase with a direct quote example, don't paraphrase too closely, example of paraphrases being too similar to their sources.

How to Paraphrase and Tips for Paraphrasing Correctly

Write Down Paraphrases of a Source on Notecards

Paraphrase from your own point-form notes on a source, how to paraphrase using plotnick's method,  practice two-step paraphrasing: sentence structure and word choice, understand basic sentence structures, vary the use of active and passive voice, vary sentence length, vary word choice, citing a paraphrase in apa, mla, and chicago styles, how to paraphrase in apa, apa paraphrasing examples, how to paraphrase in mla, mla paraphrasing examples, how to cite a paraphrase in chicago style, chicago style paraphrasing examples, what is the meaning of paraphrase, how do you put things in your own words, what does it mean to paraphrase something.

As if the research process isn't hard enough already—finding relevant and reliable sources, reading and interpreting material, and selecting key quotations/information to support your findings/arguments are all essential when writing a research essay.

Academic writers and students face the additional stress of ensuring that they have properly documented their sources. Failure to do so, whether intentionally or unintentionally, could result in plagiarism, which is a serious academic offense.

That's why we've written this article: to provide tips for proper paraphrasing. We'll start with an overview of the difference between paraphrasing and quoting, and then we'll provide a list of paraphrasing dos and don'ts, followed by strategies for proper paraphrasing. 

We will include paraphrasing examples throughout to illustrate best practices for paraphrasing and citing paraphrased material .

As mentioned in our previous article on plagiarism , "simply taking another writer's ideas and rephrasing them as one's own can be considered plagiarism as well." 

Paraphrasing words is acceptable if you interpret and synthesize the information from your sources, rephrase the ideas in your own words, and add citations at the sentence level. It is NOT acceptable if you simply copy and paste large chunks of an original source and modify them slightly, hoping that your teacher, editor, or reviewer won't notice. 

Passing off another's work as one's own is a form of intellectual theft, so researchers and students must learn how to paraphrase quotes and be scrupulous when reporting others' work.

You might be familiar with all this. Still, you might be concerned and find yourself asking, "How do I paraphrase a source correctly without running the risk of unintentional plagiarism?" 

For many writers, especially those who are unfamiliar with the concepts of a particular field, learning how to paraphrase a source or sentence is daunting.

To avoid charges of plagiarism, you must not only document your sources correctly using an appropriate style guide (e.g., APA, Harvard, or Vancouver) for your reference list or bibliography but also handle direct quotations and paraphrasing correctly.

How Do I Paraphrase

Quoting uses the exact words and punctuation from your source, whereas paraphrasing involves synthesizing material from the source and putting things in your own words. Citing paraphrases is just as necessary as citing quotations.

Even if you understand quoting versus paraphrasing, you might still need some additional paraphrasing help or guidance on how to paraphrase a quote. 

Summarizing is when you're discussing the main point or overview of a piece, while paraphrasing is when you're translating a direct quote into language that will be easy for your readers to understand .

It's easy to see how the two are similar, given that the steps to paraphrasing and summarizing both include putting ideas into your own words. 

But summarizing and paraphrasing are distinctly different. Paraphrasing highlights a certain perspective from a source, and summarizing offers more of an overview of an entire subject, theme, or book.

You can usually tell the difference between paraphrasing and summarizing by the length of what you're writing abore writing about. If you’re writing about a quote, that would be a smaller theme inside a larger work, so you'd paraphrase. 

If you're writing about the themes or plot of an entire book, you'd summarize. Summaries are usually shorter than the original work.

Learn How to Format Quotation Marks here.

When learning how to paraphrase a quote, you first need to consider whether you should be paraphrasing a text or quoting it directly.

If you find the perfect quote from a reliable source that fits your main topic, supports your argument, and lends authority to your paper but is too long (40+ words) or complex, it should be paraphrased. Long/complex quotes can also be shortened with omissions and editorial changes (as discussed below).

Introduce the quote with a signal phrase (e.g., "According to Ahmad [2017] . . .") and insert the entire quotation, indicating the text with quotation marks or indentation (i.e., a block quote).

If you only need to use parts of a long quotation, you can insert an ellipsis (. . .) to indicate omissions. You can also make editorial changes in square brackets [like this]. 

Keep in mind that you need to reflect the author's intent accurately when using this strategy. Don't change important words in a quotation so that it better fits your argument, as this is a form of intellectual fraud.

Changes in square brackets should only be used to clarify the text without altering meaning in the context of the paper (e.g., clarifying antecedents and matching verb tense). They signal to the reader that these changes were made by the author of the essay and not by the author of the original text.

Paraphrasing

Demonstrate that you clearly understand the text by expressing the main ideas in your own unique style and language. Now, you might be asking yourself, "Do paraphrases need to be cited like quotes?" The answer is a resounding "yes."

Paraphrasing Examples

When deciding whether to paraphrase or use a direct quote, it is essential to ask what is more important: the exact words of the source or the ideas.

If the former is important, consider quoting directly. If the latter is important, consider paraphrasing or summarizing.

Direct quotation is best for well-worded material that you cannot express any more clearly or succinctly in your own style. It's actually the preferred way of reporting sources in the arts, particularly in literary studies.

Shortening a long quote is a great way to retain the original phrasing while ensuring that the quote reads well in your paper. However, direct quotations are often discouraged in the sciences and social sciences, so keep that in mind when deciding whether to paraphrase or quote.

Paraphrasing is best used for long portions of text that you can synthesize into your own words. Think of paraphrasing as a form of translation; you are translating an idea in another "language" into your own language. The idea should be the same, but the words and sentence structure should be totally different.

The purpose of paraphrasing is to draw together ideas from multiple sources to convey information to your reader clearly and succinctly. 

As a student or researcher, your job is to demonstrate that you understand the material you've read by expressing ideas from other sources in your own style, adding citations to the paraphrased material as appropriate. 

If you think the purpose of paraphrasing is to help you avoid thinking for yourself, you are mistaken.

When you paraphrase, be sure that you understand the text clearly . The purpose of paraphrasing is to interpret the information you researched for your reader, explaining it as though you were speaking to a colleague or teacher. In short, paraphrasing is a skill that demonstrates one's comprehension of a text.

Yes, paraphrases always need to be cited. Citing paraphrased material helps you avoid plagiarism by giving explicit credit to the authors of the material you are discussing. 

Citing your paraphrases ensures academic integrity. When you sit down to write your paper, however, you might find yourself asking these questions: "Do paraphrases need to be cited? How do I paraphrase?"

Here is a quick paraphrase example that demonstrates how to cite paraphrased ideas. The opening lines to one of Juliet's most famous speeches are "O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? / Deny thy father and refuse thy name; / Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, / And I'll no longer be a Capulet" (Romeo and Juliet, 2.2.880–884). 

If you needed to paraphrase these lines in an essay, you could do so as follows:

Juliet muses about why Romeo's family name is Montague and concludes that if either gave up their name (and thereby their family affiliations) for the other, they could be together (Romeo and Juliet, 2.2.880–884).

Generally speaking, you must include an in-text citation at the end of a paraphrased sentence. 

However, if your paraphrased material is several sentences long, then you should check with your preferred style guide. Some style guides (such as APA) call for a paraphrase citation after the first paraphrased sentence. Other style guides (such as MLA) call for a paraphrase citation after the last paraphrased sentence. 

Remember, no matter what style guide you use, it is not necessary to cite every single sentence of paraphrased material in a multi-sentence paraphrase.

Don't Start Paraphrasing by Picking Up a Thesaurus

This might shock you, but a thesaurus is NOT the answer to the problem of paraphrasing. Why? Using a thesaurus to swap out a few words here and there from an original source is a form of patchwriting, which is a type of plagiarism.

You shouldn't have to resort to a thesaurus unless you are completely unsure about what a word means—although, in that case, a dictionary might be a better tool. Ideally, you should be able to use clear, simple language that is familiar to you when reporting findings (or other information) from a study.

The problem with using a thesaurus is that you aren't really using your own words to paraphrase a text; you're using words from a book. Plus, if you're unfamiliar with a concept or if you have difficulty with English, you might choose the wrong synonym and end up with a paraphrase like this: "You may perhaps usage an erroneous word."

This is a common mistake among writers who are writing about a field with which they are unfamiliar or who do not have a thorough grasp of the English language or the purpose of paraphrasing.

If you choose to keep a few phrases from the original source but paraphrase the rest (i.e., combining quoting and paraphrasing), that's okay, but keep in mind that phrasing from the source text must be reproduced in an exact manner within quotation marks.

Direct quotations are more than three consecutive words copied from another source, and they should always be enclosed in quotation marks or offset as a block quotation.

A sentence that combines a direct quote with paraphrased material would look like this: 

In "The Laugh of the Medusa," Cixous highlights women's writing as a specific feat and speaks "about what it will do" when it has the same formal recognition as men's writing (Cixous 875).

The paraphrased paragraph of Cixous' essay includes a direct quote and a paraphrase citation.

Did you know that copying portions of a quote without quotation marks (i.e., patchwriting) is a form of plagiarism—even if you provide an in-text citation? If you've reworded sections of a quote in your own style, simply enclose any direct quotations (three or more words) in quotation marks to indicate that the writing is not your own.

When learning how to paraphrase, you need to distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate forms of paraphrasing. The Office of Research and Integrity , a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, puts it this way:

Taking portions of text from one or more sources, crediting the author/s, but only making 'cosmetic' changes to the borrowed material, such as changing one or two words, simply rearranging the order, voice (i.e., active vs. passive) and/or tense of the sentences is NOT paraphrasing.

What does paraphrasing too closely look like? Here is an overly close paraphrase example of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' description of plagiarizing:

Using sections of a source, citing it, but only making surface-level changes to the language (such as changing a few words, the verb tense, the voice, or word order) fails as a paraphrase. True paraphrasing involves changing the words and syntactical structure of the original source. Keep reading for strategies for paraphrasing properly.

Get Help with Proper Paraphrasing

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In an article on how to paraphrase , the Purdue University Online Writing Lab suggests that you read the source text carefully and write paraphrases on notecards. You can then compare your version with the original, ensuring that you've covered all the key information and noting any words or phrases that are too closely paraphrased.

Your notecards should be labeled with the author(s) and citation information of the source text so that you don't lose track of which source you used. You should also note how you plan to use the paraphrase in your essay.

If you are a visual learner, the benefit of this strategy is that you can visualize the content you intend to paraphrase. 

Because a notecard is a tangible object, you can physically arrange it in an essay outline, moving the right information to the appropriate paragraph so that your essay flows well. (If you're not sure how to write an outline , check out our article.)

Plus, having a physical copy of paraphrased information makes it harder for you to accidentally plagiarize by copying and pasting text from an original source and forgetting to paraphrase or quote it properly. Writing out your paraphrase allows you to distance yourself from the source text and express the idea in your own unique style.

For more paraphrasing help, Jerry Plotnick from the University College Writing Centre at the University of Toronto provides a similar strategy for paraphrasing.

Plotnick advises that you take point-form notes of text that you want to use in your paper. Don't use full sentences, but instead "capture the original idea" in a few words and record the name of the source.

This strategy is similar to the notecard idea, but it adds another step. Instead of just reading the source carefully and writing your complete paraphrase on a notecard, Plotnick recommends using point-form notes while researching your sources. These notes can then be used to paraphrase the source text when you are writing your paper.

Like handwriting your paraphrases on notecards, taking notes and coming back to them later will help you distance yourself from the source, allowing you to forget the original wording and use your own style.

The Plotnick method above describes how to use point-form notes while researching a paper to keep your paraphrasing original. To paraphrase in your paper using Plotnick's method above, look at your sources and try the following:

Write down the basic point(s) you want to discuss on a notecard (in your own words).

Take your notecard points and turn them into sentences when you write your essay.

Add the reference for the source.

Compare your paraphrase to the original source to make sure your words are your own.

Practice Two-Step Paraphrasing: Sentence Structure and Word Choice

In an article on how to paraphrase by the Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the first two strategies are acknowledged—taking notes and looking away from the source before you write your paraphrase. 

The authors then suggest another two-step strategy for paraphrasing: change the structure first and then change the words. Let's break down this process a bit further.

Sentences in English have two main components: a subject and a predicate . The subject is who or what is performing an action (i.e., a noun or pronoun), and the predicate is what the subject is doing (i.e., a verb). Sentences can be simple, compound, complex, or compound-complex. 

Here are some paraphrase examples using different sentence structures:

Simple: It was difficult.

Compound: It was difficult, but she knew there was no going back.

Complex: Although it was difficult, she knew there was no going back.

Compound-complex: Although it was difficult, she knew there was no going back, so she kept calm and carried on.

Once you have identified the structure of the original sentence, you can reconstruct it using one of the different types of sentences illustrated above.

You can also change passive voice to active voice, or vice versa.

The active voice is structured like this: Subject + Verb + Object (e.g., She learned how to paraphrase.)

The passive voice is structured like this: Object + "To Be" Verb + Past Participle (e.g., How to paraphrase was learned by the girl.)

See how awkward the passive sentence example is? It's best not to force a sentence into an unnatural sentence structure. 

Otherwise, you'll end up with Yoda-speak: "Forced to learn how to paraphrase a sentence, the girl was." (Did you like the unintentional "force" pun?)

Another way to distinguish your paraphrase from the original source is to use different sentence lengths. Often, scholarly articles are written using long, compound, complex, or compound-complex sentences. Use short sentences instead. 

Break down complex ideas into easy-to-understand material. Alternatively, you can combine several ideas from the source text into one long sentence, synthesizing the material. Try to stick with your own style of writing so that the paraphrased text matches that of the rest of your document.

Once the paraphrased sentence structure is sufficiently different from the original sentence structure, you can replace the wording of the original text with words you understand and are comfortable with.

Paraphrasing isn't meant to hide the fact that you are copying someone else's idea using clever word-swapping techniques. Rather, it is meant to demonstrate that you are capable of explaining the text in your own language.

One handy article on word choice by the Writing Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill lists some strategies for successful word choice, such as eliminating jargon and simplifying unnecessary wordiness. While this applies to academic writing in general, the "questions to ask yourself" are also useful as great paraphrasing help.

Once you have completed a sentence-long paraphrase, you include an in-text citation at the end of that sentence. However, if your paraphrased material is several sentences long, then you should check with your preferred style guide. 

Some style guides (such as APA) call for a paraphrase citation after the first paraphrased sentence. Other style guides (such as MLA) call for a paraphrase citation after the last paraphrased sentence. 

How to Paraphrase

To paraphrase properly, you need to explain a text in your own words without using a direct quote . Keep in mind, however, that different styles require different formats when it comes to documenting paraphrased sources. Some styles require a citation after the first paraphrased sentence, while others require a citation after the last.

For this reason, we've outlined examples of how to paraphrase in the APA, MLA, and Chicago styles below. Be sure to check with your professor to see which style your essay requires.

APA guidelines for paraphrasing include citing your source on the first mention in either the narrative or parenthetical format. Here's a refresher of both formats:

Narrative format: Koehler (2016) noted the dangers of false news.

Parenthetical format: The news can distort our perception of an issue (Koehler, 2016).

Here's an example of how to paraphrase from a primary source in APA:

Dudley (1999) states that "direct quote" or paraphrase (Page #).

Note: It's not always necessary to include the page number, but it's recommended if it'll help readers quickly find a passage in a book.

Below are a couple of examples of how to paraphrase in APA. Keep in mind that for longer paraphrases, you don't have to add the citation again if it's clear that the same work is being paraphrased.

Short paraphrase:

Stephenson (1992) outlined a case study of a young man who showed increasing signs of insecurity without his father (pp. 23–27).

Long paraphrase:

Johnson et al. (2013) discovered that for small-breed dogs of a certain age, possession aggression was associated with unstable living environments in earlier years, including fenced-in yards with multiple dogs all together for long periods of time. However, these effects were mediated over time. Additionally, with careful training, the dogs showed less possession aggression over time. These findings illustrate the importance of positive reinforcement over the length of a dog's life.

When paraphrasing in MLA, include an in-text citation at the end of the last paraphrased sentence. 

Your in-text citation can be done either parenthetically or in prose, and it requires the last name of the cited author and the page number of the source you're paraphrasing from. Here are MLA citation examples :

Parenthetical:

Paraphrase (Author's Last Name Page #)

Author's Last Name states that paraphrase (Page #)

In addition to adding a short in-text citation to the end of your last paraphrased sentence, MLA requires that this source be included in your Works Cited page, so don't forget to add it there as well.

Here are two examples of how to paraphrase in MLA:

In an attempt to communicate his love for Elizabeth, all Mr. Darcy did was communicate the ways in which he fought to hide his true feelings (Austen 390).

Rowling explains how happy Harry was after being reunited with his friends when he thought all was lost (17).

Paraphrasing correctly in Chicago style depends on whether you're using the notes and bibliography system or the author-date system.

The notes and bibliography system includes footnotes or endnotes, whereas the author-date system includes in-text citations.

Below, you'll find the correct way to format citations when paraphrasing in both the notes and bibliography and author-date systems.

Notes and Bibliography

For the notes and bibliography system, add a superscript at the end of your paraphrase that corresponds to your footnote or endnote.

Johnson explains that there was no proof in the pudding. 1

Author-Date

For the author-date style, include the page number of the text you're referencing at the end of your paraphrase. If you mention the author, include the year the source was published.

Johnson (1995) explains that there was no proof in the pudding (21).

In summary, the purpose of paraphrasing is not to simply swap a few words; rather, it is to take ideas and explain them using an entirely different sentence structure and choice of words. It has a greater objective; it shows that you've understood the literature on your subject and are able to express it clearly to your reader.

In other words, proper paraphrasing shows that you are familiar with the ideas in your field, and it enables you to support your own research with in-text citations. 

Knowing when to paraphrase or quote strengthens your research presentation and arguments. Asking for paraphrasing help before you accidentally plagiarize shows that you understand the value of academic integrity.

If you need help, you might consider an editing and proofreading service, such as Scribendi. While our editors cannot paraphrase your sources for you, they can check whether you've cited your sources correctly according to your target style guide via our Academic Editing service.

Even if you need more than just paraphrase citation checks, our editors can help you decide whether a direct quote is stronger as a paraphrase, and vice versa. Editors cannot paraphrase quotes for you, but they can help you learn how to paraphrase a quote correctly.

What Is the Meaning of "Paraphrase"?

Paraphrasing is when you write text from another source in your own words. It's a way of conveying to your reader or professor that you understand a specific source material well enough to describe it in your own style or language without quoting it directly. 

Paraphrasing (and citing your paraphrases) allows you to explain and share ideas you've learned from other sources without plagiarizing them.

You can write things in your own words by taking original notes on the sources you're reading and using those notes to write your paraphrase while keeping the source material out of sight. 

You can also practice putting things in your own words by changing sentences from passive to active, or vice versa, or by varying word choice and sentence length. You can also try Jeremy Plotnick's idea of paraphrasing from your own point-form notes.

When you're paraphrasing something, it means you are putting someone else's writing in your own words. You're not copying or quoting content directly. Instead, you are reading someone else's work and explaining their ideas in your own way. 

Paraphrasing demonstrates that you understand the material you're writing about and gives your reader the opportunity to understand the material in a simplified way that is different from how the original author explained it.

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How to Paraphrase and Summarize Work

Summing up key ideas in your own words.

By the Mind Tools Content Team

paraphrasing techniques with examples

Imagine you're preparing a presentation for your CEO. You asked everyone in your team to contribute, and they all had plenty to say!

But now you have a dozen reports, all in different styles, and your CEO says that she can spare only 10 minutes to read the final version. What do you do?

The solution is to paraphrase and summarize the reports, so your boss gets only the key information that she needs, in a form that she can process quickly.

In this article, we explain how to paraphrase and how to summarize, and how to apply these techniques to text and the spoken word. We also explore the differences between the two skills, and point out the pitfalls to avoid.

What Is Paraphrasing?

When you paraphrase, you use your own words to express something that was written or said by another person.

Putting it into your own words can clarify the message, make it more relevant to your audience , or give it greater impact.

You might use paraphrased material to support your own argument or viewpoint. Or, if you're putting together a report , presentation or speech , you can use paraphrasing to maintain a consistent style, and to avoid lengthy quotations from the original text or conversation.

Paraphrased material should keep its original meaning and (approximate) length, but you can use it to pick out a single point from a longer discussion.

What Is Summarizing?

In contrast, a summary is a brief overview of an entire discussion or argument. You might summarize a whole research paper or conversation in a single paragraph, for example, or with a series of bullet points, using your own words and style.

People often summarize when the original material is long, or to emphasize key facts or points. Summaries leave out detail or examples that may distract the reader from the most important information, and they simplify complex arguments, grammar and vocabulary.

Used correctly, summarizing and paraphrasing can save time, increase understanding, and give authority and credibility to your work. Both tools are useful when the precise wording of the original communication is less important than its overall meaning.

How to Paraphrase Text

To paraphrase text, follow these four steps:

1. Read and Make Notes

Carefully read the text that you want to paraphrase. Highlight, underline or note down important terms and phrases that you need to remember.

2. Find Different Terms

Find equivalent words or phrases (synonyms) to use in place of the ones that you've picked out. A dictionary, thesaurus or online search can be useful here, but take care to preserve the meaning of the original text, particularly if you're dealing with technical or scientific terms.

3. Put the Text into Your Own Words

Rewrite the original text, line by line. Simplify the grammar and vocabulary, adjust the order of the words and sentences, and replace "passive" expressions with "active" ones (for example, you could change "The new supplier was contacted by Nusrat" to "Nusrat contacted the new supplier").

Remove complex clauses, and break longer sentences into shorter ones. All of this will make your new version easier to understand .

4. Check Your Work

Check your work by comparing it to the original. Your paraphrase should be clear and simple, and written in your own words. It may be shorter, but it should include all of the necessary detail.

Paraphrasing: an Example

Despite the undoubted fact that everyone's vision of what constitutes success is different, one should spend one's time establishing and finalizing one's personal vision of it. Otherwise, how can you possibly understand what your final destination might be, or whether or not your decisions are assisting you in moving in the direction of the goals which you've set yourself?

The two kinds of statement – mission and vision – can be invaluable to your approach, aiding you, as they do, in focusing on your primary goal, and quickly identifying possibilities that you might wish to exploit and explore.

We all have different ideas about success. What's important is that you spend time defining your version of success. That way, you'll understand what you should be working toward. You'll also know if your decisions are helping you to move toward your goals.

Used as part of your personal approach to goal-setting, mission and vision statements are useful for bringing sharp focus to your most important goal, and for helping you to quickly identify which opportunities you should pursue.

How to Paraphrase Speech

In a conversation – a meeting or coaching session, for example – paraphrasing is a good way to make sure that you have correctly understood what the other person has said.

This requires two additional skills: active listening and asking the right questions .

Useful questions include:

  • If I hear you correctly, you're saying that…?
  • So you mean that…? Is that right?
  • Did I understand you when you said that…?

You can use questions like these to repeat the speaker's words back to them. For instance, if the person says, "We just don't have the funds available for these projects," you could reply: "If I understand you correctly, you're saying that our organization can't afford to pay for my team's projects?"

This may seem repetitive, but it gives the speaker the opportunity to highlight any misunderstandings, or to clarify their position.

When you're paraphrasing conversations in this way, take care not to introduce new ideas or information, and not to make judgments on what the other person has said, or to "spin" their words toward what you want to hear. Instead, simply restate their position as you understand it.

Sometimes, you may need to paraphrase a speech or a presentation. Perhaps you want to report back to your team, or write about it in a company blog, for example.

In these cases it's a good idea to make summary notes as you listen, and to work them up into a paraphrase later. (See How to Summarize Text or Speech, below.)

How to Summarize Text or Speech

Follow steps 1-5 below to summarize text. To summarize spoken material – a speech, a meeting, or a presentation, for example – start at step three.

1. Get a General Idea of the Original

First, speed read the text that you're summarizing to get a general impression of its content. Pay particular attention to the title, introduction, conclusion, and the headings and subheadings.

2. Check Your Understanding

Build your comprehension of the text by reading it again more carefully. Check that your initial interpretation of the content was correct.

3. Make Notes

Take notes on what you're reading or listening to. Use bullet points, and introduce each bullet with a key word or idea. Write down only one point or idea for each bullet.

If you're summarizing spoken material, you may not have much time on each point before the speaker moves on. If you can, obtain a meeting agenda, a copy of the presentation, or a transcript of the speech in advance, so you know what's coming.

Make sure your notes are concise, well-ordered, and include only the points that really matter.

The Cornell Note-Taking System is an effective way to organize your notes as you write them, so that you can easily identify key points and actions later. Our article, Writing Meeting Notes , also contains plenty of useful advice.

4. Write Your Summary

Bullet points or numbered lists are often an acceptable format for summaries – for example, on presentation slides, in the minutes of a meeting, or in Key Points sections like the one at the end of this article.

However, don't just use the bulleted notes that you took in step 3. They'll likely need editing or "polishing" if you want other people to understand them.

Some summaries, such as research paper abstracts, press releases, and marketing copy, require continuous prose. If this is the case, write your summary as a paragraph, turning each bullet point into a full sentence.

Aim to use only your own notes, and refer to original documents or recordings only if you really need to. This helps to ensure that you use your own words.

If you're summarizing speech, do so as soon as possible after the event, while it's still fresh in your mind.

5. Check Your Work

Your summary should be a brief but informative outline of the original. Check that you've expressed all of the most important points in your own words, and that you've left out any unnecessary detail.

Summarizing: an Example

So how do you go about identifying your strengths and weaknesses, and analyzing the opportunities and threats that flow from them? SWOT Analysis is a useful technique that helps you to do this.

What makes SWOT especially powerful is that, with a little thought, it can help you to uncover opportunities that you would not otherwise have spotted. And by understanding your weaknesses, you can manage and eliminate threats that might otherwise hurt your ability to move forward in your role.

If you look at yourself using the SWOT framework, you can start to separate yourself from your peers, and further develop the specialized talents and abilities that you need in order to advance your career and to help you achieve your personal goals.

SWOT Analysis is a technique that helps you identify strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats. Understanding and managing these factors helps you to develop the abilities you need to achieve your goals and progress in your career.

Permission and Citations

If you intend to publish or circulate your document, it's important to seek permission from the copyright holder of the material that you've paraphrased or summarized. Failure to do so can leave you open to allegations of plagiarism, or even legal action.

It's good practice to cite your sources with a footnote, or with a reference in the text to a list of sources at the end of your document. There are several standard citation styles – choose one and apply it consistently, or follow your organization's house style guidelines.

As well as acknowledging the original author, citations tell you, the reader, that you're reading paraphrased or summarized material. This enables you to check the original source if you think that someone else's words may have been misused or misinterpreted.

Some writers might use others' ideas to prop up their own, but include only what suits them, for instance. Others may have misunderstood the original arguments, or "twisted" them by adding their own material.

If you're wary, or you find problems with the work, you may prefer to seek more reliable sources of information. (See our article, How to Spot Real and Fake News , for more on this.)

Paraphrasing means rephrasing text or speech in your own words, without changing its meaning. Summarizing means cutting it down to its bare essentials. You can use both techniques to clarify and simplify complex information or ideas.

To paraphrase text:

  • Read and make notes.
  • Find different terms.
  • Put the text into your own words.
  • Check your work.

You can also use paraphrasing in a meeting or conversation, by listening carefully to what's being said and repeating it back to the speaker to check that you have understood it correctly.

To summarize text or speech:

  • Get a general idea of the original.
  • Check your understanding.
  • Make notes.
  • Write your summary.

Seek permission for any copyrighted material that you use, and cite it appropriately.

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Techniques for effective paraphrasing

On this page, techniques for paraphrasing, getting started, effective paraphrasing.

Paraphrasing is an important skill for academic writing, and yet it is very often misunderstood. Commonly, paraphrasing is expressed as “restating someone else’s ideas in your own words.” While this is technically accurate, it can lead students to believe that paraphrasing is simply about finding synonyms to replace the words in the original author’s text. Paraphrasing is most effective and useful when you think about it as a way to explain someone else’s ideas in relation to, or in the context of, your own argument.  

When writers are new to paraphrasing, they might think it’s acceptable to simply substitute certain words with synonyms. Here is an example, taken from the writing handbook They Say/I Say by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein :

“Whenever you enter into a conversation with others in your writing, then, it is extremely important that you go back to what those others have said, that you study it very closely, and that you not confuse it with something you already believe” (2014, p. 33).

If a writer was told to “put this sentence into her own words,” and simply tried to find synonyms, they might end up with something like this:

Anytime someone dialogues with different authors, it is crucial that they return to what those different authors have said, that they scrutinize it, and that they avoid mistaking it for what they previously accepted (Graff & Birkenstein, 2014, p. 33).

You will notice that this example uses very few of the same words as the original quotation (i.e., it has been put into the author’s “own words”). However, it might be difficult for the reader to understand.

More seriously, this paraphrase could be considered plagiarism or patch-writing —even though the source is cited! Why?

Substituting synonyms for some of the author’s original words does not explain the source, highlight its importance, or show the reader how the source helps convey the paper’s argument. To do these things, an acceptable paraphrase must also change the structure of the author’s expression.

Here is an example of an effective paraphrase of the quotation above:

Graff and Birkenstein (2014) argue throughout their book They Say/I Say that writing is a conversation. When engaging in this conversation, they caution that writers must read carefully in order to ensure that they both understand, and provide fair consideration to, the ideas of others.

Notice three crucial things about this paraphrase:

  • The author has signalled that the idea comes from the source They Say/I Say (this signalling can be done within the sentence, as it is above, or it can be done through an in-text citation).
  • The author has “zoomed out” from the original quotation in order to explain the big idea being presented in the source text.
  • The author has changed the original structure by making two sentences from one. This step helps to accomplish both #1 and #2, above.

Rather than being about words , paraphrasing is about ideas . Instead of focusing on replacing specific words in a quotation, it is more helpful when paraphrasing to think deeply about the ideas that the original author is explaining. Once you understand those ideas, you can “zoom out” and explain the most important idea (or ideas) in your own way.

Try these steps to write an effective paraphrase

Step 1: Read a paragraph from an article that you find interesting or that you are using to write a paper.

Step 2: Make notes to yourself about the most important idea or ideas presented in the paragraph (make these notes in point form, rather than in sentences)

Step 3: Put the article away and, using only your point-form notes, explain the most important idea(s) to someone else.

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Unit 2: Paraphrasing and Avoiding Plagiarism

2 Paraphrasing Techniques

Technique #1: tell-a-friend method.

This method involves using a new way to explain the meaning of the original sentence.

  • Read the original sentence(s).
  • Make sure you understand the sentence(s) completely.
  • Cover the original source.
  • Imagine you are talking to a friend and try explaining the information to your friend. Write down your explanation.
  • Read the original source and make sure you have retained the original meaning.
  • (See Technique #4 below: Using AI-based paraphrasing tools to improve your paraphrasing.)

Practice the Tell-a-Friend method using the proverbs below.

Proverb: You can’t judge a book by its cover.

Paraphrase: Things sometimes look different from what they really are.

Match the proverb with its paraphrase. (Answers located below.)

Technique #2: Chunking method

Another way to paraphrase is to break the original into smaller units, or “chunks.” This method can be useful for longer passages.

  • Read the original sentence(s) and make sure you understand the sentence(s) completely.
  • Divide the sentence(s) into chunks (these are often grammatical clauses). Underline each chunk, focusing on how you can divide the sentence into phrases.
  • Re-write each chunk in your own words.
  • Combine these rewritten chunks into one or more sentences to create a paraphrase. Think about how the ideas are related to each other; you might need to include additional words (e.g. transition phrases) as you combine the chunks.
  • You may re-order the chunks to make the order of ideas different from the original, but if you do, make sure the paraphrase still makes sense.

Chunking examples:

#1 Original: “As more and more people have become increasingly used to sharing and collaborating outside the workplace via social networks, (chunk 1) they are coming to expect firms to be more open and collaborative places too (chunk 2).” From Author Unknown, “Yammering Away at the Office,” (2010), p. 1.

  • 1) people have grown more accustomed to using social media platforms for collaboration and sharing ideas beyond their jobs
  • 2) there are increasing expectations that companies will encourage more collaboration.

Paraphrase: Workers are expecting companies to encourage more collaboration since many people have grown accustomed to using social media platforms for collaboration and sharing ideas beyond their jobs (“Yammering away at the office,” 2010, p. 1).

#2 Original: “Psychologists have argued that digital technology is changing the way we write (chunk 1) in that students no longer need to plan essays before starting to write (chunk 2) because word processing software allows them to edit as they go along (chunk 3).” From David Derbyshire, “Social websites harm children’s brains,” (2009), p. 2.

  • 1) psychologists claim that computers and software are influencing the writing process
  • 2) students can skip the planning process
  • 3) word processing programs help them revise throughout the writing process

Paraphrase: Because word processing programs help students revise their essays throughout the writing process and even skip the planning process altogether, psychologists claim that computers and software are influencing the writing process (Derbyshire, 2009, p. 2)

Adapted from Dollahite, N.E. & Huan, J. (2012). SourceWork: Academic Writing for Success.

Technique #3: Paraphrasing plus Summarizing method

Sometimes you will be able to identify one or two specific sentences to paraphrase. However, it is more common to use information from a longer passage, like a paragraph or two, or a section or sections of an article. To do this effectively, you must combine the skills of paraphrasing and summarizing.

  • Paraphrasing: Restating an individual sentence that contains key ideas in your own words, keeping the same length and meaning.
  • Summarizing: Expressing an overall idea of a longer passage in your own words, keeping the same meaning, but making it much more concise (shorten it).

Follow these steps to summarize AND paraphrase:

  • Identify the original chunk(s) of text that you would like to cite in your paper.
  • Read the chunk(s) several times to make sure you have accurate understanding and are able to “tell a friend” what the chunks are about.
  • In the margins, identify key words, synonyms, or ideas that describe each chunk (color-coding can help identify similar ideas).
  • Think about the most logical sequence of these ideas; you could number them.
  • Write your summary, keeping it short (1 to 3 sentences). Set it aside.
  • Re-read the ideas in the margins and your summary and rewrite any parts you feel could be improved; repeat steps 5-6 as needed.

The example below illustrates how a student used the skills of paraphrasing and summarizing below to condense a paragraph into a single sentence.

Original: “ The pandemic tested the resilience of colleges and universities as they executed online learning on a massive scale by creating online courses, adopting and adapting to unfamiliar technologies, engaging faculty en masse in remote teaching, and successfully meeting the instructional needs of students. Those experiences and lessons should not be discarded. The next phase for higher education in a post-COVID-19 world is to harness what worked well during the emergency response period and use those experiences to improve institutional practices for the benefit of both internal and external constituencies in the future.” From John Nworie, “Beyond COVID-19: What’s next for online teaching and learning in higher education,” (2021), p. 7.

  • 1) valuable lessons learned
  • 2) higher education institutions developed large-scale online courses
  • 3) as a response to the pandemic
  • 4) adapting and overcoming challenges in the process
  • 5) should be applied to future education models

Paraphrase: Nworie (2021) recommends that the valuable lessons learned as higher education institutions developed large-scale online courses as a response to the pandemic, adapting and overcoming challenges in the process, should be applied to future education models (p. 7).

Proverbs matching answers: 1-d, 2-a, 3-e, 4-c, 5-b

Technique #4: Using Online Tools

AI-based paraphrasing tools can help you improve your writing. Most tools have free and premium versions, which have more features. Examples include:

The best way to use AI-based paraphrasing tools is to write your own version first and then use the tool to find alternative ways to express your paraphrase. Being able to write a paraphrase on your own will allow you to evaluate the effectiveness of AI-generated paraphrases.

Benefits of using AI-tools:

  • By seeing how the tool rewrites your text, you can learn to identify where your writing could be improved. You can learn to use more effective vocabulary, or how to structure your sentences in a more effective way.
  • You can expand your vocabulary and learn effective collocations.
  • You can spot grammar errors you make and learn to avoid and correct them.

Follow these guidelines when using AI tools for writing paraphrases:

  • Write the paraphrase on your own first. Then paste your paraphrase into the AI with a clear prompt to check its effectiveness.
  • When using AI to support your writing, always review the original text to ensure the AI accurately maintained the meaning of the original passage.
  • Some tools only change the words and not the overall structure. If they tool only uses synonyms, you must change the grammar yourself.
  • Always check the citation format. Do not assume the tool will use the correct citation.

To learn more about how to cite your use of AI Tools see the UW Libraries’ Research Guides on Citing Generative AI.

Knowledge Check

Exercise: take the paraphrasing quiz below..

From Excelsior Online Writing Lab, Paraphrasing – Try it Out

Academic Writing I Copyright © by UW-Madison ESL Program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Paraphrasing and summarising

Writing at university involves integrating ideas from other authors into your own writing.

Paraphrasing and summarising allows you to acknowledge these authors by expressing the information in your own words. Effective paraphrasing also demonstrates your understanding of the information.

How to paraphrase

To paraphrase, you need to:

  • change the structure of the sentence
  • change the words in the sentence

Changing the structure of a sentence

  • Read the original text a number of times and make sure you understand the main ideas.
  • Write down the main ideas from memory.
  • Check what you have written against the original text – make sure you have retained the original ideas and that your version is different.

Changing the words

It can be easy to spot when someone has copied directly from a textbook. We all have different styles of writing and yours will be different to the authors you are reading.

  • Once you understand the main ideas of the original text look for specialised words – these words may be retained in the paraphrased version, as they are key to the meaning of the sentence.
  • Look for words or phrases that can be changed.
  • Use a thesaurus or dictionary to find substitutes.

Paraphrase Rephrasing or restating information from another source in your own words without changing the meaning. Maybe shorter than the original passage.

Summary A summary includes only the main ideas of someone else’s writing, restated in your own words. Much shorter than the original text.

Always acknowledge the original author when using a paraphrase or summary.

For more information see  Citing APA style. 

See examples of paraphrasing and summarising below:

Original text

In recent years a body of research has revealed another, more nuanced benefit of workplace diversity: nonhomogenous teams are simply smarter. Working with people who are different from you may challenge your brain to overcome its stale ways of thinking and sharpen its performance.

(from – Rock, D. & Grant, H. (2016). Why diverse teams are smarter. Harvard Business Review

A bad paraphrase

In the last few years, a collection of research has shown another, more nuanced advantage of workplace diversity: diverse teams are simply better . Working with people who are unlike you may encourage your brain to lose its old ways of thinking and improve its performance.

Note this paraphrase has only replaced some words with synonyms and has kept the structure almost identical to the original sentence.

A good paraphrase

Recent research has revealed that working in diverse teams can stimulate your creativity and efficiency, advocating the benefits of workplace diversity (Rock & Grant, 2016).

Note: This paraphrase shows a change in sentence structure and words

Striving to increase workplace diversity is not an empty slogan — it is a good business decision. A 2015 McKinsey report on 366 public companies found that those in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean, and those in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15% more likely to have returns above the industry mean.

In a global analysis of 2,400 companies conducted by Credit Suisse, organizations with at least one female board member yielded higher return on equity and higher net income growth than those that did not have any women on the board.

In recent years a body of research has revealed another, more nuanced benefit of workplace diversity: nonhomogenous teams are simply smarter. Working with people who are different from you may challenge your brain to overcome its stale ways of thinking and sharpen its performance. Let’s dig into why diverse teams are smarter.

The benefits of workplace diversity has been illustrated in recent studies like the McKinsey report and the Credit Suisse analysis. These studies indicate that diversity in management resulted in higher profits for companies (Rock & Grant, 2016).

Word thesaurus

You are probably already familiar with spellchecker and grammar checker in Microsoft Word. Another beneficial tool is the thesaurus, which can aid your writing to find the best word to meet your needs.

Using the thesaurus, you can look up synonyms (different words with the same meaning) and antonyms (words with the opposite meaning).

The following screencast demonstrates how to use the thesaurus function in Word.

Paraphrasing techniques

Steps to effective paraphrasing and summarising:

  • Read your text/paragraph and ensure that you understand it.
  • Write down your ideas without looking at the original.
  • Use synonyms or change the word order of your sentence.
  • Compare with the original to see whether you are conveying the same meaning.
  • Record the source details so you can easily cite it later.

3 key techniques for paraphrasing

Change vocabulary by using synonyms

  • asserts – claims, argues, maintains
  • twentieth century – 1900s
  • illustrates – explains, emphasises, clarifies

Change word class

  • analyse – analysis, analysing
  • create – creating, creation
  • assume – assumption, assuming, assumed

Change the sentence structure

  • …the best explanation for the British location of the industrial revolution is found by studying demand factors.
  • A focus on demand may help explain the UK origin of the industrial revolution.

Additional resources

The University of Auckland provides further resources on paraphrasing and summarising as part of the online learning module  Referen©ite.

Further paraphrasing tips from Queensland University of Technology.

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How to paraphrase: techniques and tips

Paraphrasing - rephrasing a sentence - is important in academic writing. for example, you paraphrase to add variation to your writing or to rephrase the wording of authors you cite. here are six techniques to rewrite your sentences still struggling switch to writefull’s paraphraser in writefull for word or for overleaf , and let ai do the work..

1. Change individual words

The quickest way to change a sentence is to replace one or more words. For example, instead of writing ‘ This work assessed the effects of… ’ you write ‘ This study evaluated the influence of… ’. Carefully check that the new word suits your sentence's meaning, and that it combines well with the words before and after. Also, as this is quite a ‘static’ way of paraphrasing, it’s best to combine this technique with the others in this list.

2. Change sentence structure

This technique requires a bit more headwork, but does result in more significant changes to your sentence. The quickest way to restructure a sentence is to move or change the subject, and to rephrase the rest of the sentence from there. See the two examples below.

On day 5, the interview responses were scored. > The interview responses were scored on Day 5. (subject: the interview responses )

This difference was the result of increased prices. > Increased prices resulted in this difference. (subject: this difference > increased prices )

3. Change voice (passive <> active)

Using the passive voice is fine in scientific writing, but to keep your sentences varied, it is always good to switch between passive and active - and this switching is a great way to paraphrase, too. Active sentences emphasize the subject (who or what does something) while passive sentences emphasize the object (what the subject deals with). See these two examples:

Active > passive The lab assistant cleaned the samples. > The samples were cleaned by the lab assistant. (subject: lab assistant ; object: the samples . The lab assistant matters more in the active sentence.)

Passive > active The trendline is shown in Figure 5. > Figure 5 shows the trendline. (subject: Figure 5 ; object: the trendline . Figure 5 matters more in the active sentence.)

4. Remove redundant words

Scientific language can often be made more concise. So when paraphrasing, see if you can say the same thing using fewer words. For example, the underlined words in the sentence below do not add much, and can be removed:

Due to the fact that this well-studied detachment is often the result of propagation, it seemed obvious to the authors that this must have been the cause. > As such detachment is often due to propagation, this was considered the cause.

5. Generalize or specify

You can also paraphrase your sentence by removing specifics and thereby making the sentence more general. For example, in the following sentence, the underlined phrases may be unnecessary:

This area provides morphological or physiological trait-based characteristics to study each component at the community level .

In other cases, you might add detail:

No models have recently been generated. > Over the last five years , no Ballian Mimer models have been generated.

Whether specifics can be added or removed depends on what’s mentioned in the rest of your text, as well as how much you expect your reader to know.

6. Use Writefull

Not up for the task or running out of time? Use Writefull’s automated Paraphraser in Writefull for Word , Writefull for Overleaf , or in the browser . It instantly paraphrases your sentence at three levels (mid, medium, or low), depending on how much you want it changed.

About the author

Hilde is Chief Applied Linguist at Writefull.

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Paraphrasing Same meaning, different words

In academic writing, you will need to use other writer's ideas to support your own. The most common way to do this is by using paraphrase. This section considers how to do this by first looking in more detail at what paraphrasing is , then giving reasons for using paraphrase , and finally considering how to paraphrase .

What is paraphrasing?

paraphrase

Paraphrase is one of three ways of using another writer's work in your own writing, the other two being quotation and summary . The aim of paraphrasing is to change the words in the original text, while keeping the same meaning. This is different from quotation, which has the same words (as well as the same meaning). As the words have been changed, a paraphrase should not use quotation marks ("..."). Summary differs from paraphrase in that a summary is shorter than the original, whereas a paraphrase is the same length. When you paraphrase another writer's ideas, you will need to use in-text citations to acknowledge the source (this is the same for all three ways of using another writer's work). The following table summarises these points.

Why paraphrase?

Effective paraphrasing is essential in order to avoid plagiarism . A mistake many beginning academic writers make is to change a few but not enough of the words, leaving copied chunks from the original - so it is part paraphrase, part quotation, but without quotation marks (and therefore stealing a writer's words).

Avoiding plagiarism, however, is not the main aim of paraphrasing. As mentioned above, there are three ways to use another writer's work in your own: quotation, paraphrase and summary. Paraphrase is the most common of the three. It is usually favoured over quotation for two reasons: first, it allows you to demonstrate understanding of the original work; and second, it allows you to integrate the idea into your own writing. Although using quotation is easier, especially for beginning writers, most university lecturers will tell you to use quotation sparingly, and to use paraphrase or summary more frequently. Paraphrase is favoured over summary because it allows you to keep the full meaning of the original text, rather than just stating the main points.

While paraphrasing is an important skill in itself, it is also a part of writing a summary , as when you write a summary you still need to change the writer's words. It is also recommended that you use paraphrasing when reading and note-taking (although many students do not, and prefer to paraphrase later, when using their notes). These are additional reasons why learning how to paraphrase is important in your academic study.

How to paraphrase

A good paraphrase is different from the wording of the original, without altering the meaning. There are three vocabulary techniques you will need to use in order to achieve this, with good paraphrasing employing a mix of all three. They are:

  • changing words;
  • changing word forms;
  • changing word order.

The skill of paraphrase is another reason why it is important to understand more than just the meaning of a word, but also know its different word forms .

Below are two different examples of paraphrase, with an explanation of how each original text has been changed.

Original text 1, from Pears and Shields (2013, p.113)

Paraphrase: A restating of someone else's thoughts or ideas in your own words.

Paraphrase of text 1

Paraphrasing is a restatement of another person's ideas or thoughts using your own words.

In this example, the following changes have been made:

  • Paraphrase ⇒ Paraphrasing ( change word form )
  • restating ⇒ restatement ( change word form )
  • someone else's ⇒ another person's ( change words )
  • thoughts or ideas ⇒ ideas or thoughts ( change word order )
  • in ⇒ using ( change word )

Original text 2, from Bailey (2000, p.21)

Paraphrasing involves changing a text so that it is quite dissimilar to the source yet retains all the meaning.

Paraphrase of text 2

Paraphrase requires a text to be altered in a way which makes it different from the original while keeping the same meaning.

  • Paraphrasing ⇒ Paraphrase ( change word form )
  • involves ⇒ requires ( change word )
  • changing a text ⇒ a text to be altered ( change word order )
  • changing ⇒ altered ( change word )
  • so that it is ⇒ in a way which makes it ( change words )
  • dissimilar to ⇒ different from ( change words )
  • the source ⇒ the original ( change words )
  • yet retains all the meaning ⇒ while keeping the same meaning ( change words )

Academic Writing Genres

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Below is a checklist for paraphrasing. Use it to check your own paraphrasing, or get a peer (another student) to help you.

Bailey, S. (2000). Academic Writing. Abingdon: RoutledgeFalmer

Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2013). Cite them right: The essential guide to referencing (9th ed.) , Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan

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Author: Sheldon Smith    ‖    Last modified: 27 November 2022.

Sheldon Smith is the founder and editor of EAPFoundation.com. He has been teaching English for Academic Purposes since 2004. Find out more about him in the about section and connect with him on Twitter , Facebook and LinkedIn .

Compare & contrast essays examine the similarities of two or more objects, and the differences.

Cause & effect essays consider the reasons (or causes) for something, then discuss the results (or effects).

Discussion essays require you to examine both sides of a situation and to conclude by saying which side you favour.

Problem-solution essays are a sub-type of SPSE essays (Situation, Problem, Solution, Evaluation).

Transition signals are useful in achieving good cohesion and coherence in your writing.

Reporting verbs are used to link your in-text citations to the information cited.

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  • How to Paraphrase | Step-by-Step Guide & Examples

How to Paraphrase | Step-by-Step Guide & Examples

Published on 8 April 2022 by Courtney Gahan and Jack Caulfield. Revised on 15 May 2023.

Paraphrasing means putting someone else’s ideas into your own words. Paraphrasing a source involves changing the wording while preserving the original meaning.

Paraphrasing is an alternative to  quoting (copying someone’s exact words and putting them in quotation marks ). In academic writing, it’s usually better to paraphrase instead of quoting. It shows that you have understood the source, reads more smoothly, and keeps your own voice front and center.

Every time you paraphrase, it’s important to cite the source . Also take care not to use wording that is too similar to the original. Otherwise, you could be at risk of committing plagiarism .

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Table of contents

How to paraphrase in five easy steps, how to paraphrase correctly, examples of paraphrasing, how to cite a paraphrase, paraphrasing vs quoting, paraphrasing vs summarising, avoiding plagiarism when you paraphrase, frequently asked questions about paraphrasing.

If you’re struggling to get to grips with the process of paraphrasing, check out our easy step-by-step guide in the video below.

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Putting an idea into your own words can be easier said than done. Let’s say you want to paraphrase the text below, about population decline in a particular species of sea snails.

Incorrect paraphrasing

You might make a first attempt to paraphrase it by swapping out a few words for  synonyms .

Like other sea creatures inhabiting the vicinity of highly populated coasts, horse conchs have lost substantial territory to advancement and contamination , including preferred breeding grounds along mud flats and seagrass beds. Their Gulf home is also heating up due to global warming , which scientists think further puts pressure on the creatures , predicated upon the harmful effects extra warmth has on other large mollusks (Barnett, 2022).

This attempt at paraphrasing doesn’t change the sentence structure or order of information, only some of the word choices. And the synonyms chosen are poor:

  • ‘Advancement and contamination’ doesn’t really convey the same meaning as ‘development and pollution’.
  • Sometimes the changes make the tone less academic: ‘home’ for ‘habitat’ and ‘sea creatures’ for ‘marine animals’.
  • Adding phrases like ‘inhabiting the vicinity of’ and ‘puts pressure on’ makes the text needlessly long-winded.
  • Global warming is related to climate change, but they don’t mean exactly the same thing.

Because of this, the text reads awkwardly, is longer than it needs to be, and remains too close to the original phrasing. This means you risk being accused of plagiarism .

Correct paraphrasing

Let’s look at a more effective way of paraphrasing the same text.

Here, we’ve:

  • Only included the information that’s relevant to our argument (note that the paraphrase is shorter than the original)
  • Retained key terms like ‘development and pollution’, since changing them could alter the meaning
  • Structured sentences in our own way instead of copying the structure of the original
  • Started from a different point, presenting information in a different order

Because of this, we’re able to clearly convey the relevant information from the source without sticking too close to the original phrasing.

Explore the tabs below to see examples of paraphrasing in action.

  • Journal article
  • Newspaper article
  • Magazine article

Once you have your perfectly paraphrased text, you need to ensure you credit the original author. You’ll always paraphrase sources in the same way, but you’ll have to use a different type of in-text citation depending on what citation style you follow.

Generate accurate citations with Scribbr

It’s a good idea to paraphrase instead of quoting in most cases because:

  • Paraphrasing shows that you fully understand the meaning of a text
  • Your own voice remains dominant throughout your paper
  • Quotes reduce the readability of your text

But that doesn’t mean you should never quote. Quotes are appropriate when:

  • Giving a precise definition
  • Saying something about the author’s language or style (e.g., in a literary analysis paper)
  • Providing evidence in support of an argument
  • Critiquing or analysing a specific claim

A paraphrase puts a specific passage into your own words. It’s typically a similar length to the original text, or slightly shorter.

When you boil a longer piece of writing down to the key points, so that the result is a lot shorter than the original, this is called summarising .

Paraphrasing and quoting are important tools for presenting specific information from sources. But if the information you want to include is more general (e.g., the overarching argument of a whole article), summarising is more appropriate.

When paraphrasing, you have to be careful to avoid accidental plagiarism .

Students frequently use paraphrasing tools , which can be especially helpful for non-native speakers who might have trouble with academic writing. While these can be useful for a little extra inspiration, use them sparingly while maintaining academic integrity.

This can happen if the paraphrase is too similar to the original quote, with phrases or whole sentences that are identical (and should therefore be in quotation marks). It can also happen if you fail to properly cite the source.

To make sure you’ve properly paraphrased and cited all your sources, you could elect to run a plagiarism check before submitting your paper.

To paraphrase effectively, don’t just take the original sentence and swap out some of the words for synonyms. Instead, try:

  • Reformulating the sentence (e.g., change active to passive , or start from a different point)
  • Combining information from multiple sentences into one
  • Leaving out information from the original that isn’t relevant to your point
  • Using synonyms where they don’t distort the meaning

The main point is to ensure you don’t just copy the structure of the original text, but instead reformulate the idea in your own words.

Paraphrasing without crediting the original author is a form of plagiarism , because you’re presenting someone else’s ideas as if they were your own.

However, paraphrasing is not plagiarism if you correctly reference the source . This means including an in-text referencing and a full reference , formatted according to your required citation style (e.g., Harvard , Vancouver ).

As well as referencing your source, make sure that any paraphrased text is completely rewritten in your own words.

Plagiarism means using someone else’s words or ideas and passing them off as your own. Paraphrasing means putting someone else’s ideas into your own words.

So when does paraphrasing count as plagiarism?

  • Paraphrasing is plagiarism if you don’t properly credit the original author.
  • Paraphrasing is plagiarism if your text is too close to the original wording (even if you cite the source). If you directly copy a sentence or phrase, you should quote it instead.
  • Paraphrasing  is not plagiarism if you put the author’s ideas completely into your own words and properly reference the source .

To present information from other sources in academic writing , it’s best to paraphrase in most cases. This shows that you’ve understood the ideas you’re discussing and incorporates them into your text smoothly.

It’s appropriate to quote when:

  • Changing the phrasing would distort the meaning of the original text
  • You want to discuss the author’s language choices (e.g., in literary analysis )
  • You’re presenting a precise definition
  • You’re looking in depth at a specific claim

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Gahan, C. & Caulfield, J. (2023, May 15). How to Paraphrase | Step-by-Step Guide & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved 19 February 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/working-sources/paraphrasing/

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Five Effective Paraphrasing Techniques You Should Know

Table of Contents

Effective paraphrasing requires understanding the material and writing it in your own words . Students, content writers, and bloggers frequently need to incorporate ideas from several sources into their own work.

If you want to paraphrase, you have to change while retaining the original meaning. This article covers five effective paraphrasing techniques for writing better content for your website, blog, or academic paper.

What Does Paraphrasing Mean?

Paraphrasing is the process of restating someone else’s ideas or other information in your own words while preserving the meaning. A paraphrased text is sometimes shorter than the source. For effective paraphrasing, you must change the words and structure of a sentence.

However, a summary should not be confused with paraphrasing. A summary only includes key points of a text rewritten in your own words. The summarized version is usually much shorter than the source text.

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Five Effective Paraphrasing Techniques

The key to effective paraphrasing is how you manage to phrase ideas creatively. You must make your sentences flow in a way that’s beneficial for the readers to grasp the concept easily.

Paraphrasing will demonstrate your ability to write sentences from a different angle after authentically experiencing the same idea from someone else.

Here are five effective paraphrasing techniques for you to consider for your next assignment.

1. Use Synonyms

One of the most common ways to make your writing sound less confusing is to take familiar words and replace them with synonyms.

If you need to change the meaning of a word, you can also replace it with a similar word. These substitutions will make your writing more interesting and fresh, not confusing.

Original Text: The students illustrated their presentation slides with stories.

Paraphrased: The students explained their presentation slides with stories.

2. Change the Word Class or Form

It is easy to spot the difference when you copy words or sentences directly from a book. We all have different writing styles, and yours will be distinct from those of the authors you’re reading.

Changing the word class or form of words is a good approach to make your text sound significantly different. You can replace the verb of a sentence with a noun from the same word family or change an adjective with a noun.

Original Text: The supervisor played a significant role in the success of the project.

Paraphrased: The supervisor played a significant role in the successful completion of this project.

3. Modify the Sentence Structure

One way to effectively paraphrase a text is to shift the sentence structure. This can help address the unclear wording of the original text and make it easier to understand.

Change the sentence structure using a verb from the second half of the sentence as your subject rather than the first half. Moving something up in the sentence or moving it towards the end of the sentence could change its meaning substantially.

Original Text: The wedding photography package price includes travel fees, taxes, and editing costs.

Paraphrased: The travel fees, taxes, and editing costs are included in the wedding photography package.

4. Change the Grammatical Structure

To paraphrase, you need to change the grammatical structure of the original sentence. One way to do this is by utilizing a different tense. When you use this technique, the statement will be in the past tense but in the active voice. This can create a lot of impacts when communicating.

Original Text: A cake is being baked by Laura

Paraphrased: Laura is baking a cake.

5. Use Different Techniques To Work Together

Improve your ability to paraphrase by using several complementary paraphrasing techniques. For example, you can use passive voice, synonyms, or different word forms to convey similar ideas.

These techniques work together to help you effectively paraphrase an original text without any risk of plagiarism. Your paraphrased text will sound like a completely new and unique idea.

Paraphrasing can be quite helpful when writing or speaking, and it is important to possess the skills required to do it effectively. With the proper technique and format, paraphrasing can help make your writing or speech more memorable and understandable .

Everyone needs a little help on occasion. But with just a few small changes, your audience’s perception of you will be enhanced, and so will your impact.

Five Effective Paraphrasing Techniques You Should Know

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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What Is Paraphrasing? 4 Types And Examples

Paraphrasing is a valuable writing skill that goes beyond the rewording of text. It's about capturing the essence of an idea and presenting it in a new and engaging manner. 

This writing technique helps you avoid plagiarism and create content that resonates with your audience and ranks well on search engines.

In this article, we will explore what paraphrasing is and how you can apply it to your content writing

What you will learn

  • What paraphrasing is and its importance in content writing.
  • How paraphrasing can help you reference someone else's ideas and research papers in your writing, using your own words.
  • 4 paraphrasing techniques you can leverage.
  • The difference between paraphrasing, summarizing, and rephrasing.

What is paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing is when you rewrite something in your own words while maintaining the original meaning.

It is a writing technique that requires a deep understanding of the original text. You must fully grasp the concepts and nuances to reframe them without altering the intended meaning.

Paraphrasing is commonly used in content writing to use a piece of information without committing plagiarism or when trying to make it more understandable and relatable to your audience.

Here’s an example of how we’ve used paraphrasing in the Surfer blog to define the Pareto Principle.

paraphrasing techniques with examples

Here is the text from the original Wikipedia source.

paraphrasing techniques with examples

The paraphrased text conveys the same point using different words and phrases. It has simplified the concept, and it mentions the original source material. You can see that this is effective paraphrasing.

Why is paraphrasing important?

Paraphrasing is important because it allows you to use existing information and avoid plagiarism, create unique content, and tailor content to resonate with your audience.

Paraphrasing can help you contextualize information that you may not have created, but that is still relevant to your readers. It can help you use external material to validate your claims and prove your point.

If you’re publishing articles on the web, know that search engines value original content and penalize websites for plagiarism or duplicating content from other sources. By paraphrasing effectively, you can reference someone else's ideas or research in your own writing and avoid plagiarism.

Beyond avoiding plagiarism, paraphrasing can also help you present information in a way that resonates with your audience. 

For instance, if you're dealing with technical content, you might paraphrase it to make it more accessible to the average reader. 

Or, you might adapt a piece to better align with your brand's voice or your audience's cultural context.

Additionally, paraphrasing can enhance your copywriting skills by promoting a deeper understanding of the text and helping you articulate thoughts in your unique voice.

This way, paraphrasing can improve the overall readability and effectiveness of your writing. 

4 types of paraphrasing

There are four types of paraphrasing techniques you can apply when you write. Here’s an overview of each type with examples and tips on how to use it.

1. Rewriting text

The rewriting approach involves restructuring the original passage without changing its meaning. You can use this approach to improve the credibility of your writing.

This type of paraphrasing can be useful when referencing a statistic or a direct quotation in your writing. 

Here’s an example of Sprout Social using the rewriting approach to paraphrase one of their study statistics.

paraphrasing techniques with examples

When rewriting, you can use synonyms or alter the sentence order to convey the same idea in your own way. 

Or you can use an AI writing assistant like Surfy to do the rewriting for you. 

Simply highlight the text and ask Surfy to rewrite it.

paraphrasing techniques with examples

Surfy will give you a properly rewritten sentence.

paraphrasing techniques with examples

The rewritten sentence conveys the same point, using a different sentence structure and words.

2. Expand and clarify

This paraphrasing technique entails adding information to aid readers' comprehension of the main ideas you want to focus on. 

You can use this approach when the original passage requires additional explanation. 

This technique is also useful when you want to clarify how the original text fits into a specific situation or cultural context. 

For instance, you can rephrase a quote using this approach to ensure the audience understands it.

paraphrasing techniques with examples

In this case, Surfy rephrased the text and added extra information to clarify the meaning of the highlighted sentence.

paraphrasing techniques with examples

3. Condense and focus

The condense and focus paraphrasing technique involves cutting out the non-essential information to focus on what matters. This is the opposite of the expand and clarify approach.

Remove redundant or irrelevant details to make your writing more concise and easier to read. 

Let’s look at an example of how Surfy achieves this.

paraphrasing techniques with examples

Here’s the paraphrased text using the condense and focus approach.

paraphrasing techniques with examples

The paraphrased text uses shorter sentences and simpler words.

This way you highlight the essential information you wish to focus on and also improve the readability of your content.

4. Adapt your tone

Every audience is different, with unique preferences and levels of understanding. 

This paraphrasing technique allows you to present information in a way that is more accessible, engaging, and relevant to your specific audience. 

It involves restating text to match your brand voice or suit your audience. 

You can use different words or alter the level of technicality of a text to adapt your tone of voice and tailor the information to your intended audience. 

Here’s how Code Wizards uses paraphrasing to adapt the definition of coding to fit its audience of young kids. 

paraphrasing techniques with examples

This paraphrased definition of coding uses simple language to explain a technical concept to a group of young, non-technical people.

You can achieve such results with Surfy by asking it to simplify a concept or a sentence.

paraphrasing techniques with examples

And here are the results.

paraphrasing techniques with examples

What is the difference between paraphrasing and summarizing?

Paraphrasing involves rewriting someone else's ideas in your own words, while summarizing entails condensing the essential points of someone else's work.

The paraphrased content has the same meaning and is close to the same length as the original text. 

Summarizing, on the other hand, involves extracting the main points of a text and presenting them in a brief, concise manner. 

A summary is significantly shorter than the original text, often omitting specific details and examples. 

Here’s an example of a summary that sums up a whole Harry Potter book in a few sentences.

paraphrasing techniques with examples

Summarizing is useful when you need to give an overview of a topic, or when you want to highlight the main points of a lengthy article, report, or study. 

Paraphrasing is useful when you want to retell something in your own words.

Paraphrasing and summarizing are writing techniques that differ in their purpose and level of detail. 

Both paraphrasing and summarizing require a deep understanding of the original text to ensure that the essence is accurately conveyed.

What is the difference between paraphrasing and rephrasing?

Paraphrasing involves taking a piece of text and rewriting it in your own words while rephrasing relies on tweaking words and structure to improve readability. 

Paraphrasing and rephrasing are writing techniques that differ in their level of complexity. 

Paraphrasing is not just about changing a few words here and there; it's about reworking the text while retaining the original meaning and context. 

Rephrasing, on the other hand, is often a simpler process. It involves making smaller changes to a text to improve clarity, readability, or style.

For instance, when rephrasing, you can change the wording of sentences and the sentence structure.

Let’s put this into practice with the help of Surfy.

We will use Surfy to rephrase and paraphrase the same sentence.

paraphrasing techniques with examples

As you can see, when rephrasing, Surfy has relied on synonyms, like replacing “well-crafted” with “well-orchestrated” and “analogy” with "principle.” The main idea remains the same.

paraphrasing techniques with examples

The paraphrased version goes a step beyond using different words and phrases. It expresses the same sentence in a completely different voice. 

paraphrasing techniques with examples

As you can see, paraphrasing is a more complex technique than rephrasing.

Key takeaways

  • Paraphrasing is a technique used to restate text in a different way using your own words, while maintaining the original meaning of the text.
  • Effective paraphrasing improves readability, avoids plagiarism, and reduces the overuse of quotes in content writing.
  • It involves identifying the central ideas, using synonyms, rewording, and changing sentence structures.
  • There are four main paraphrasing techniques: rewriting text, expanding and clarifying, condensing and focusing, and adapting your tone.
  • Summarizing condenses an original text to its main ideas, whereas paraphrasing restates the text without losing its intended meaning.
  • Rephrasing and paraphrasing differ in their level of complexity. 

Paraphrasing is a writing technique that helps you ensure originality in your content, engage the audience, and comply with writing best practices. 

Effective paraphrasing requires a deep understanding of the source material in order to be able to rewrite it in your own words, while preserving the original meaning. 

There are four paraphrasing techniques you can use when paraphrasing. By learning these techniques, you can improve your copywriting skills and the effectiveness of your content. 

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IMAGES

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Paraphrase

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  2. How to Paraphrase (Without Plagiarizing a Thing)

    Your writing, at its best Grammarly helps you communicate confidently Write with Grammarly When to paraphrase? Paraphrasing takes an original passage and uses different words or phrases to express the same meaning. Essentially, a paraphrase just rewrites the original text in its own way.

  3. Techniques for Paraphrasing

    Writing Working with sources Techniques for Paraphrasing When you write a paraphrase, you restate other's ideas in your own words. That is, you write the meaning of the author's ideas. You use some of the author's key terms, but you use many of your own words and sentence structures.

  4. Top Five Paraphrasing Techniques (video included)

    1. Use Synonyms The most common technique, and maybe most important, is to find synonyms for keywords in the question. For this technique, take note of the important nouns and verbs in the question, and see in which synonyms might be appropriate to replace them.

  5. How to paraphrase (including examples)

    For example, if you are writing a research paper all about Shakespeare's influence on modern-day literature, you don't want to just use a ton of direct quotes, instead by paraphrasing original passages, it can help you comprehend and analyze the material better. Improve your credibility with readers

  6. Paraphrasing: What is Paraphrasing, Techniques and Examples

    💡 Paraphrasing is restating or rewording someone else's thoughts or ideas in your own words, maintaining the same meaning. It means, especially in a shorter and simpler form, to make the meaning clearer, along with your thoughts/comments.

  7. Paraphrasing for Beginners

    1. Step-by-step paraphrasing 2. Text Comparison: Example original text and paraphrased text 3. Sentence Analysis Step-by-step paraphrasing Decide what the key information is, for the purposes of your discussion. Change the order of the ideas and the words. This can help you to emphasise your interpretation of the original text.

  8. How to Paraphrase: Dos, Don'ts, and Strategies for Success

    Here are some paraphrase examples using different sentence structures: Simple: It was difficult. Compound: It was difficult, but she knew there was no going back. ... Paraphrasing isn't meant to hide the fact that you are copying someone else's idea using clever word-swapping techniques. Rather, it is meant to demonstrate that you are capable ...

  9. Examples of Paraphrasing Without Plagiarizing

    Elizabeth Trach M.A. English Updated November 6, 2020 Paraphrasing involves taking a passage — either spoken or written — and rewording it. Writers often paraphrase sentences and paragraphs to deliver information in a more concise way, as you'll see in the examples below.

  10. How to Paraphrase and Summarize Work

    What do you do? The solution is to paraphrase and summarize the reports, so your boss gets only the key information that she needs, in a form that she can process quickly. In this article, we explain how to paraphrase and how to summarize, and how to apply these techniques to text and the spoken word.

  11. Techniques for effective paraphrasing

    Getting started When writers are new to paraphrasing, they might think it's acceptable to simply substitute certain words with synonyms. Here is an example, taken from the writing handbook They Say/I Say by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein:

  12. Paraphrasing Techniques

    Technique #1: Tell-a-friend method This method involves using a new way to explain the meaning of the original sentence. Read the original sentence (s). Make sure you understand the sentence (s) completely. Cover the original source. Imagine you are talking to a friend and try explaining the information to your friend. Write down your explanation.

  13. How to Paraphrase in 5 Easy Steps

    Struggling with paraphrasing? Learn how to paraphrase in 5 easy steps, with 4 helpful tips to ace your paraphrasing game! This video will cover:Intro - 0:001...

  14. Paraphrasing, summarising and techniques

    Paraphrasing techniques. Steps to effective paraphrasing and summarising: Read your text/paragraph and ensure that you understand it. Write down your ideas without looking at the original. Use synonyms or change the word order of your sentence. Compare with the original to see whether you are conveying the same meaning.

  15. Techniques for paraphrasing

    View Course Here; "may" is replaced with "is likely to" and "put upward pressure on" is replaced with "push up". Be careful when using synonyms. Many words have several meanings, depending on context, and you have to think about the synonym which expresses the right meaning for the particular context. 2. Changing the form of words

  16. How to paraphrase: techniques and tips

    Paraphrasing - rephrasing a sentence - is important in academic writing. For example, you paraphrase to add variation to your writing or to rephrase the wording of authors you cite. Here are six techniques to rewrite your sentences! Still struggling? Switch to Writefull's Paraphraser in Writefull for Word or for Overleaf, and let AI do the ...

  17. 10 Examples of Paraphrasing for a Smarter, Better Essay

    10 Examples of Paraphrasing for a Smarter, Better Essay June 29, 2015 We all know that when you write a research paper, you need evidence to support your arguments. That means you throw in a few quotes to prove to your professor that you've actually used sources to help write your paper, right?

  18. Paraphrasing

    Paraphrasing involves changing a text so that it is quite dissimilar to the source yet retains all the meaning. Paraphrase of text 2. Paraphrase requires a text to be altered in a way which makes it different from the original while keeping the same meaning. In this example, the following changes have been made:

  19. How to Paraphrase

    Knowledge Base Working with sources How to Paraphrase | Step-by-Step Guide & Examples How to Paraphrase | Step-by-Step Guide & Examples Published on 8 April 2022 by Courtney Gahan and Jack Caulfield. Revised on 15 May 2023. Paraphrasing means putting someone else's ideas into your own words.

  20. Five Effective Paraphrasing Techniques You Should Know

    Photo by lilartsy on Unsplash Five Effective Paraphrasing Techniques The key to effective paraphrasing is how you manage to phrase ideas creatively. You must make your sentences flow in a way that's beneficial for the readers to grasp the concept easily.

  21. Free Paraphrasing Tool

    Grammarly's free paraphrasing tool lets you quickly create high-quality paraphrases to simplify your own or others' writing in a new and. articulate way. Save time by paraphrasing even the most complicated sentences in one click. Make your points eloquently by customizing the length and formality of each paraphrase to fit your needs.

  22. What Is Paraphrasing? 4 Types And Examples

    4 types of paraphrasing. There are four types of paraphrasing techniques you can apply when you write. Here's an overview of each type with examples and tips on how to use it. 1. Rewriting text. The rewriting approach involves restructuring the original passage without changing its meaning.

  23. Analyzing Exemplary Paraphrase Examples

    What Are Three Examples of Paraphrasing? To see the different techniques people use to paraphrase, we can look at three examples of paraphrasing using the same source material. Alexander Pope has a famous quotation: To err is human; to forgive, divine. So, let us look at how to apply techniques to paraphrase this famous quote.