The term Paraphrasing refers to transforming someone's idea into your own words. While paraphrasing anyone’s content, you have to rewrite a paragraph without changing its meaning.
Paraphrasing is another form of quoting. To quote a phrase you copy somebody's actual words and keep them in inverted commas. Generally, paraphrasing is considered a better way in academic writing than quoting because it means you clearly understood the paragraph and created your work more unique.
Whenever you paraphrase it's essential to mention the source. You must be careful with the wording as well, that should not be much similar to the actual one. Otherwise, your work will have a chance to be plagiarized.
You can paraphrase in just five steps, mentioned below:
1. First, understand the passage completely by reading it multiple times.
2. Write down the major concepts
3. Try to write the text without viewing the actual one.
4. Now make a comparison between your own text and the original one, if you find any similarity then make it unique by minor adjustments.
5. Lastly, mention the source from where you got the idea.
These five steps of paraphrasing look so easy and simple but writing someone`s idea into your own words could be so challenging.
The most important thing before paraphrasing is to read the article very carefully and make sure you understand what information you are supposed to present. If you skip some words, you might use the wrong expression and change the whole sentence`s meaning. so here we have a few tips that can help you.
Start your sentence with a different point. It implies attempting to select a starting place before you start reading the paragraph. The phrase order may differ, but ensure that sentence structure is preserved. Choosing the right words is important, and it's also vital to know what your goal is.
You should choose your first phrase carefully because it sets a tone for the rest of the essay that you're going to follow up on later. In general, try not to use phrases that convey information or express facts unless absolutely necessary. Instead, pick something that implies some sort of action. It's not always necessary to use phrases precisely like this, but it's good to keep them in mind as an example.
The first phrase you choose doesn't have to be particularly long or descriptive; however, try to think about what the sentence will look like when it ends up being past tense. After all, the main goal of this exercise is to see how starting a sentence with a different phrase changes its overall meaning, tone, and use in an essay.
Synonyms are phrases or words that mean the same as the other word. Synonyms are often used to find the meaning or definition of an unknown word or check how a certain sentence can be rephrased using different words. In this way, one-word synonyms could also help you get better at foreign languages. Each language has synonyms that are more or less similar. Let's see some examples in English.
"Amazing” → “Incredible”
“Phrase” → “Expression”
A Thesaurus will be a great tool to find synonyms. Sometimes it is necessary to use the same words as in the actual text and it is completely acceptable but do not use them frequently because your text would be plagiarized. However, when it comes to synonyms, you should always try to use words that are time-appropriate.
Also, when writing a paper or an essay in English it is customary to avoid using words that have the same meaning over and over again because the assignment will be less interesting after reading them all together in one place.
When it comes to finding the word to use you should determine what your audience is and take into consideration that your text might be plagiarized.
A Thesaurus will help you find words for any category: verbs, adverbs, nouns, and so on. Synonyms can also show different meanings of the same word: grammar-wise, stylistic, or vocabulary usage.
The sentence structure is one of the main things while writing. So it is important to change the sentence structure while paraphrasing. If an actual sentence is in an active voice you can change it into a passive voice to make it different. But make sure not to overuse it. And don't change the sentence structure too often, because this may change the meaning of your article.
For example: "I cooked food" can be changed into "The food was cooked by me." These two sentences are fundamentally different. Sentence number one is in active voice and sentence number two is in passive voice.
"I cooked food."
This sentence is simple and to the point. It tells you what happened and who did it, but doesn't give any specific information about how that event came to pass.
"The food was cooked by me."
Now this sentence is a bit more complex than the first one, but it tells you everything that happened. This one also doesn't take an active role in the sentence, which makes it difficult to tell who is responsible for cooking the food.
Now if I were to compare these two sentences structure wise, this would be my paraphrased version of both sentences together.
"I was responsible for cooking the food. It was done by me."
As you can see, I changed the first sentence from active voice to passive voice. In this case, it's because both sentences have a similar structure and meaning which makes them easier to compare. As for the second sentence, I simply put it in the passive voice as well. This is a common practice for someone who is new to paraphrasing. Putting everything in passive voice makes it easier to get the gist of what you're trying to say across.
The overall word count is usually very close to the total, although it's generally not an exact match. You may either connect them or split them to produce a unique text, depending on your preference. When you're writing, it may be tempting to combine two or more sentences into one. A lengthy sentence might be divided into several shorter ones. Words in a sentence can also be reordered to make the text more logical.
"This paper is really helpful. It has a lot of great information."
"This paper has a lot of great information and it is really helpful."
As you can see, I keep the overall meaning the same while changing the order in which I present my thoughts.
You can also separate sentences to make them more concise.
"It is really helpful. This paper has a lot of great information."
Here, I was able to separate two sentences into smaller ones. Additionally, the first sentence is in active voice while the second one is passive. Breaking up bigger sentences can help you scrap unnecessary words and make your text easier to read without changing its general meaning.
The effort you put in paraphrasing a text can go completely to waste if your paraphrased text gets plagiarized. So be careful with that. Usually, this happens if your text is much similar to the actual one. Similarly, you wouldn't want this to happen with your essays.
To help you avoid plagiarizing the text here are a few paraphrasing techniques. These can be useful in making sure that no part of your essay is copied from the original source.
Before you start writing anything, you should read the entire text once. Make a list of key questions that need to be answered in your essay and then highlight or underline important things that can help answer them.
Now while writing the main body of your essay, refer back to your highlighted notes frequently. That way even while paraphrasing you will be able to add variety to your essay by using different sentences and words instead of making it seem like a simple summary. And while you are at it, also try to find the answers to your key questions.
The last step is to run a plagiarism check on your text using a plagiarism checker after you've finished paraphrasing it.