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

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While researching for your article or essay, you might have encountered a sentence or a paragraph that's so intriguing that you thought you must include it in your content! But you can't use those exact words, right?

Well, paraphrasing is the way to do that. However, the idea is not to steal someone's content but to capitalize on it by drafting a much better version while adding your input and research.

You can always have your own piece written and make it more intuitive to your audience while using the original one as a reference.

E.g.

'It's easier said than done'

'Although the idea sounds like a good one in theory, it will still be difficult to actually execute it.'

Both the above sentences have similar meanings, but they appear different. That's a classic example of paraphrasing.

But how do you paraphrase while keeping the essence of the original sentence intact and still not plagiarising?

That calls for some tips and tricks! And here, we have got you covered.

In this blog, we will explain what is paraphrasing, why you might need to paraphrase, how to paraphrase, and the difference between paraphrasing and summarizing.

Let's dive in.

Table Of Contents

What is paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing is the process of restructuring or tweaking a paragraph so that it represents the same meaning or idea from the original statement but with different sentence construction, choice of words, formats, or, possibly, tone or voice.

It means making the meaning clearer, especially in a shorter and simpler form, 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, apart from global plagiarism, other types of plagiarism are often accidental.

Although paraphrasing is accepted, rephrasing sentences or paraphrasing someone else’s idea without citing or acknowledging 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.

How to paraphrase?

When it comes to paraphrasing, you can either do it manually or use an AI-powered tool like Writesonic to rephrase your content. While we will guide you through both processes, here is how to paraphrase with Writesonic Content Rephraser.

Check out the steps below:

  • Log in to Writesonic or sign up (if you haven't already done so!).
  • Search for Content Rephrase and select the tool from the results.
how to paraphrase
content rephrase
  • On the Content Rephrase v2 window, put the text in the Content box.
  • Select the Words Length from the drop-down for the rephrased content.
  • Select your Brand Voice / Tone of Voice from the list.
  • Finally, hit the Generate button.

If you are not satisfied with the output received, simply click on the Regenerate button.

If you want, you can also paraphrase manually without using any tool.  Here is a guide on different techniques to paraphrase effectively,

What is the difference between summarizing and paraphrasing?

Summarizing is a concise statement that briefs the contents of the passage. On the other hand, paraphrasing is just rewriting sentences using your own words. In fact, there is more than one difference between summarizing and paraphrasing.

Check out the comparison chart to learn the differences between summarizing and paraphrasing, besides their definition.

Basis

Summarizing

Paraphrasing

Definition

Summarizing refers to the concise statements and key points of the original work or piece

Paraphrasing refers to restating the texts or passages in your own words based on your comprehension


Underlines

The central idea of the original sentence


Simplifies and clarifies the original sentence or texts


Length of the text

It is shorter when compared with the original writing or piece


It is almost the same length as the original statement


Objective 

To express the general concept of the piece or work briefly using a precise language


To break down the complex words into more comprehensible and simple words


Uses

When you want to provide a quick review of the topic or piece


When you want to present your point of view in different words while incorporating the authors’ ideas as well


Doesn’t include

Unnecessary information, details, examples, and reader’s interpretations 


Problematic language, lengthy quotes, same words from the original passage or phrases from the original sentence. 


Top 5 tips and tricks to follow while paraphrasing

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

Identify the important parts

You can't paraphrase until you understand the meaning! In fact, paraphrasing demonstrates your understanding of the original material. Thus, read the original content until you get enough ideas to explain it in your own words.

Once you have the original concept, reduce it to the key points, and don't focus on the sentence structures at the start. Another way to rewrite or reword the source without losing your key points is to use a paraphrasing tool.

Change up the words

Change the words using synonyms while noting down the concepts or key points. However, if you face writer's block and can’t find the right words, which can make your content incompetent, use 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, double-check and compare the paraphrased copy with the original passage. Make adjustments to ensure it’s completely rewritten. Also, make sure that the grammar and punctuation are correct.

Double-checking your work for grammar and punctuation by reviewing it more than once improves its quality. Paragraph rewriters use AI for paraphrasing, which can tweak the tonality and narrative, ensure a grammar check, and make 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 way to paraphrase your sources without plagiarizing them. One such creative AI writing tool that assists you with paraphrasing is Writesonic.

Writesonic is trained on billions of parameters. It refines the grammar, spelling, and style to generate original, paraphrased content. In addition to that, Writesonic 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, 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. 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 into 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. 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

Paraphrasing requires you to change the passages in your own words, which may help refurbish your writing skills. Rewriting or paraphrasing is essential in writing essays or research papers.

Paraphrasing allows you to express ideas or information with a fresh set of words to make the same thing sound more interesting or even simpler. You can see paraphrasing as an opportunity to enhance your writing skills without 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. At the same time, paraphrasing demonstrates your understanding of the complex details from the source and your ability to explain the connections between main points. Therefore, it's obvious that you can comprehend a text better when you paraphrase it.

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

Original

Paraphrased

Apples are domesticated trees and fruit of the rose family which is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits. They are predominantly grown for sale as fresh fruit, although apples are also used commercially for vinegar, juice, jelly, applesauce, and apple butter and are canned as pie stock. 


Fresh apples are either eaten raw or cooked. Cooked apples are used in a variety of ways. They are frequently used as a pastry filling, apple pie being the archetypal American dessert.


Apples are domesticated trees and fruit of the rose family, and they are one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits. Apples are primarily grown for fresh fruit sales, though they are also used commercially in the production of vinegar, juice, jelly, applesauce, and butter, as well as canned pie filling. 


They are consumed either raw or cooked. However, a variety of recipes call for cooked apples. Apple pie is the most iconic American dessert, where apples are frequently used as a filling for pastries. 

#2 Example of Paraphrasing

Original

Paraphrased

The word paper originated from the reedy plant papyrus. Papyrus plants grow abundantly along the Nile River in Egypt. Prior to the invention of the paper machine, papermaking can be traced to about 105AD, when Ts’ai Lun— an official in the Imperial court of China, created a sheet of paper by using mulberry, old rags, and other bast fibers along with fishnets, and hemp waste.


By the 14th century, a number of paper mills existed in Europe. And later in 1798 Nicolas-Louis Robert in France constructed a moving screen belt that would receive a continuous flow of stock and deliver an unbroken sheet of wet paper. In 1800 a book was published comprising practical methods for manufacturing paper from wood pulp and other vegetable pulps.


The term "paper" comes from the name of the reedy plant papyrus which thrives along Egypt's Nile River. Prior to the invention of the paper machine, papermaking can be traced back to 105AD, when Ts'ai Lun, an official in the Imperial court of China, created a sheet of paper from mulberry and other bast fibers, as well as fishnets, old rags, and hemp waste.


By the 14th century, Europe had several paper mills. Later, in 1798, Nicolas-Louis Robert in France built a moving screen belt that would take in a constant flow of stock and deliver an intact sheet of wet paper. In 1800, a book was published that detailed practical methods for making paper from wood pulp and other vegetable pulps. 

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. The correct way and right use of paraphrasing can protect writers from accusations of plagiarism.

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. Writesonic is a well-known AI paraphrasing tool that can refine grammar, spelling, and style to generate original plagiarism-free AI content.

Satwick Ghosh

Satwick Ghosh, Staff writer @ Writesonic. An SEO content marketing expert skilled in AI marketing tools. Crafting content, and busting myths with AI writing through result-driven content strategies.

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