Paraphrasing is the process of putting someone else’s thoughts into your own words. If you are paraphrasing, you are recreating a piece of writing without affecting the original text’s meaning. Paraphrasing is an alternative to a quote.
Quoting involves copying someone’s identical words and putting them in quotation marks. In academic writing, paraphrasing rather than quoting is preferable since it demonstrates that you understand the source and makes your work more original.
It’s critical to cite the source whenever you paraphrase. You should also avoid using wording that is too close to the original. You can be accused of plagiarism if you don’t.
Paraphrasing is Important Because:
● It’s preferable to paraphrase than quoting information from an article.
● It assists you in resisting the need to quote excessively.
● The mental process necessary for appropriate paraphrase helps in grasping the full meaning of the content.
How to Paraphrase in Few Effective and Simple Steps
- Reread the original text until you fully comprehend it.
- Place the original aside and jot down your notes on a notecard.
- Make a note of a few words below your paraphrase to help you remember how you plan to use this content later. Write a keyword or phrase at the top of the notecard to signify the topic of your paraphrase.
- Compare your version to the original to ensure that it appropriately represents all of the important information in a new format.
- Use quote marks to denote any unique terms or phrases you’ve copied directly from the source.
- Make a note of the source on your note card so you can readily attribute it if you decide to use it in your work.
- Examine your paraphrased text against the original piece and make slight modifications to any phrases that are too similar.
- Cite the source of your idea
● Use Synonyms:
Synonyms are words or phrases that have the same meaning as one another. But don’t go overboard! Using some of the same terms as the original text is totally fine and frequently required. Using synonyms for terms like “science” in this case would be excessively confusing.
● Start on a Different Tone:
You should start your article on a different note than the original article. The starting should be engaging enough to hold the attention of the readers.
● Change the Structure of the Sentence:
You can change the general structure of a sentence by changing the voice of the sentence (active to passive and passive to active). When paraphrasing an original text with synonyms and related words, you may overlook changing and substituting a few words from the original, relying heavily on the structure and vocabulary of the original source.
This failed paraphrase attempt is known as “patchwriting,” and it occurs when a paraphrased text is extremely similar to the original, which is a form of plagiarism!
You must also change the sentence structure to properly paraphrase. You can change the structure of the original text. It can be done by breaking up long sentences, combining short ones, expanding phrases for clarity, or shortening them for conciseness to change the structure of a sentence.
● Change the Order of Words:
You can rearrange the words in a sentence while maintaining the meaning of the sentence. Changing the order of words in a sentence is almost as easy as finding synonyms. You may need to add a few words to complete the sentence if you want to change the order.
Here are two suggestions for making correct sentences by changing the order of words:
● Change the order of the clauses if the main sentence has two or even more.
● Change the adjective to the relative clause if the main sentence has both an adjective and a noun.
Do’s and Don’ts of Paraphrasing
● Do Understand the Reason Behind Paraphrasing:
You are mistaken if you believe that paraphrasing involves rewriting ideas from someone else’s work in order to avoid having to think for yourself. Your job as a student or researcher is to show that you understand the material you’ve read by expressing ideas from other sources in your own unique style, citing the paraphrased material as needed. The purpose of paraphrasing is to bring together ideas from various sources in order to convey information to your reader in a clear and concise manner.
● Do Understand the Difference Between Quoting and Paraphrasing. When to Use which:
For well-written material that you can’t express more clearly or eloquently in your own style, direct quotation is the best option. Shortening a long quote is an excellent way to keep the original phrasing while ensuring that it reads well in your paper. Direct quotations, on the other hand, are frequently discouraged in the sciences and social sciences. Long passages of text that you can synthesize in your own words are the best for paraphrasing. Consider paraphrasing to be a type of translation; you’re converting an idea from another “language” into your own. The concept should be the same, but the language and structure of the sentences should be completely different.
● Do Have a Clear Understanding of the Text you are Paraphrasing:
When paraphrasing, make sure you understand the text completely; otherwise, you risk relying too heavily on the original source text. The purpose of paraphrasing is to interpret the information you researched for your reader as if you were speaking to a colleague or teacher. In other words, paraphrasing is a skill that demonstrates a person’s understanding of the text.
● Don’t Copy Without using Quotation Marks:
It’s fine if you keep a few phrases from the original source but paraphrase the rest, but keep in mind that source text phrasing must be “reproduced in an exact manner within quotation marks.” More than three consecutive words copied from another source are considered direct quotations, and they should always be enclosed in quotation marks or offset as a block quotation.
● Don’t Paraphrase too Much:
When learning how to paraphrase, it’s important to understand the difference between appropriate and inappropriate paraphrasing.
Taking sections 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, rearranging the order, voice (i.e., active vs. passive), and/or tense of the sentences, is NOT paraphrasing. True paraphrasing involves altering the original source’s words and syntactical structure.
To summarize, paraphrasing is more than just changing a few words; it takes ideas and explains them with new words and a completely different sentence structure. It serves a larger purpose: it demonstrates that you’ve read and comprehended the literature on your topic and can clearly communicate it to your reader.
In other words, proper paraphrasing demonstrates not only that you are literate but also that you are familiar with the ideas in your field, and it allows you to use in-text citations to support your own research.
However, there are chances of grammatical errors after paraphrasing or using a paraphrasing tool. So, to give your article a final check and removing all the errors, you can look for proofreading and editing services.