Key Guide to Better Paraphrase Paragraphs

Researchers and students need to know how to paraphrase a paragraph.…

Researchers and students need to know how to paraphrase a paragraph. Without paraphrasing, they stand the risk of getting penalized for plagiarism.

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Photo by Finn Mund on Unsplash

This article shows you how to paraphrase a paragraph and the tools to help you with it.

What Is Paraphrasing?

Before going deeper, it is important to understand the basics of paraphrasing. Paraphrasing means writing or saying what has been said differently. Paraphrasing is an important communication technique, especially in academic research. 

It is a simple way to avoid copying an original source. In research, you should not use other people’s ideas without crediting the author and citing the source. Thus, presenting what has already been said in your own words is a good way of delivering your message.

Paraphrasing may involve a simple stretch of text, like one or two sentences. In other instances, you may need to paraphrase an entire paragraph. Whatever the needs are, knowing how to paraphrase a paragraph is a useful skill.

Difference Between Paraphrasing, Quoting, and Summarizing

These are the three triplets of academic writing that leave students confused. The three are explained below.

When you use a quotation, you write another person’s work verbatim. Quotations are enclosed between quotation marks. You’re expected to include a citation of the source of the quote.

Summarizing is all about distilling long texts into their fundamental points. For this reason, summaries are typically shorter. On the other hand, paraphrasing is all about putting what has already been said in your own words.

How to Paraphrase a Paragraph

When paraphrasing any stretch of text, always remember that you’re not doing it to introduce your idea. Instead, it is a way of saying the same thing differently. Here are the simple steps to follow to paraphrase texts:

1. Understand the Passage

You cannot give what you don’t have. Thus, you’ll find it hard to paraphrase a passage or content you do not understand. Read the passage several times to identify the key points and circumstantial information. You should check the dictionary for the meaning of unfamiliar words in the text.

2. Change the Words

The next step is to change the words in the text by finding suitable alternatives. The change doesn’t have to be wholesale. You might want to opt for simpler synonyms when changing the words, especially if you want to enhance clarity. When using this strategy, it is important to ensure the synonym fits the context. For example:

  • Yesterday, I witnessed one of the most amazing events of my entire life. It was breathtaking.
  • Yesterday, I saw one of the most astounding scenes in my whole life. It was stunning.

3. Play With the Syntax

Syntax refers to the arrangement of words and phrases in a sentence. When you play around with the sentence’s syntax, you can easily paraphrase entire essays. For example:

  • He worked as a clerk at the post office for seven years
  • For seven years, he worked at the post office as a clerk
  • They cooked a sumptuous meal as we tried a new style
  • While we tried a new style, they cooked a sumptuous meal

Each pair of examples have similar words. However, they are syntactically different. Most importantly, the meaning stays the same in both sentences. Another simple way of changing sentence syntax is to change active voice sentences to passive and vice-versa.

4. Change Word Forms

There are instances where you can rephrase sentences by changing the parts of speech of constituent words. This process could involve changing an adjective to an adverb. The success of this option is dependent on how the original text is worded.

Overall, writers need to understand that the best strategy is to combine the steps mentioned above. Opting for a single one could limit the way you express yourself.

Best AI Tools for Paraphrasing Paragraphs

The steps listed above are quite a lot. You can bank on AI writing tools to paraphrase texts for you. They are faster, and the output is always unique.

INK

You can bank on INK’s AI reword tool to help you paraphrase any text anytime and anywhere. Users can access the tool via three channels:

  • INK website
  • Chrome extension
  • Desktop editor

INK uses a proprietary AI to rewrite sentences for users with excellent output. Users can also select their desired tone. This possibility ensures that your paper or article fits the prescribed tone.

QuillBot

When you need a quality AI tool to paraphrase and alter the structure of your text, there aren’t many tools better than QuillBot. QuillBot uses an AI-powered thesaurus to identify the correct synonym for words according to context.

Wordtune

Users get rewrite suggestions to diversify their content. Hence, Word Tune is a quality tool for rewriting and paraphrasing. It offers different tones and the option to lengthen or shorten your sentence.

Conclusion

Many students have difficulty paraphrasing or reviewing their work. There are tools to help out. These tools are more than just some online translation aid.

They’re smart enough to suggest changes to your sentences for a better paraphrase. Some of these changes could be at the very sentence level, and others could be at the paragraph level. Both are great and can make a huge difference.

The main aim of paraphrasing is to present another person’s idea in your own words. Paraphrased sentences usually mean almost the same thing as the original text.

Frequently asked questions

What is the first step of composing paraphrased information from a source?

1. Take notes on the text. Paraphrasing requires understanding the source material in its entirety. You need to convey an author’s message in your own words.

What are the 4R of Paraphrasing?

Read, refute, check, and repair: the 4Rs of Paraphrasing.

What are the elements of effective paraphrasing?

A good paraphrase includes the following elements: completely different words and sentence structures from the original. Text and author’s names. Citation of any page (unless you cite both direct quotes–you may simply quote the quote as you want).

Why is paraphrasing so hard?

Paraphrasing is one of the main difficulties that students encounter before they use alternative ideas or change the words in their words. Therefore, students’ assessment is very similar to what they have read in the original.

How do you paraphrase a paragraph easily?

Do not just take the original sentence and substitute some words for synonyms to paraphrase effectively. It is better to reformulate the sentence (e.g., switch active to passive, or start from a different point). Combine information from multiple sentences into one.

What are the 3 key techniques in paraphrasing?

Use synonyms, or change the word order of your sentence. Compare with the original to see if you are conveying the same meaning. Document the source details so you can easily reference it later.

Why is it so hard for me to paraphrase?

Using quotes or paraphrasing that interfere with your own writing is not conducive to its flow. In many cases, it can be difficult for readers to see how paraphrased or quoted ideas fit within your broader discussion because they have not read the same source material on both sides.

What are the 3 steps to paraphrasing?

  • Read the original text until you understand its meaning; then set it aside.
  • Use your memory to write down the main points or concepts.
  • Change the opening of the text, change the order of sentences, lengthen, or shorten sentences.

How do you paraphrase a paragraph without plagiarizing?

  • Synonyms are needed for all words that are not generic.
  • Your sentence structure should change.
  • Voices can be switched between active and passive, and vice versa.
  • The clauses to phrases can be changed.
  • Replace speech parts

How do I get better at paraphrasing?

  • Notes and read them. Take care to read the text you intend to paraphrase.
  • Find Different Terms
  • You can use the text as your own.
  • Check Your Work
  • Learn About the Original.
  • Check Your Understanding
  • Make Notes
  • Write Your Summary
Key Guide to Better Paraphrase Paragraphs

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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