Guide to Paraphrasing in 5 Easy Steps

Many students struggle with paraphrasing, an essential skill in writing. Here’s some great news! With practice and the great tips highlighted in this article, you’ll learn how to paraphrase in 5 easy steps, like a pro.

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    What is Paraphrasing?

    Paraphrasing is presenting someone else’s ideas in your own words and reworking them. It is essential to ensure you are not just restating the original but using your own words to convey the author’s message.

    Paraphrasing takes someone else’s idea and gives it a different form by conveying the thought in your own words. It is the art of rewording text to share the author’s views.

    How to Paraphrase in 5 Easy Steps

    A paraphrase needs to be accurate and must properly synthesize the information from the source material. How to paraphrase in 5 easy steps? The five steps highlighted below will guide you through the process of paraphrasing effectively.

    1. Understand the text and take notes

    The first step to every paraphrasing is to understand the source material correctly. A paraphrase aims to convey an author’s message in your own words.

    But how do you paraphrase a text you aren’t clear about?

    Read the source material a few times and identify the author’s argument and main points. Write down the main ideas of the piece to help you better organize your thoughts.

    Take note of unfamiliar words and look up their meanings in the dictionary. Look out for words in the original that you can replace with synonyms.

    2. Create a Structure and A Plan

    Think of how well you can represent the author’s message in your own words. Take note of the author’s tone, writing style, and sentence structure.

    Choose the writing style and fashion to use. You may decide to switch between the active and passive voices and use a different sentence structure to convey the same message.

    3. Write

    Use your own words, and writing style to write your version. Do not rewrite word-for-word or simply replace one or two words with synonyms. Instead, try to rewrite each idea uniquely. Ensure the author’s message and meaning are not altered, and avoid leaving out any information.

    Sometimes, you might need to use the same words as the author, such as keywords, that’s okay. However, introduce a quotation mark where you need to lift a paragraph or sentence from the author’s work into yours.

    4. Properly cite the source

    Citations are a way of giving credit to sources or authors whose work you have used. Even though you have used your words and writing style, the idea remains a borrowed one.

    Your paraphrase isn’t complete without referencing the source of the message. Use in-text citations to credit the authors of the original idea. You’ll be guilty of plagiarism if you fail to acknowledge the source.

    5. Revise

    There’s a need to go back to the source material and check it against your version.

    Ensure that you have captured all the information and that your work isn’t similar to the source’s, except in meaning. If it is, you might need to rewrite your work.

    To Wrap Up

    Efficient paraphrasing requires a good understanding of the text and an organization of material to maintain a seamless flow of ideas. This can be done by reading the source material thoroughly, taking notes, and outlining key points to prepare a structure. Properly citing the source is also essential.

    Guide to Paraphrasing in 5 Easy Steps

    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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