Five Effective Paraphrasing Techniques You Should Know

Effective paraphrasing requires understanding the material and writing it in your own words. Students, content writers, and bloggers frequently need to incorporate ideas from several sources into their own work.

If you want to paraphrase, you have to change while retaining the original meaning. This article covers five effective paraphrasing techniques for writing better content for your website, blog, or academic paper.

What Does Paraphrasing Mean?

Paraphrasing is the process of restating someone else’s ideas or other information in your own words while preserving the meaning. A paraphrased text is sometimes shorter than the source. For effective paraphrasing, you must change the words and structure of a sentence.

However, a summary should not be confused with paraphrasing. A summary only includes key points of a text rewritten in your own words. The summarized version is usually much shorter than the source text.

person holding on red pen while writing on book
Photo by lilartsy on Unsplash

Five Effective Paraphrasing Techniques

The key to effective paraphrasing is how you manage to phrase ideas creatively. You must make your sentences flow in a way that’s beneficial for the readers to grasp the concept easily.

Paraphrasing will demonstrate your ability to write sentences from a different angle after authentically experiencing the same idea from someone else.

Here are five effective paraphrasing techniques for you to consider for your next assignment.

1. Use Synonyms

One of the most common ways to make your writing sound less confusing is to take familiar words and replace them with synonyms.

If you need to change the meaning of a word, you can also replace it with a similar word. These substitutions will make your writing more interesting and fresh, not confusing.

Original Text: The students illustrated their presentation slides with stories.

Paraphrased: The students explained their presentation slides with stories.

2. Change the Word Class or Form

It is easy to spot the difference when you copy words or sentences directly from a book. We all have different writing styles, and yours will be distinct from those of the authors you’re reading.

Changing the word class or form of words is a good approach to make your text sound significantly different. You can replace the verb of a sentence with a noun from the same word family or change an adjective with a noun.

Original Text: The supervisor played a significant role in the success of the project.

Paraphrased: The supervisor played a significant role in the successful completion of this project.

3. Modify the Sentence Structure

One way to effectively paraphrase a text is to shift the sentence structure. This can help address the unclear wording of the original text and make it easier to understand.

Change the sentence structure using a verb from the second half of the sentence as your subject rather than the first half. Moving something up in the sentence or moving it towards the end of the sentence could change its meaning substantially.

Original Text: The wedding photography package price includes travel fees, taxes, and editing costs.

Paraphrased: The travel fees, taxes, and editing costs are included in the wedding photography package.

4. Change the Grammatical Structure

To paraphrase, you need to change the grammatical structure of the original sentence. One way to do this is by utilizing a different tense. When you use this technique, the statement will be in the past tense but in the active voice. This can create a lot of impacts when communicating.

Original Text: A cake is being baked by Laura

Paraphrased: Laura is baking a cake.

5. Use Different Techniques To Work Together

Improve your ability to paraphrase by using several complementary paraphrasing techniques. For example, you can use passive voice, synonyms, or different word forms to convey similar ideas.

These techniques work together to help you effectively paraphrase an original text without any risk of plagiarism. Your paraphrased text will sound like a completely new and unique idea.

To Wrap Up

Paraphrasing can be quite helpful when writing or speaking, and it is important to possess the skills required to do it effectively. With the proper technique and format, paraphrasing can help make your writing or speech more memorable and understandable.

Everyone needs a little help on occasion. But with just a few small changes, your audience’s perception of you will be enhanced, and so will your impact.

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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