Rephrase vs. Paraphrase: The Difference with Examples

Writing long papers can leave a lot of headache to you. As a writer, you should learn about the difference of rephrase vs paraphrase when trying to make your paper more interesting.

Academic papers and marketing content alike require a certain number of words to achieve. When you’re already running out of things to write, you might refer to other sources or previous work to fill the blanks. Professional writers know that paraphrasing could help in doing so.

However, most writers confuse paraphrasing with rephrasing. It’s understandable, because both indeed have close characteristics but different definitions. Keeping in mind what distinguishes them from one another will help you write effectively.

By reading this article, you will find out the difference between rephrase vs paraphrase.

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Photo by Ashni on Unsplash

What Does Rephrase Mean?

First, we may want to know what this means. Rephrasing stands for rewriting something to make it clearer and much easier to comprehend. You may do it by using synonyms of terms you wish to simplify for the common reader to understand.

People use different strategies in rephrasing sentences. Some use synonyms while others use a different type of speech. As long as what you mean is clear to your readers, then your rewrite must have been successful.

An example of it would be the following:

Sample Sentence:

  • The wind outrageously uprooted the houses in Oklahoma City.

Altered Version:

  • Houses in Oklahoma City were destroyed by the strong winds.

It simply means rewording the sentence from its original to a more fathomable form. Usually, you should do this for readers that do not understand a high level of English.

Just make sure to keep the meaning. Because if you get too far from it, your text will look entirely different from the original one.

What Does Paraphrase Mean?

Paraphrasing, on the other hand, is a different thing. It technically means changing an original thought into a new one the way you understood it.

It’s usually done to prevent plagiarism. To paraphrase means to write something as how you understood it. You do this in the highest regard with the author of the source you’re referring to.

One of the smartest ways to paraphrase is through a quote. You do this if you really want to just incorporate the whole thing a writer said in his work.

You should use words that’s parallel with the language of the original text. Make sure that you encapsulate the main idea of the source you’re trying to paraphrase.

Also, you may consider adding an in-text citation after the paraphrase you made to prevent any form of plagiarism. The text should still contain the significant meaning of the statement you cited from a researcher or author.

Don’t change the main idea, because your effort to paraphrase will come to waste. You paraphrase because you want to share the thought of a fellow writer, not to provide your own idea. It defeats your purpose of referring to someone if you’ll just share your own thoughts.

Word by word, you should be watchful in your initiative to paraphrase. There are free paraphrase tools you can use online, like INKForAll, that can help ease your stress in doing so.

Rephrasing vs. Paraphrasing

Now, maybe the difference between the two is clear. The first one means to rewrite a phrase or a thought word by word for comprehensibility purposes. While paraphrasing stands for making a copy of an already existent statement or thought into a summarized form through a quote or paraphrased text.

To Wrap Up

Discovering the definition of both English writing terms will benefit your improvement as an aspiring writer. Whether for the academic or professional field, you can use this article to remind yourself about the perks of doing these things.

Part of improving is learning again and again. Give yourself a pat at the back and congratulations for learning something wonderful today. Remember what you’ve learned and keep the fire burning.

Hence, you might have already understood the difference between paraphrasing and rephrasing. Although they can be distinguished from one another, both serves the same purpose. Both wish to diminish a writer’s risk of committing plagiarism.

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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