Simple Paraphrasing Examples You Should Know

Paraphrasing is a useful tool that students, academics, and professional writers use all the time. If you are writing an academic paper, it can make a big difference instead of using direct quotations constantly.

Even if you are referring to the opinions of others, you will be doing so in your own voice, which is an invaluable thing. However, if you are new to paraphrasing, you are going to have to do some practice.

For amateur writers, paraphrasing can seem a bit overwhelming. You may not be able to find alternative ways to write what others already wrote.

That’s why, in this article, we are going to show you some simple paraphrasing examples to give you an idea of where to start.

What is Paraphrasing?

a woman writing something on her Macbook device by Apple.
Photo by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash

Paraphrasing means putting someone else’s opinions into your own words. Paraphrasing a source involves altering the original meaning while maintaining the original intent.

This technique is an alternative to quoting (copying someone’s exact words into quotation marks). Academic writing usually requires paraphrasing rather than quoting.

You are shown that you understand the original material, read smoothly, and keep your own voice at your side.

If you don’t comply with the guidelines, you may commit plagiarism unintentionally. Unintentional or not, writing plagiarism-free papers is the second-most important thing you should consider after eliminating all of the grammar errors.

Why Paraphrase Instead of Quote?

There are many reasons to choose to paraphrase rather than use direct quotations from the original material. 

First and foremost, it simplifies your text. The original material you are using can go into extensive detail, and including all of that can bog down the reader. On the other hand, when you paraphrase, you are free to include the details that are related to your topic and leave others.

You can maintain the flow of the writing by paraphrasing. Direct quotes interrupt the voice of a writer, and this voice is unique to each author. Too many quotes can make an essay sound discontinuous and challenging to follow. Paraphrasing can convey an important concept in a passage or source without interrupting the essay flow.

Another use of paraphrasing is to relay statistical data. In many instances, sources cover statistical information about a topic that an author may find useful for developing his or her own argument. For example, statistics about the percentage of smokers may be useful in explaining the increase in lung cancer cases. It isn’t recommended to quote statistics like this directly.

How are Paraphrases Different Than Summary?

Paraphrases are similarly rewriting their source in their words. The most important aspect of paraphrases is that they include both key points and sub-points.

Paraphrases can sometimes be as long (if not longer) as their original source since they have detailed information.

When you summarize, on the other hand, your goal is to make the sentence shorter and simpler by changing it.

Summarizing deals with the big picture, such as a complete body of work or a whole chapter. On the other hand, paraphrasing deals with specific passages, from a few words to a couple of paragraphs, but nothing really long. Summaries are usually shorter than their original source, but paraphrases typically have the same length or more than their origin.

Keep the original text in mind, regardless of how you use it. It is forbidden to leave out words or add words to make the source fit into your writing.

Tips and Tricks for Paraphrasing

First, read the source carefully so you understand what it means. If you do not understand it, it cannot be used as a source.

Paraphrase the portion of the source you want to paraphrase. Don’t paraphrase much more than a paragraph. You’re not replacing the entire source in your paper.

Paraphrase your article without looking at the source. You will learn how to write in your own words while resisting the temptation to use the original wording and sentence structure.

Keep things simple. Make no use of esoteric language to confuse things; instead, keep your readers at the forefront of your thinking when writing.

Avoid plagiarism by correctly citing the source material. When you rewrite the sentence, it doesn’t mean you can claim it was your idea.

If you are still having problems, look at more examples we’ll share below, as well as other examples on the Internet.

Use appropriate synonyms for the sentence you would like to paraphrase. If the source is a text on marine biology, don’t refer to marine animals as creatures of the sea. This undermines the academic and scientific tone of the sentence.

Simple Paraphrasing Examples

Let’s take a look at examples of paraphrasing to solidify the idea.

Example #1:

  • The social structure of West African hyenas is matriarchal, unlike most mammals.
  • Hyenas in West Africa, different from many mammals, are matriarchal. 

Example #2:

  • I am trying hard to be successful.
  • I am making an effort to succeed.

Example #3:

  • The threat of nuclear annihilation resulted in an uneasy truce between the United States and the Soviet Union.
  •  The possibility of nuclear annihilation led to an uneasy truce between the US and the USSR.

Example #4:

  • The teacher gave her students some examples of paraphrasing to help them learn.
  • She taught her students examples of paraphrasing to assist them in learning.

To Wrap Up

Paraphrasing is a great way to convey a detail while at the same time incorporating your own opinion

Make sure you have the main concept of the original article as well as sub-points. Paraphrase your own sentences in your words. Always cite the original material you used when paraphrasing.

As with most communication activities, when done poorly, paraphrasing creates misunderstandings on the part of the audience. You have to keep in mind that the meaning should never change from the original text. 

With some practice, the benefits of using paraphrasing to convey your opinion to your audience become apparent.

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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