Paraphrasing: Easily Explained and Effectively Memorized

Academic writing usually requires embedding information from published sources into your paper. Let’s say you wish to present someone else’s findings to add veracity. You can achieve this goal by either quoting or paraphrasing.

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It’s hard enough for the students to find credible data on the countless Internet websites, and yet, they are expected to rephrase primary material accurately and avoid plagiarizing.

Intentional or unintentional plagiarism stands for introducing information from another source (a book, a magazine/journal article, etc.) without giving credit to the author. It is considered to be a serious academic offense. Committing such intellectual theft brings about strict penalties. Our article will help you to grasp the paraphrasing nature and to attain excellence.

Basic Tips to Get You Started

  • While reporting other’s work, be meticulous. Read the source carefully, take a minute, and ensure that you’ve covered the entire material and interpreted it precisely. Try to reproduce the paraphrased information without piping up into the original. Don’t choose huge passages, ingrain important concepts. Remember: it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality.
  • Utilize paraphrasing for long text portions. The space is limited, so use it wisely.
  • Copy as few words from the original as possible. Show that you have no trouble expressing notions and can formulate your views on the paper smoothly.
  • Ponder how you would develop the theme. Imagine yourself presenting the work to your relatives. What approach would you prefer?
  • Be cautious not to alter the meaning of the author’s wording.
  • Don’t forget about proper in-text citation, which varies according to the formatting style (APA, MLA, CBE…).
  • Summarize if you’re writing in the natural or social sciences, convey the key points, and do not use the specific language;
  • Apprehend the aim of paraphrasing and don’ t perceive it as word swapping. Changing the vocabulary is treated as a type of plagiarism – patch writing. Therefore, don’t jump to picking up a dictionary. Use a thesaurus only when you can’t comprehend the word. Resorting to dictionaries may lead to incorrect synonyms’ integration, especially if you are not a fluent English speaker. The errors may also occur if you are not an expert in the field and want to compensate with sophisticated wording. The real purpose of rephrasing is uniting theories and getting across the meaning succinctly and clearly.
  • Justify why paraphrased information is crucial to your study. Answer the following questions:

1) what am I trying to prove?

2)how does it tie to my research?

3)why is this passage significant, compared to the others?

  • If you decide to both quote and paraphrase, enclose direct citation (more than three consecutive words from the source) in the quotation marks.

ArtcileForDarwinEssayProfessional essay writers on how to paraphrase – misconceptions addressed
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Methods of Successful Paraphrasing Suggested by UW-Madison Writing Center and Purdue University (OWL)

  • Take notes and apply them in the drafting process. Set aside the source, writing from the records will likely reduce the chances of replicating. Besides, you will reread the adapted material once more, and it won’t be so hard to recall the facts later.
  • Transform the structure:

1) adjust the consequence of phrases (you may focus on the people);

2) change the type of sentence (simple, compound, complex, compound-complex);

3) swap passive voice for active voice and vice versa;

4) lessen the passage length by breaking it into smaller sections;

5) combine short phrases and provide an additional explanation;

  •  vary the lexicon. Integrate synonyms or different forms of the same word family, eliminate unnecessary phrases. Turn to language only after you’ve edited the structure.

Universal Language

Believe it or not, but a bunch of phrases can be legitimately copied from the original document. These phrases are commonly accepted definitions of a particular discipline/genre. You don’t steal them, as they are a shared tool of scientific society. The phrases may be divided into the following groups:

Conventional designations: e.g., physician’s assistant, chronic low-back pain

Unbiased language: e.g., physically impaired.

Technical terms: e.g., synthesis, multiplication.

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Below Is the Illustration of a Productive Paraphrase (taken from

Original passage:

In The Sopranos, the mob is besieged as much by inner infidelity as it is by the federal government. Early in the series, the greatest threat to Tony’s Family is his own biological family. One of his closest associates turns witness for the FBI, his mother colludes with his uncle to contract a hit on Tony, and his kids click through Websites that track the federal crackdown in Tony’s gangland.

Paraphrased passage:

In the first season of The Sopranos, Tony Soprano’s mobster activities are more threatened by members of his biological family than by agents of the federal government. This familial betrayal is multi-pronged. Tony’s closest friend and associate is an FBI informant, his mother and uncle are conspiring to have him killed, and his children are surfing the Web for information about his activities.

Follow the mentioned above steps to make your essay readable, to add conciseness, and to yield satisfactory paraphrasing.