Understanding Paraphrasing and Paraphrasing Exercises

Paraphrasing is the process of rewriting someone else’s words to maintain the original meaning but use different words and structures. When you paraphrase, you are simply expressing someone else’s ideas in your voice and style of presentation.

If you are a writer majoring in essay writing, you come across paraphrasing more often. Most of the academic works are paraphrased to help writers give support, examples, summaries, and as an alternative to writing quotes. Some of the best examples of well-written essays with excellent paraphrasing examples are available at writepaper.com. All you need to do is to order an essay. It will be delivered to you with the perfect features of a paraphrased work.

More often, people tend to confuse paraphrasing and presentation with quoting, but these two are worlds apart. While quoting involves including identical wording from the source, paraphrasing only includes the source’s idea. When quoting, however, you have to use apostrophes to distinguish the quote from your own words.

What’s the Importance of Paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing is not only a skill you use to portray your mastery of the English language. Some of the reasons it is an important skill to master include the following:

  • It is ideal for reminding the reader of the thesis statement and summarizing the content’s main ideas when used in the conclusion paragraph.
  • It helps to communicate to the reader that you have understood what you read, and you possess the necessary grammar and vocabulary skills to rewrite what you read.
  • When you do it correctly, it is a way of preventing plagiarism.
  • It helps to break down complex sentences to help your readers easily grasp and understand what the sentences are talking about.

How to Paraphrase Correctly and Accurately

Paraphrasing is a step by step process that you have to follow effectively to achieve the optimal results. If you have trouble paraphrasing correctly, then you should go through the process below.

1.   Read to Understand the Author’s Intentions

The first step to effective paraphrasing is reading and understanding the whole excerpt to understand the author’s intention. As you read, check out for any words that you don’t understand and look for their meanings. Come back and reread the whole passage with the definition of the words you didn’t understand before. Until you fully grasp the meaning of the passage, you cannot proceed to the next step.

2.   Pen down the Author’s Idea

Once you have read the passage and understood it, you should hide it or cover it from sight so that you can write without referring back to it. This helps you only to pen down what you have grasped from the author’s text. Write everything you grasped from the author’s text but in your own words as though you were explaining to the reader who hasn’t read the excerpt.

3.   Compare the Texts

After you are done writing, it is time that you compare your version of the work against the authors. Check if you accurately covered the author’s ideas in a new way that is unique to your writing style and scholarly voice. Also, find out if you have only replicated the author’s idea and changed words around the original sentences.

4.   Add Citations

Academic writing demands that you add citations to give the author credit and link them to their work. When writing citations, remember to include the author’s name, the year, and the page number or paragraph you paraphrased from. This citation should directly follow your paraphrase in the text.

What Remains the Same During Paraphrasing?

As you paraphrase, you cannot change every word you come across in the author’s text. This is because some of these words have to be retained for the passage to maintain its original meaning. The words that remain unchanged fall in the following categories:

● Words that Portray Common Knowledge

These words display general common knowledge, which is regarded as factual information available in the public domain. Dates of birth and death or well-known figures and generally accepted dates of historical, literary, and political events. Any other information available in multiple standard reference works can be considered as information in the public domain.

● Words in Field Specific Common Knowledge

These are words that portray common knowledge only within a specific field or specialty. These words include facts, theories, and methods that readers within that discipline are familiar with. For instance, you may not need to give a citation to describe a commonly used method in your biology report. However, before you assume that the information is common knowledge, you must be sure the information is widely known in the field you want to share with your readers.

Final Thought

Whether you are writing a school report, preparing for an exam, or doing a commercial post for your blogs, there comes a time that you must borrow from other people’s written works. Paraphrasing is the only right way through which you can borrow someone’s idea and run with it as your own. But this is only true when you do it right. Therefore, consider all the necessary steps and ensure you have the right procedures before you go about paraphrasing.


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