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  • paraphrasing

synonyms for paraphrasing

  • impersonation
  • reproduction
  • counterfeit
  • counterpart
  • duplication
  • resemblance
  • transcription
  • carbon copy
  • counterfeiting
  • paralleling
  • representing

antonyms for paraphrasing

Most relevant

  • seriousness

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

How to use paraphrasing in a sentence

“We want bread and social justice,” she contends, paraphrasing the slogan of the revolt that toppled Mubarak.

(I'm paraphrasing here) Why would anyone need an assault-style rifle anyway?

paraphrasing LBJ, McCain said: “I just wish one of them had run for county sheriff.”

In such general explanations as are unavoidable we shall content ourselves with paraphrasing M. Maspero.

paraphrasing the copy-book, suppressed desires will arise, though all the world o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes.

Of Cephus it might be said, paraphrasing the lines about little dog Rover, that when he was saved he was saved all over.

Oscar was always fond of loosely quoting or paraphrasing in conversation the purple passages from contemporary writers.

It would be hopeless to attempt, by any paraphrasing whatever, to improve upon the freshness and vivacity of the author.

Choose the synonym for embellishment

Words Related To paraphrasing

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This resource provides guidelines for paraphrasing and summarizing the sources you have researched.

Whether you are writing for the workplace or for academic purposes, you will need to research and incorporate the writing of others into your own texts. Two unavoidable steps in that process are paraphrasing (changing the language into your own) and summarizing (getting rid of smaller details and leaving only the primary points). These steps are necessary for three reasons.

First, if you used the original writer’s language without any changes, it limits your own learning; by paraphrasing and summarizing, you make a piece of information your own, and you understand it better.

Second, the original writers did not write for the audiences you are targeting; there are inevitably contents and language choices that will not necessarily work for your audience. Third, what authors write is considered to be their property, just like a coat or a car; by copying it (without giving credit), you can be accused of plagiarism.

Summarizing and paraphrasing are frequently used together, but not always. The following will give you some basic information on paraphrasing and summarizing, and then you will have the chance to reflect on appropriate paraphrasing and summarizing yourself.

As explained above, paraphrasing is making different word choices and re-arranging words in such a way that maintains the same meaning, but sounds different enough that readers will not be reminded of the original writer’s words. Here is an example, followed by inadequate and adequate paraphrases:

Example: The current constitutional debate over heavy metal rock and gangsta rap music is not just about the explicit language but also advocacy, an act of incitement to violence.

Inadequate paraphrase: Today’s constitutional debate about gangsta rap and heavy metal rock is not just about obscene language but also advocacy and incitement of acts of violence.

Adequate paraphrase: Lyrics in some rap and heavy metal songs that appear to promote violence, along with concerns about obscenity, have generated a constitutional debate over popular music.

In the inadequate paraphrase, the meaning of the original is altered somewhat: it claims that the debate is about advocacy AND violence, but it is supposed to be about advocacy FOR violence. Also, too few of the words have been changed, and the order of the sentence remains essentially the same. In the second attempt at paraphrasing, enough changes have been made so that readers would not feel that they are reading somebody else’s words.

When you are paraphrasing, there are a number of strategies you can apply:

  • Locate the individual statements or major idea units in the original.
  • Change the sentence structure and the order of major ideas, while maintaining the logical connections among them. For example, if the author you are paraphrasing presents a generalization and then backs it up with an example, try using the example as a lead-in to the generalization. For an individual sentence, try to relocate a phrase from the beginning of the sentence to a position near the end, or vice versa.
  • Substitute words in the original with synonyms, making sure the language in your paraphrase is appropriate for your audience.
  • Combine or divide sentences as necessary.
  • Use direct quotations from the original sporadically, limiting yourself to quotations of the most striking or interesting language. Do not quote very plainly stated passages.
  • Compare the paraphrase to the original to ensure that the rewording is sufficient and the meaning has been preserved.
  • Weave the paraphrase into your essay.
  • Document the paraphrase—give formal credit to the original writer(s).*

* Kennedy, M.L. & Smith, H.M. (2000). Reading and Writing in the Academic Community . New York, NY: Prentice Hall College Division.

Synonyms of paraphrases

  • as in translations
  • as in translates
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Thesaurus Definition of paraphrases

 (Entry 1 of 2)

Synonyms & Similar Words

  • translations
  • restatements
  • recapitulations
  • reiterations

Antonyms & Near Antonyms

  • transcripts
  • transcriptions


Thesaurus Definition of paraphrases  (Entry 2 of 2)

  • recapitulates
  • transcribes

Thesaurus Entries Near paraphrases



Cite this Entry

“Paraphrases.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/paraphrases. Accessed 20 Sep. 2023.

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Article • 12 min read

How to Paraphrase and Summarize Work

Summing up key ideas in your own words.

By the Mind Tools Content Team

paraphrasing and summary are synonyms

Imagine you're preparing a presentation for your CEO. You asked everyone in your team to contribute, and they all had plenty to say!

But now you have a dozen reports, all in different styles, and your CEO says that she can spare only 10 minutes to read the final version. What do you do?

The solution is to paraphrase and summarize the reports, so your boss gets only the key information that she needs, in a form that she can process quickly.

In this article, we explain how to paraphrase and how to summarize, and how to apply these techniques to text and the spoken word. We also explore the differences between the two skills, and point out the pitfalls to avoid.

What Is Paraphrasing?

When you paraphrase, you use your own words to express something that was written or said by another person.

Putting it into your own words can clarify the message, make it more relevant to your audience , or give it greater impact.

You might use paraphrased material to support your own argument or viewpoint. Or, if you're putting together a report , presentation or speech , you can use paraphrasing to maintain a consistent style, and to avoid lengthy quotations from the original text or conversation.

Paraphrased material should keep its original meaning and (approximate) length, but you can use it to pick out a single point from a longer discussion.

What Is Summarizing?

In contrast, a summary is a brief overview of an entire discussion or argument. You might summarize a whole research paper or conversation in a single paragraph, for example, or with a series of bullet points, using your own words and style.

People often summarize when the original material is long, or to emphasize key facts or points. Summaries leave out detail or examples that may distract the reader from the most important information, and they simplify complex arguments, grammar and vocabulary.

Used correctly, summarizing and paraphrasing can save time, increase understanding, and give authority and credibility to your work. Both tools are useful when the precise wording of the original communication is less important than its overall meaning.

How to Paraphrase Text

To paraphrase text, follow these four steps:

1. Read and Make Notes

Carefully read the text that you want to paraphrase. Highlight, underline or note down important terms and phrases that you need to remember.

2. Find Different Terms

Find equivalent words or phrases (synonyms) to use in place of the ones that you've picked out. A dictionary, thesaurus or online search can be useful here, but take care to preserve the meaning of the original text, particularly if you're dealing with technical or scientific terms.

3. Put the Text into Your Own Words

Rewrite the original text, line by line. Simplify the grammar and vocabulary, adjust the order of the words and sentences, and replace "passive" expressions with "active" ones (for example, you could change "The new supplier was contacted by Nusrat" to "Nusrat contacted the new supplier").

Remove complex clauses, and break longer sentences into shorter ones. All of this will make your new version easier to understand .

4. Check Your Work

Check your work by comparing it to the original. Your paraphrase should be clear and simple, and written in your own words. It may be shorter, but it should include all of the necessary detail.

Paraphrasing: an Example

Despite the undoubted fact that everyone's vision of what constitutes success is different, one should spend one's time establishing and finalizing one's personal vision of it. Otherwise, how can you possibly understand what your final destination might be, or whether or not your decisions are assisting you in moving in the direction of the goals which you've set yourself?

The two kinds of statement – mission and vision – can be invaluable to your approach, aiding you, as they do, in focusing on your primary goal, and quickly identifying possibilities that you might wish to exploit and explore.

We all have different ideas about success. What's important is that you spend time defining your version of success. That way, you'll understand what you should be working toward. You'll also know if your decisions are helping you to move toward your goals.

Used as part of your personal approach to goal-setting, mission and vision statements are useful for bringing sharp focus to your most important goal, and for helping you to quickly identify which opportunities you should pursue.

How to Paraphrase Speech

In a conversation – a meeting or coaching session, for example – paraphrasing is a good way to make sure that you have correctly understood what the other person has said.

This requires two additional skills: active listening and asking the right questions .

Useful questions include:

  • If I hear you correctly, you're saying that…?
  • So you mean that…? Is that right?
  • Did I understand you when you said that…?

You can use questions like these to repeat the speaker's words back to them. For instance, if the person says, "We just don't have the funds available for these projects," you could reply: "If I understand you correctly, you're saying that our organization can't afford to pay for my team's projects?"

This may seem repetitive, but it gives the speaker the opportunity to highlight any misunderstandings, or to clarify their position.

When you're paraphrasing conversations in this way, take care not to introduce new ideas or information, and not to make judgments on what the other person has said, or to "spin" their words toward what you want to hear. Instead, simply restate their position as you understand it.

Sometimes, you may need to paraphrase a speech or a presentation. Perhaps you want to report back to your team, or write about it in a company blog, for example.

In these cases it's a good idea to make summary notes as you listen, and to work them up into a paraphrase later. (See How to Summarize Text or Speech, below.)

How to Summarize Text or Speech

Follow steps 1-5 below to summarize text. To summarize spoken material – a speech, a meeting, or a presentation, for example – start at step three.

1. Get a General Idea of the Original

First, speed read the text that you're summarizing to get a general impression of its content. Pay particular attention to the title, introduction, conclusion, and the headings and subheadings.

2. Check Your Understanding

Build your comprehension of the text by reading it again more carefully. Check that your initial interpretation of the content was correct.

3. Make Notes

Take notes on what you're reading or listening to. Use bullet points, and introduce each bullet with a key word or idea. Write down only one point or idea for each bullet.

If you're summarizing spoken material, you may not have much time on each point before the speaker moves on. If you can, obtain a meeting agenda, a copy of the presentation, or a transcript of the speech in advance, so you know what's coming.

Make sure your notes are concise, well-ordered, and include only the points that really matter.

The Cornell Note-Taking System is an effective way to organize your notes as you write them, so that you can easily identify key points and actions later. Our article, Writing Meeting Notes , also contains plenty of useful advice.

4. Write Your Summary

Bullet points or numbered lists are often an acceptable format for summaries – for example, on presentation slides, in the minutes of a meeting, or in Key Points sections like the one at the end of this article.

However, don't just use the bulleted notes that you took in step 3. They'll likely need editing or "polishing" if you want other people to understand them.

Some summaries, such as research paper abstracts, press releases, and marketing copy, require continuous prose. If this is the case, write your summary as a paragraph, turning each bullet point into a full sentence.

Aim to use only your own notes, and refer to original documents or recordings only if you really need to. This helps to ensure that you use your own words.

If you're summarizing speech, do so as soon as possible after the event, while it's still fresh in your mind.

5. Check Your Work

Your summary should be a brief but informative outline of the original. Check that you've expressed all of the most important points in your own words, and that you've left out any unnecessary detail.

Summarizing: an Example

So how do you go about identifying your strengths and weaknesses, and analyzing the opportunities and threats that flow from them? SWOT Analysis is a useful technique that helps you to do this.

What makes SWOT especially powerful is that, with a little thought, it can help you to uncover opportunities that you would not otherwise have spotted. And by understanding your weaknesses, you can manage and eliminate threats that might otherwise hurt your ability to move forward in your role.

If you look at yourself using the SWOT framework, you can start to separate yourself from your peers, and further develop the specialized talents and abilities that you need in order to advance your career and to help you achieve your personal goals.

SWOT Analysis is a technique that helps you identify strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats. Understanding and managing these factors helps you to develop the abilities you need to achieve your goals and progress in your career.

Permission and Citations

If you intend to publish or circulate your document, it's important to seek permission from the copyright holder of the material that you've paraphrased or summarized. Failure to do so can leave you open to allegations of plagiarism, or even legal action.

It's good practice to cite your sources with a footnote, or with a reference in the text to a list of sources at the end of your document. There are several standard citation styles – choose one and apply it consistently, or follow your organization's house style guidelines.

As well as acknowledging the original author, citations tell you, the reader, that you're reading paraphrased or summarized material. This enables you to check the original source if you think that someone else's words may have been misused or misinterpreted.

Some writers might use others' ideas to prop up their own, but include only what suits them, for instance. Others may have misunderstood the original arguments, or "twisted" them by adding their own material.

If you're wary, or you find problems with the work, you may prefer to seek more reliable sources of information. (See our article, How to Spot Real and Fake News , for more on this.)

Paraphrasing means rephrasing text or speech in your own words, without changing its meaning. Summarizing means cutting it down to its bare essentials. You can use both techniques to clarify and simplify complex information or ideas.

To paraphrase text:

  • Read and make notes.
  • Find different terms.
  • Put the text into your own words.
  • Check your work.

You can also use paraphrasing in a meeting or conversation, by listening carefully to what's being said and repeating it back to the speaker to check that you have understood it correctly.

To summarize text or speech:

  • Get a general idea of the original.
  • Check your understanding.
  • Make notes.
  • Write your summary.

Seek permission for any copyrighted material that you use, and cite it appropriately.

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paraphrasing and summary are synonyms

Microsoft 365 Life Hacks > Writing > The Difference Between Summarizing & Paraphrasing

The Difference Between Summarizing & Paraphrasing

Summarizing and paraphrasing are helpful ways to include source material in your work without piling on direct quotes. Understand the differences between these approaches and when to use each.

A magnifying glass on a book.

Summarizing vs. Paraphrasing: The Biggest Differences

Though summarizing and paraphrasing are both tools for conveying information clearly and concisely, they help you achieve this in different ways. In general, the difference is rooted in the scale of the source material: To share an entire source at once, you summarize; to share a specific portion of a source (without quoting directly, of course), you paraphrase.

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What is Summarizing?

Summarizing is simplifying the content of a source to its main points in your own words. You literally sum up something, distill it down to its most essential parts. Summaries cover whole sources rather than a piece or pieces of a source and don’t include direct quotes or extraneous detail.

How to Summarize

  • Understand the original thoroughly. You may start by scanning the original material, paying close attention to headers and any in-text summaries, but once you’re sure that this source is something you’re going to use in your research paper , review it more thoroughly to gain appropriate understanding and comprehension.
  • Take notes of the main points. A bulleted list is appropriate here-note the main idea of each portion of the source material. Take note of key words or phrases around which you can build your summary list and deepen your understanding.
  • Build your summary. Don’t just use the list you’ve already created—this was a first draft . Craft complete sentences and logical progression from item to item. Double check the source material to ensure you’ve not left out any relevant points and trim anything extraneous. You can use a bulleted or numbered list here or write your summary as a paragraph if that’s more appropriate for your use. Make sure to follow the rules of parallelism if you choose to stay in list form.

What is Paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing is rephrasing something in your own words; the word comes from the Greek para -, meaning “beside” or “closely resembling”, 1 combined with “phrase,” which we know can mean a string of words or sentences. 2 Paraphrasing isn’t practical for entire sources—just for when you want to highlight a portion of a source.

How to Paraphrase

  • Read actively . Take notes, highlight or underline passages, or both if you please-whatever makes it easiest for you to organize the sections of the source you want to include in your work.
  • Rewrite and revise. For each area you’d like to paraphrase, take the time to rewrite it in your own words. Retain the meaning of the original text, but don’t copy it too closely; take advantage of a thesaurus to ensure you’re not relying too heavily on the source material.
  • Check your work and revise again as needed . Did you retain the meaning of the source material? Did you simplify the language of the source material? Did you differentiate your version enough? If not, try again.

Summarizing and paraphrasing are often used in tandem; you’ll likely find it appropriate to summarize an entire source and then paraphrase specific portions to support your summary. Using either approach for including sources requires appropriate citing, though, so ensure that you follow the correct style guide for your project and cite correctly.

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A handbook for students, search form, avoiding plagiarism - paraphrasing.

In writing papers, you will paraphrase more than you will quote. For a report or research paper, you may need to gather background information that is important to the paper but not worthy of direct quotation. Indeed, in technical writing direct quotation is rarely used.

Exactly what does "paraphrase" mean?

It means taking the words of another source and restating them, using your own vocabulary. In this way, you keep the meaning of the original text, but do not copy its exact wording.

What strategies can I use to paraphrase?

Use synonyms for all words that are not generic. Words like world, food, or science are so basic to our vocabulary that is difficult to find a synonym.

Change the structure of the sentence.

Change the voice from active to passive and vice versa.    

Change clauses to phrases and vice versa.

Change parts of speech.

A good paraphrase combines a number of strategies: the goal is to rephrase the information so that it appears in your words, not those of the author.

Example 4: Using Multiple Strategies to Paraphrase

Example 5: Unacceptable Paraphrase

paraphrasing and summary are synonyms

Related Words and Phrases

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What is another word for paraphrase ?

Synonyms for paraphrase ˈpær əˌfreɪz para·phrase, this thesaurus page includes all potential synonyms, words with the same meaning and similar terms for the word paraphrase ., english synonyms and antonyms rate these synonyms: 2.6 / 5 votes.

To quote is to give an author's words, either exactly, as in direct quotation, or in substance, as in indirect quotation; to cite is, etymologically, to call up a passage, as a witness is summoned. In citing a passage its exact location by chapter, page, or otherwise, must be given, so that it can be promptly called into evidence; in quoting , the location may or may not be given, but the words or substance of the passage must be given. In citing , neither the author's words nor his thought may be given, but simply the reference to the location where they may be found. To quote , in the proper sense, is to give credit to the author whose words are employed. To paraphrase is to state an author's thought more freely than in indirect quotation, keeping the substance of thought and the order of statement, but changing the language, and commonly interweaving more or less explanatory matter as if part of the original writing. One may paraphrase a work with worthy motive for homiletic, devotional, or other purposes (as in the metrical versions of the Psalms), or he may plagiarize atrociously in the form of paraphrase , appropriating all that is valuable in another's thought, with the hope of escaping detection by change of phrase. To plagiarize is to quote without credit, appropriating another's words or thought as one's own. To recite or repeat is usually to quote orally, tho recite is applied in legal phrase to a particular statement of facts which is not a quotation; a kindred use obtains in ordinary speech; as, to recite one's misfortunes.

Synonyms: cite , excerpt , extract , plagiarize , quote , recite , repeat

Princeton's WordNet Rate these synonyms: 1.0 / 1 vote

paraphrase, paraphrasis verb

rewording for the purpose of clarification

Synonyms: paraphrasis

paraphrase, rephrase, reword verb

express the same message in different words

Synonyms: rephrase , reword

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Dictionary of english synonymes rate these synonyms: 0.0 / 0 votes.

paraphrase noun

Synonyms: explanation ( by amplifying ), exposition

Synonyms: free translation

How to pronounce paraphrase?

How to say paraphrase in sign language, words popularity by usage frequency, how to use paraphrase in a sentence.

Kris Vosburgh :

The public has turned sour on this plan but the governor, to paraphrase Admiral Farragut, has taken a position of 'damn the people, full speed ahead'.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger :

If you're bored, you're boring....get a life....try something new, take a class, be interesting. (This is not an exact quote but a paraphrase)

Coverage Gingrich :

So, to paraphrase Ted Cruz.

Mark van Doren :

An unexamined idea, to paraphrase Socrates, is not worth having and a society whose ideas are never explored for possible error may eventually find its foundations insecure.

Robert Francis Kennedy :

Some men see things as they are and ask, 'why' I dream things that never were and ask, 'why not'NB This quote is a paraphrase from a similar quote by G. B. Shaw.

Visual Synonyms of paraphrase

Translations for paraphrase, from our multilingual translation dictionary.

  • Umschreibung, paraphrasieren, umschreiben German
  • parafrazo Esperanto
  • paráfrasis, parafrasear Spanish
  • paraphrase, paraphraser French
  • átfogalmazás, körülírás Hungarian
  • parafrazo Ido
  • parafrasi Italian
  • 引用する, 言い換える Japanese
  • parafraza Polish
  • parafrasear, paráfrase Portuguese
  • perifraza, parafraza Romanian
  • пересказ, парафраза, парафраз, парафразировать, пересказывать Russian
  • falisi Swahili
  • yorumlamak Turkish

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  • A.   Ignorant
  • B.   Contradictory
  • C.   Demented
  • D.   Stupid

Nearby & related entries:

  • parapet noun
  • paraphernalia noun
  • paraphrase verb
  • paraphrasis noun
  • paraphrastic adj
  • paraphrastical
  • paraphrenia noun
  • paraphrenic schizophrenia noun

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  • How to Paraphrase | Step-by-Step Guide & Examples

How to Paraphrase | Step-by-Step Guide & Examples

Published on April 8, 2022 by Courtney Gahan and Jack Caulfield. Revised on June 1, 2023.

Paraphrasing means putting someone else’s ideas into your own words. Paraphrasing a source involves changing the wording while preserving the original meaning.

Paraphrasing is an alternative to  quoting (copying someone’s exact words and putting them in quotation marks ). In academic writing, it’s usually better to integrate sources by paraphrasing instead of quoting. It shows that you have understood the source, reads more smoothly, and keeps your own voice front and center.

Every time you paraphrase, it’s important to cite the source . Also take care not to use wording that is too similar to the original. Otherwise, you could be at risk of committing plagiarism .

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paraphrasing and summary are synonyms

Table of contents

How to paraphrase in five easy steps, how to paraphrase correctly, examples of paraphrasing, how to cite a paraphrase, paraphrasing vs. quoting, paraphrasing vs. summarizing, avoiding plagiarism when you paraphrase, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about paraphrasing.

If you’re struggling to get to grips with the process of paraphrasing, check out our easy step-by-step guide in the video below.

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paraphrasing and summary are synonyms

Putting an idea into your own words can be easier said than done. Let’s say you want to paraphrase the text below, about population decline in a particular species of sea snails.

Incorrect paraphrasing

You might make a first attempt to paraphrase it by swapping out a few words for  synonyms .

Like other sea creatures inhabiting the vicinity of highly populated coasts, horse conchs have lost substantial territory to advancement and contamination , including preferred breeding grounds along mud flats and seagrass beds. Their Gulf home is also heating up due to global warming , which scientists think further puts pressure on the creatures , predicated upon the harmful effects extra warmth has on other large mollusks (Barnett, 2022).

This attempt at paraphrasing doesn’t change the sentence structure or order of information, only some of the word choices. And the synonyms chosen are poor:

  • “Advancement and contamination” doesn’t really convey the same meaning as “development and pollution.”
  • Sometimes the changes make the tone less academic: “home” for “habitat” and “sea creatures” for “marine animals.”
  • Adding phrases like “inhabiting the vicinity of” and “puts pressure on” makes the text needlessly long-winded.
  • Global warming is related to climate change, but they don’t mean exactly the same thing.

Because of this, the text reads awkwardly, is longer than it needs to be, and remains too close to the original phrasing. This means you risk being accused of plagiarism .

Correct paraphrasing

Let’s look at a more effective way of paraphrasing the same text.

Here, we’ve:

  • Only included the information that’s relevant to our argument (note that the paraphrase is shorter than the original)
  • Introduced the information with the signal phrase “Scientists believe that …”
  • Retained key terms like “development and pollution,” since changing them could alter the meaning
  • Structured sentences in our own way instead of copying the structure of the original
  • Started from a different point, presenting information in a different order

Because of this, we’re able to clearly convey the relevant information from the source without sticking too close to the original phrasing.

Explore the tabs below to see examples of paraphrasing in action.

  • Journal article
  • Newspaper article
  • Magazine article

Once you have your perfectly paraphrased text, you need to ensure you credit the original author. You’ll always paraphrase sources in the same way, but you’ll have to use a different type of in-text citation depending on what citation style you follow.

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It’s a good idea to paraphrase instead of quoting in most cases because:

  • Paraphrasing shows that you fully understand the meaning of a text
  • Your own voice remains dominant throughout your paper
  • Quotes reduce the readability of your text

But that doesn’t mean you should never quote. Quotes are appropriate when:

  • Giving a precise definition
  • Saying something about the author’s language or style (e.g., in a literary analysis paper)
  • Providing evidence in support of an argument
  • Critiquing or analyzing a specific claim

A paraphrase puts a specific passage into your own words. It’s typically a similar length to the original text, or slightly shorter.

When you boil a longer piece of writing down to the key points, so that the result is a lot shorter than the original, this is called summarizing .

Paraphrasing and quoting are important tools for presenting specific information from sources. But if the information you want to include is more general (e.g., the overarching argument of a whole article), summarizing is more appropriate.

When paraphrasing, you have to be careful to avoid accidental plagiarism .

This can happen if the paraphrase is too similar to the original quote, with phrases or whole sentences that are identical (and should therefore be in quotation marks). It can also happen if you fail to properly cite the source.

Paraphrasing tools are widely used by students, and can be especially useful for non-native speakers who may find academic writing particularly challenging. While these can be helpful for a bit of extra inspiration, use these tools sparingly, keeping academic integrity in mind.

To make sure you’ve properly paraphrased and cited all your sources, you could elect to run a plagiarism check before submitting your paper. And of course, always be sure to read your source material yourself and take the first stab at paraphrasing on your own.

If you want to know more about ChatGPT, AI tools , citation , and plagiarism , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

  • ChatGPT vs human editor
  • ChatGPT citations
  • Is ChatGPT trustworthy?
  • Using ChatGPT for your studies
  • What is ChatGPT?
  • Chicago style
  • Critical thinking


  • Types of plagiarism
  • Self-plagiarism
  • Avoiding plagiarism
  • Academic integrity
  • Consequences of plagiarism
  • Common knowledge

To paraphrase effectively, don’t just take the original sentence and swap out some of the words for synonyms. Instead, try:

  • Reformulating the sentence (e.g., change active to passive , or start from a different point)
  • Combining information from multiple sentences into one
  • Leaving out information from the original that isn’t relevant to your point
  • Using synonyms where they don’t distort the meaning

The main point is to ensure you don’t just copy the structure of the original text, but instead reformulate the idea in your own words.

Paraphrasing without crediting the original author is a form of plagiarism , because you’re presenting someone else’s ideas as if they were your own.

However, paraphrasing is not plagiarism if you correctly cite the source . This means including an in-text citation and a full reference, formatted according to your required citation style .

As well as citing, make sure that any paraphrased text is completely rewritten in your own words.

Plagiarism means using someone else’s words or ideas and passing them off as your own. Paraphrasing means putting someone else’s ideas in your own words.

So when does paraphrasing count as plagiarism?

  • Paraphrasing is plagiarism if you don’t properly credit the original author.
  • Paraphrasing is plagiarism if your text is too close to the original wording (even if you cite the source). If you directly copy a sentence or phrase, you should quote it instead.
  • Paraphrasing  is not plagiarism if you put the author’s ideas completely in your own words and properly cite the source .

To present information from other sources in academic writing , it’s best to paraphrase in most cases. This shows that you’ve understood the ideas you’re discussing and incorporates them into your text smoothly.

It’s appropriate to quote when:

  • Changing the phrasing would distort the meaning of the original text
  • You want to discuss the author’s language choices (e.g., in literary analysis )
  • You’re presenting a precise definition
  • You’re looking in depth at a specific claim

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Gahan, C. & Caulfield, J. (2023, June 01). How to Paraphrase | Step-by-Step Guide & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved September 18, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/working-with-sources/how-to-paraphrase/

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Paraphrasing Explained: Definition, Techniques, and Examples for Effective Writing

Manvi Agarwal

Table of contents

When writing content such as an essay or a blog article, you might come across a sentence or a paragraph that you found intriguing from someone else’s work and wanted to include in yours. But you can't use the exact words, right?

Here’s a little secret, you can by paraphrasing.

But what is paraphrasing?

Tweaking and restructuring the sentences is called paraphrasing. Paraphrasing is a tool that not only tweaks sentences but also improves your writing and reading skills.

Here we have shared what paraphrasing is, its benefits, and examples. Keep reading to find out.

What is paraphrasing?

It means, especially in a shorter and simpler form, to make the meaning clearer, along with your thoughts/comments. In addition to borrowing, clarifying, or expanding on information and your comments, paraphrasing is doing all the above-stated actions without plagiarizing the information.

Why do people paraphrase?

There are several reasons why people paraphrase. Following are some of the reasons for paraphrasing.

  • Paraphrasing helps avoid plagiarism.
  • It also provides support for claims or adds credibility to the writing.
  • It demonstrates your understanding and provides an alternative method to using indirect and direct quotes in your own words (referenced) infrequently.
  • Paraphrasing in academic research helps utilize source material for writing essays, providing evidence that the essay is appropriately referenced.
  • Paraphrasing in writing helps you ensure that you use sources to communicate something important to your readers.

What is paraphrasing plagiarism?

Plagiarism is stealing someone else’s ideas without acknowledgment. Plagiarism can come in several forms: global, verbatim, patchwork, paraphrase, and self-plagiarism. However, except for global plagiarism, the other types of plagiarism are often accidental.

Although paraphrasing is accepted , rephrasing sentences or paraphrasing someone else’s idea without citing or acknowledgment is considered paraphrasing plagiarism. Even when translating someone else’s words, if the translated text from another language is not cited, this is also a type of paraphrasing plagiarism.

What is the difference between summarizing and paraphrasing?

Summarizing is a concise statement that briefs the contents of the passage, whereas paraphrasing is when you rewrite sentences using your own words. There is more than one difference between summarizing and paraphrasing.

Refer to the following comparison chart to learn the differences between summarizing and paraphrasing, besides their definition.

How to paraphrase?

Following are 5 digestible paraphrasing tips you can incorporate when paraphrasing your sentences.

Identify the important parts

Since paraphrasing demonstrates your understanding of the original material, it is important to understand its meaning. To do so, read and re-read the original content until you understand the idea enough to explain it in your own words.

Once you get the original source's concept, reduce it to the key concepts or points and not focus on the sentence structures. Another way to rewrite or reword the source without losing your key points is by using a paraphrasing tool .

Change up the words

While noting down the concepts or key points, change up the words by using synonyms. But if you face writer's block and can’t find the right words, which can make your content incompetent, make use of rewording tools .

AI rewording tools can come up with synonyms, organize your phrases, and enhance your sentence structure. Moreover, an AI wording tool ensures the content is unique, original, and plagiarism-free.

Make sure meaning is preserved

Although paraphrasing requires rewording and changing the words, ensure that the same meaning must be maintained along with the ideas. In addition to that, keep your word choices lucid and simple to convey the relevant information from the source without sticking too close to the original source.

One way to keep your writing consistent when paraphrasing is by using paraphrasing tools . The AI tool can alter the sentence structure while maintaining the original meaning.

Double-check for grammar and punctuation

When paraphrasing, ensure to double-check and compare them with the original passage. Make adjustments to ensure it’s completely rewritten and that the grammar and punctuations are on point.

Double-checking your work for grammar and punctuation by reviewing it more than once improves the quality of your work. Paragraph rewriters use AI for paraphrasing, which can tweak the tonality and narrative, ensures a grammar check, and makes the content concise and conceivable.

Use an online paraphrasing tool like Writesonic

As stated previously in the article, using a paraphrasing tool is the fastest and fool-proof way to paraphrase your sources without plagiarizing them. One such creative AI writing tool that assists you with paraphrasing is Writesonic .

Writersonic is trained on billions of parameters. It refines the grammar, spelling, and style to generate original, paraphrased content. In addition to that, Writersonic generates unique and plagiarism-free content that resonates with the target audience with just one click.

With AI chatbots like ChatGPT by Open AI and ChatSonic by Writesonic taking away all the limelight in 2023, they can also be used effectively for paraphrasing text.

Different strategies for paraphrasing

Even though there are AI paraphrasing tools to make the work easier, the following are different strategies you can use to paraphrase your sentence.

Understanding the main ideas

One of the strategies for successful paraphrasing is understanding the source's main idea and writing style. Because when you understand the idea behind the sentence, it becomes easier to explain in your own words.

After taking note of the important nouns and verbs, see which synonyms might be appropriate to replace. You can use a synonym that expresses the same meaning for the key concepts or points in the original sentence.

Making connections

When you use synonyms, it is given that the structure may also need a little changing. So, instead of just swapping a single word, make appropriate changes around the words to make sense of the sentence. Here your paraphrasing skills come to play.

Here is an example of paraphrasing: “ According to scientists, there is another method to achieve a pollution-free environment.”

The paraphrased content would say something like - “Scientists found an alternate way to attain a pollution-free environment.”

In the above sentence, the adjective ‘according to’ is swapped with the verb ‘found’ along with other necessary changes. These changes are made to maintain a harmonious connection between the words and to make the sentence sensible while retaining its meaning and avoiding plagiarism.

Focusing on syntax

The syntax is the arrangement of words in a specific order written in well-formed phrases or sentences. And while paraphrasing is about restating or rewording, ensure to focus on the well-structured and grammatically correct sentences by making appropriate connections or paraphrases.

Benefits of paraphrasing

Paraphrasing has some benefits that you can reap in aspects of your writing skills and learning abilities.

Improves writing skills

As discovered, paraphrasing requires you to paraphrase the passages in your own words, which may help refurbish your writing skills. Rewriting or paraphrasing is a favorable writing skill in writing essays or research papers.

Paraphrasing allows you to express ideas or information in a refreshing and simple manner. It provides an opportunity to enhance your writing skills and stop plagiarizing someone else’s work. This includes rewriting and expressing the ideas in your own voice.

Increases comprehension

Comprehension is understanding the written material and explaining what is read. As stated previously, paraphrasing demonstrates your understanding of the complex details from the source and your ability to explain the connections between main points.

Moreover, it was found that paraphrasing for comprehension is an excellent tool for reinforcing reading skills. It can assist by identifying the main ideas, finding supporting details, and identifying the original author's voice.

So when you rewrite the sentence in your own words, you can double-check your comprehension. This helps improve your awareness and allows you to gain a better understanding of the content, and allows you to write better.

Enhances understanding

To paraphrase words or phrases, you must extract their meaning by reading the material again and again and fully understanding the context. This allows the reader to understand the original statement more clearly by adding more clarity to it. So when you paraphrase the original phrase, you articulate your thoughts and ideas more clearly and come up with new insights and perspectives on the topic..

Saves time & energy

Creating content from scratch is difficult and requires much time and energy. It requires you to do proper research, which is both time and energy-consuming.

An easy solution to the painstaking process is paraphrasing your sentence with appropriate citations. This will allow you to create the content without spending much time on research and ideation, saving much of your time and energy.

Helps avoid plagiarism

Among all the benefits, the most favorable benefit of paraphrasing is that it helps you avoid the accusation of plagiarism. You are simply committing plagiarism (an offense as stated by the federal government) when you use the same idea and speech from the original text, word by word.

However, by rewording the original source, you can present the ideas in your own words and easily avoid plagiarism. What’s more, paraphrasing can save you in both accidental and deliberate cases of plagiarism.

Paraphrasing examples

Now that we have known all about paraphrasing, its reasons for use, and its benefits, let’s look at some examples of paraphrasing and how exactly you can paraphrase.

#1 Example of Paraphrasing

#2 example of paraphrasing, final words.

Once you grasp the concept of paraphrasing, it can be a powerful tool for writers. It provides several benefits in aspects of writing and learning skills. And the correct way and right use of paraphrasing can protect writers from plagiarism accusations.

However, note that successful and correct paraphrasing requires the use of multiple techniques each time. So it is not sufficient to simply replace the keywords or the main concepts with synonyms.

One of the easiest ways to reword the original source is by using an AI writing tool. Writersonic is a well-known AI paraphrasing tool that can refine grammar, spelling, and style to generate original plagiarism-free AI content .

Manvi Agarwal

Manvi Agarwal

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