Best Techniques for Successful Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing pertains to rewriting a fact, a statement, or a quote in your own words. People consider paraphrasing as a needprofessional rewriting. Since you only borrow an idea to support your own, you must have good paraphrasing skills to use. This way, you can let your idea loose without issues about plagiarism. The better you paraphrase, the easier your writing will become.

Before you start, understand that not every statement needs paraphrasing. You should quote some for a full attribution. Even so, paraphrasing can still help you out. In fact, every writer should know how to paraphrase and how good vs bad paraphrasing differ. You have to learn the different paraphrasing techniques. This helps your writing become on point. Don’t worry, you’ll learn them soon enough. Be sure to take notes as you read on. Here are 5 techniques you should try out when you paraphrase.

  • Use other forms of the words and place them differently

Doing this technique is easier than it sounds. You take some of the words in the sentence and you change it’s form. Make sure to let the succeeding words fall in the same form, too. This allows you to change things up and spice your words a bit.

For example, you have the sentence “Maurice thinks he will be the one to bring the bacon home.” You can then select some of the words and change them into other forms. In this example, you select “thinks”.  First, try changing the form of the whole sentence. Since this story already happened, you can use the past form of the words. Second, you can also place them differently in the sentence.

What you can come up with after paraphrasing is actually “Maurice thought he’ll bring the become home.” Or, with the second technique you have “I will bring home the bacon, Maurice thought.” You can generate more ways to say the same thing. Play around with the sentence more. You’ll get the hang of it.

  • Use a synonymic phrase

To bring out the color of the idea without changing it, you use a synonymic phrase. This pertains to selecting a part of the sentence or a statement. You then change it into another phrase having the same thought. It is one of the most common techniques for paraphrasing statements.

For example, you have “3000 years before the dawn of the 21st century, that empire existed.” The first phrase is too long. What you do is replace the first part with a synonym that is easier to comprehend. When you apply this, you will have “The empire existed 3000 years ago.” You then have a much simpler, albeit on point paraphrased line.

Take note, you have to capture the main idea of the sentence. Blindly changing phrases into synonyms will not work. You can also apply the first technique as you do this. The better the synonym, the better the paraphrasing will become.

  • Don’t be passive, be active!

Pay attention to the sentence you want to paraphrase. If that sentence is in the passive voice, you change it into active voice. This technique presents an easier course of paraphrasing. You may opt not change other things in the sentence.

Take “Denise is trying to get high scores for the semester” as an example. The sentence uses a passive voice. All you should do is change it to active. You then come up with “Denise tries to get high scores for the semester.” You can also change the positions of the modifiers of the sentence. Doing that, you have “This semester, Denise tries hard to get high scores.”

Master the use of the active voice. You’ll get paraphrasing done when you learn how to change passives. Make sure you preserve the thought. Don’t forget to use the other techniques above in conjunction for a better result. Still, paraphrasing will need you to state your sources. Doing so will help you in avoiding plagiarism cases and violations of copyright.

  • Change the negatives – use reversals

Some sentences have ideas that you can reverse. Others have double negatives. You can rewrite those into better sentences. Double negatives become redundant and may confuse non-native speakers of the language. You can also reverse a sentence for a clearer point. As such, converting them into better sentences is a must.

Use this as your example: “The chickens can only run and not fly.” After changing the negatives and using reversals, you can have “Chickens cannot fly but they can run.” This technique allows you to point out the positive things in negative statements and vice-versa.

Again, you need the complete comprehension of thought. Don’t reverse negatives and positive statements in random. You can change the idea completely and mislead the readers once you do. You can make a bad impression when you commit a mistake like that.

good paraphrasing techniques

  • Use relationship word synonyms

Use relationship words such as “resulted in”, “due to”, and other words. Remember to express cause, effect, and contrast each time you need one done. This allows you to form the sentence without changing the thought.

Take this as an example: “The cake fell because of the earthquake.” After paraphrasing the relationship words, you’ll have “Due to the earthquake, the cake fell.” You can also have “The earthquake resulted to the cake falling.”

Make sure to choose the best translation, though. Some paraphrased sentences sound much better than others do. You should read it first and see which delivers the idea best. This way, you can be consistent in your approach to the writing.

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