How to Paraphrase: A paraphrase is a unique restatement of the original sentences of an article on to another article without changing the meaning of a text or passage by the use of words different from the original source. The article details how to paraphrase online and the methods to understand how to paraphrase in an essay.
Plagiarizing is a major issue during paraphrasing. Most people do not understand the concept of plagiarism and how grave of a fault it is. Many papers and dissertations are cancelled because of plagiarism. Hence this article also details how to paraphrase without plagiarism.
How to Paraphrase Online?
Paraphrasing means the formulation of ideas that is not one’s own in the words of the person paraphrasing the text. In order to properly paraphrase, one has to restate a passage without changing the actual meaning of the original text.
Paraphrasing has been an alternative to quoting, where one copies someone else’s exact work and text word for word and then the text is put in quotation marks. In academic writing, paraphrasing is usually advised over quoting because it portrays that one has understood the original source text and makes one’s work more original and fresh to the readers.
Paraphrasing has been around since oral traditions of the old ages, paraphrasing was introduced as a specific educational exercise in Roman times, by the author Quintilian. The author recommended it to his students to work on their language and was used as a means to improve the quality of language.
It is paramount while paraphrasing to cite the source from where the original text is taken from. One has to always keep in mind to change words in sentences as it borders on quoting if it is not changed. Besides getting borderline towards quoting one also runs the risk of committing plagiarism which is a grave problem in academic writing.
Paraphrasing has in the modern day become a very crucial skill set to have especially if one is involved in the field of academics. With the rise of a lot of articles being plagiarised, the skill of Paraphrasing has become a need of the hour and if mastered properly goes a long way in writing and putting out a great article.
Paraphrasing is supposed to be an alternative to quoting, where one copies the exact words from a source and then put the aforementioned “exact words” in quotes.
In academic writings like dissertations and college essays, paraphrasing is advised and approved more over the easier method of quoting as it shows that one has understood the source to its core and makes one’s work more original and fresh to the reader who is going through the essay.
There are five essential steps to make sure one is properly paraphrasing for an essay. They are
- The passage i.e the original source must be read thoroughly several times to grasp the complete meaning of the source. In order to understand paraphrasing and properly master the technique of paraphrasing one has to read and understand the original text.
Without proper understanding of the original text it is almost impossible to replace words in the paraphrased text so as to avoid plagiarism.
If one has not understood the text and still gone on and made changes and created his/her paraphrased text there always remains the chance of the alteration of meaning of the paraphrased text from the original.
- The key concepts of the original source need to be noted down separately to understand the salient features of the original source before beginning to paraphrase. As stated before, paraphrasing makes use of salient features from the original text and changes the statements from the original text without altering the meaning.
If one jots down the salient features of the original source before beginning to paraphrase it gets much easier for the person to navigate and form sentences based on the salient features. The salient features are not part of plagiarism as they are the features of the said thing one is writing on.
- The using of point-form notes while researching the source of the article and then making use of these point form notes to paraphrase the text later when one is finally writing his/her paper.
Essentially hand-writing paraphrases on a notecard, and then referring back to them later goes a long way in distancing one from the original source. This allows one to entirely change the original wording and essentially one’s own style is implemented.
- One must write down one’s own version of the text before starting to paraphrase or before even reading the original source properly. It is absolutely paramount to write one’s own version of a text before paraphrasing the actual text because of one simple reason.
The reason is to understand one’s own language capabilities before the start of paraphrasing. The first draft of the text before paraphrasing provides for a board on which one can correct his mistakes and change things as needed while paraphrasing the original.
- One needs to make comparisons between the paraphrased text with the original text and make changes to the parts that seem very close or are similar to the original text without changing the meaning or context of the paraphrased text.
This can be done via different methods like changing sentences from active to passive voice or changing sentences i.e construction of the sentences in a different way
- The source must always be cited i.e wherever one sources the original text from. When paraphrasing it is very important to provide the source of information i.e the original article needs to be stated in the original article so that the reader may understand that the information for the article is sourced from another article and can also verify the information given.
Plagiarism is the specified presentation of someone else’s idea or statement as one’s own without the consent of the person who had the original idea.
Plagiarism is a grave misdeed in the world of academics and is almost seen as a fault that cannot be forgiven. Articles and dissertations published by people and later caught for plagiarism lose their academic integrity.
Paraphrasing, however, is not plagiarism. Paraphrasing is a restatement of an original idea where proper credits are given to the original source of the idea. However, poorly executed Paraphrasing of a text without understanding its meaning and just copy-pasting an idea is plagiarism.
Thus, paraphrasing sometimes is on the verge of plagiarism. However, there are certain methods that can be used in paraphrasing to avoid plagiarism
- The change of position for the beginning of a sentence. The sentence needs to be created in such a way that the beginning and end of the sentence are different from the original text but it doesn’t change the meaning of the sentence.
The key pieces of information that are to be mentioned in the sentence are put forward in a completely different order from the original text.
- The usage of synonyms for most words in the original text goes a long way in avoiding plagiarism. Synonyms are basically a word or phrase that means the same thing as another. It is basically “another word” for something.
The use of synonyms doesn’t change the meaning of the sentence but since the word is changed it passes the plagiarism test as it is not exactly a copy of the text from the original source. However, it is not necessary to use the synonym for every word in the text.
- In order to avoid plagiarism, more often than not the sentence structure of a particular sentence is changed during paraphrasing. For example, if a certain sentence is in the active voice which is when a sentence is led by the subject and so the sentence can be changed in a way that the object is leading the sentence making the sentence in passive voice.
The changing of sentences is an essential and easy way to avoid plagiarism while paraphrasing since it’s a basic skill and is taught in most schools.
- The breaking of information up into several sentences is another useful way to dodge plagiarism. If there is a certain amount of information in a single sentence in the original source, breaking up the information into multiple sentences with different constructions for each sentence is a very effective way to dodge plagiarism.
However, this comes with an issue of straining word limits if there is one in the article but one has to be careful as to the number of words used and then use this method accordingly.
In summary, few words being swapped around is not paraphrasing; it constitutes a practice that takes ideas and explains them using different words and structures.
It serves a greater purpose; it shows to the reader that one has understood the meaning of the text and can explain it to the reader in one’s own words. understood the literature on your subject and can express it clearly to your reader. It further enables one to support one’s own research with in-text citations.