In many writing exercises, you will need to master the skill of paraphrasing, so that you aren’t accused of plagiarism. It is costly, for both your academic and online life. Now, paraphrasing allows you to explain another person’s ideas in the context of, or concerning your own.
The misunderstanding comes when we take it to literally mean, using your own words to restate those of another. It often leads to people assuming that you only need to replace the phrase used with their synonyms. However, even the expert paraphrasing service, do more than just that.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of effective paraphrasing strategies; one first has to decide whether to quote or paraphrase content.
To Quote or To Paraphrase?
Some of the ways, in which an author can integrate sources, is to quote or paraphrase. In paraphrasing, you communicate the ideas from the source, using different word order and words. On the other hand, when you quote, you borrow the material’s exact wording and place them in quotes.
The two have different purposes. It mostly depends on the information provided by the material and the reason why you are using it.
When to Quote
Direct quotes act as a rhetorical tool, and you need to use them sparingly. Avoid using them when the information you wish to share, is more than three lines. Using direct quotes can help you to:
- a) Explain an idea from the source that can’t be reworded, as the explanation is in the best way possible.
- b) Provide proof of the claim of the author, in their own words.
- c) Clarify or support information from the source.
- d) Define new terms or phrases, and those that are unfamiliar.
When to Paraphrase
Here, you present information using different words and phrases but keep the meaning of the source. It allows you to tailor the message to the purpose of your essay. You can use paraphrasing software to:
- a) Simplify or clarify text that’s difficult to understand, mainly if the source uses language that complicates the content.
- b) Establish the credibility of your ideas, as it demonstrates your knowledge of the subject matter.
- c) Choose the information you want to include or omit from the source.
- d) Maintain the voice and flow of the writing, using direct quotes may interrupt this.
When choosing whether to quote or paraphrase the source; paraphrasing may prove more effective in supporting your arguments. In that, you can use a paraphrasing a poem tool to demonstrate your understanding of the text. It also helps you to avoid plagiarism.
Below are ways to do it effectively:
- Read and understand the material first. Paraphrasing is more than just using the synonyms of the used words. Read through the whole passage, identify the message of the source and write it in your own words.
- Select the information carefully and only choose that which supports your arguments. Remember to take notes as you go through the source material. Then use the records to convey the meaning.
- Change structure by breaking up long sentences. You can also combine short sentences. In doing this, you may have to change or eliminate some words.
- Focus on the ideas. Don’t just change the words used, try to get the points that the source material is advocating for, or explaining. Then explain them in your way.
- Use a few words as possible that are in the original. You can do this after writing your ideas, then compare the two.
Paraphrasing is an important skill to master as we derive most of our ideas from those of others. The above tips will guide you on how and when to go about it.