What is Paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing refers to the process of making structural changes in the wording and ideas from someone else’s work. Even though you are changing the work structure, you should be careful in maintaining the original meaning.

Contrary to popular opinion, paraphrasing does not include replacing certain words with synonyms in the sentence structure. A perfect paraphrase should be an improvement on meaning and clarity from the previous work. When paraphrasing a document, you should ensure that:

  • Show a deep understanding of the ideas in the original work
  • Help in breaking down significant concepts and ideas in original work
  • You change the emphasis of the ideas to bring out a bigger context
  • Avoid the use of direct quotes that go in losing your touch on the subject

Even though you are allowed to paraphrase, there is a limit to sourcing your information. Paraphrasing an entire document reduces the originality of your document. It would help if you only paraphrased when you want to add weight to your current paper.

What is Quoting?

Quoting is often misused with paraphrasing by students. When quoting, the writer uses the exact words from the author’s work on their document. The beginning and end of the quotes must have quotation marks.

You can tell a quote from a paraphrase through the use of a direct quote. Your choice of either double or single quotation majorly depends on your selection of a paper's referencing style. Otherwise, there are no rules for using a specific type of quotation marks.

When quoting, it is essential to ensure that:

  1. The original work is engaging in a manner that could not be broken down in more straightforward explanations to lose the meaning
  2. The quote is well-known in your profession
  3. The exact quoting will help in improving your ideas about the topic
  4. You want to maintain the same stance of the author concerning the topic

Note Taking

A common exercise before paraphrasing is note-taking. Having a good strategy for taking notes helps in improving your writing style. It is not recommended to type word by word from the source without including a direct quote. It would help if you had your ideas relating to a particular subject first. 

Steps to Take When Paraphrasing

Different steps come into play when planning to break down some work into individual components for understanding:

  1. Ensure you read the information several times for full comprehension
  2. Re-read the original work till you have a deeper understanding
  3. Try to take some notes on key points to reflect on your work
  4. Form your paragraphs while using notes derived when reading on your own
  5. Compare your current version with the original version of the work
  6. Check to ensure there are similarities between your version and the original work

The strategy above goes a long way in ensuring that your paraphrase has a close relationship with the original work. Furthermore, it helps in showcasing your writing style. After either paraphrasing or quoting any work, remember to reference the bottom of the paper. Ensure you can trace some originality of your ideas from the source.