How to Paraphrase in an Essay

Paraphrasing in a Paper

Paraphrasing is an art of putting a passage from source material into your own words. The paraphrase should be attributed to the source. The paraphrased text is shorter compared to the original passage. The paraphrased text takes a somewhat broader segment of the source and condensing the text slightly. In other words, a paraphrase is a more detailed restatement compared to summary though it focuses concisely on a specific central theme. A paraphrase is one legitimate way to utilize someone ideas without committing plagiarism.

Why do you need to paraphrase when writing an essay?

  • Paraphrasing helps the writer to understand the idea he or she have read in-depth.
  • Paraphrasing also help the essay writer to convey the idea in s source text more clearly to the audience.
  • Thirdly, paraphrasing is desired since it helps in the clarification of a short passage which seems unclear. It is also an essential way of including the most significant parts of the original text.
  • Paraphrasing also helps the writer to resist the temptation of using unnecessary quotes from the source.
  • Finally, the mental process during paraphrasing is significant to the learners as they deeply grasp and understand the meaning of the original text.

What to consider before paraphrasing

For effective paraphrasing process, it is inevitable to consider the following:

  • Read the entire original text and comprehend the meaning rather than pausing to paraphrase specific ideas and proceed. The writer should comprehensively read and grasp all the essential points to be captured in the paraphrased text.
  • Choose and select an essential part of the passage needed to support your purpose of paraphrasing. Paraphrasing the entire passage may be unnecessary in some instances, therefore, focus on the most vital part of the passage.
  • Consider the vocabulary to be used in the essay and compare them to those in the original texts. The chosen vocabulary should be relevant and suitable for the audience. Using jargon terms may distort the meaning of a paraphrased text. However, simple, clear and concise vocabulary is always desired.

How to paraphrase correctly: Basic rules

  • First, reread the original text until you grasp deep concept and theme.
  • Secondly, it is prudent to set aside the original and draft a paraphrase on a note card.
  • Most importantly, jot down key words below the draft paraphrase to remind you later how you visualize using the material. Indicating the subject is key in such a process.
  • Then compare your rendition to original text for the purpose of ensuring your version concisely depicts all the essential information though in a new form.
  • Sparingly, use quotation marks to show what is borrowed directly.
  • Finally, recording the source information like the page number is inevitable for the purpose of crediting it easily the paraphrased essay.

Tips on how to paraphrase

  • Paraphrasing should be restricted to the parts of the text relevant to the purpose of the essay. Paraphrasing all the texts is insensible.
  • The writer should express the source’s ideas and concepts into her or his own words and styles. Refrain from word to word copying from the original text.
  • Remain relevant to the meaning and theme of the original texts. Some writers are likely to distort the initial meaning of the text. Most importantly the writers should not add new concepts to the source material while writing the paraphrase.
  • If you must quote, then do it sparingly. However, it would be important to avoid including quotes on the paraphrased text.
  • For the purpose of reminding the audience that you are paraphrasing, the inclusion of tags is important to give precise direction.
  • Finally, the writer should continuously revise the paraphrased to eliminate the chances of plagiarism. The paraphrased text should have unique sentence structure and word order.

Tips on revision

  • Check whether you interjected your views and concepts contrary to what was presented in the original text.
  • Check whether you distorted, changed the meaning or the intent of the original text. The intended meaning of the original passage should remain clear in the paraphrased text.
  • Check whether you leave out or omit significant information.
  • The writer should also check whether he or she quoted large sections that could be rephrased further.
  • The writer should also check whether he or she presented the paraphrased material as his or her original work.
  • The grammatical check could also be done to confirm the usage of quotation marks, commas and the capitalization in the text.

Example of paraphrasing

Original passage

The chronically ill are by no means confined to hospitals or other institutions. If you think for a moment about your friends and acquaintances, you will recognize that many of the chronically ill live in the general community and lead perfectly healthy, happy lives within their limitations (Anderson, 281).

Example of strong paraphrase

The patients with lifetime conditions are not restricted to the hospital facilities. For instance, you can imagine a good number of your friends with lifetime conditions but lead a good life in the community. They do not have a restriction to discharge their core roles and responsibilities.

Example of weak paraphrasing

According to Anderson perception, chronically ill patients are not restricted to the wards. You can imagine a number of your friends who are chronically ill but are leading a perfect life in the community. This is what Anderson is advocating for.

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