In technical terms, paraphrasing is a simple task to restating a text with the same meanings. It is an essential skill in academic writing. This skill needs a higher degree of thinking and full command over reading and writing. It helps the students to avoid plagiarism from their thesis or research work. Worldwide institutes only allow 8 to 10 percent plagiarism. Thus, to complete your thesis or research paper, it is important to use paraphrase material and paraphrasing tool can help you with this.
Students normally misunderstood the concept of paraphrasing. They thought that its mean is to summarize the text. It is not true. Paraphrasing is different from the summary. Most people find paraphrasing hard and use synonyms to avoid plagiarism. Very rarely researches change the text into the syntactic structure.
What is it about?
Chris Callison Burch defined this term in his research project named ‘Paraphrasing and Translation’. “Paraphrasing represents the preservation of meaning in the same language by using different words”. The basic idea behind the paraphrasing is to change the wording of the text to make it different from the abstracted source without changing the main idea. It shows your understanding and command over your subject.
Techniques to do paraphrasing
There are few best techniques which will help you in doing paraphrasing the text for your thesis or research work.
- Read the text again and again:
Before doing paraphrasing, it is important to read the text again and again for a better understanding of the concept and its meaning.It will also assist you to write the text in your own language more comfortably.
- Extract key points:
While going through the text, extract the key points according to the demand of your subject. It will later save your time and will facilitate you to complete your project in a short time.
- Changing words by using synonyms:
It is effective to change the vocabulary by using the words with the same meanings for example defined can be changed with stated and wages can be replaced with salaries or income. Do not try to change every word as few words don’t have proper synonyms like energy, economy, etc. hile many words have several meanings and used according to the context.
- Acknowledge sources:
To avoid plagiarism after paraphrasing the text, it is essential to do correct citation. Write the name of the author, book or the article and when and where it was published. You must do the in-text citation and the referencing in the last of the thesis is required too. There are few methods which are used globally for this i.e., MLA style and APA style.
Example of in-text citation: According to the APA style, you will do the referencing like this. (Roose&Buttler, 2019, p.15). In this, you will mention the name of the author, the year of publication and the number of the page from where you have taken the text.
MLA documentation will be done like this. (Roose&Buttler, 15). In this style, you just need to mention the author’s name and the page number.
- Change the order of the word in the sentence:
You can change the position of the word in the sentence or you can convert the active tense into a passive sentence.
Example: “History of the Industrial Revolution” by James cook explains the industrial revolution very well.
James Cook in his book titled “History of Industrial Revolution” explained the industrial revolution very well.
- Break long sentences into short sentences:
If the sentence is long and can be divided into two sentences then it is better to break the information. The break help to make the text readable and the reader can understand the information easily. It makes reading good and improves the overall impression of the text. For instance, you want to write, about depression and its damages so you can paraphrase it like, depression proved to be the root cause of many life taking problems. People with depression have more chances to encounter hypertension, cardiac issues, and diabetes and kidney failure. Insomnia and inability to focus can be another diverse effect of depression.
- Change word class:
You can change the word class while doing paraphrasing. You can convert verbs into nouns, nouns into verbs, adverbs to adjectives and adjectives to adverbs. For example, if in the paragraph the noun, the explanation is used, you can replace it with the verb, explain. Similarly, an adjective profitable can be exchanged with the noun profitability.
- Initiate the writing with a different point from the original article:
It is important to initiate your article with a different point from the abstracted article. It will decrease the risk of plagiarism. For example, if the article starts with the definition and further explains its importance, you can start it with the introductory paragraph and then can state the definition.
- Change numbers and percentage:
Numbers and percentages are authentic and it cannot be changed. But to write them during paraphrasing is a technique. You can use the roundabout figures. For 13 percent, you can write less than 15 percent or more than 12 percent.
- Common words:
You can use common words or phrases as it is because those terms can’t be changed, For example, the nineteenth century, cultural imperialism, Industrial revolution.
Mistakes done by the researchers while paraphrasing the text:
Commonly without considering the basics of paraphrasing we do make some common mistakes in writing. You also have to avoid copied words in while rewriting.
These can be minor but leaves a great impact on our writing. Sometimes due to these deficiencies in a text, reader is unable to understand the overall meaning paraphrasing tool can help to avoid these mistakes. So, it’s necessary to consider avoiding the following mistakes:
- Missing credits — giving wrong or no credits to the author while paraphrasing in your writing could lead you to the high value of plagiarism. It’s unethical and will count as a negative for your research work.
- Keeping the text as it is — adding same text from the document directly to your writing is not good. Plagiarism tools can detect the text and there will be of no use. In paraphrasing you need to change the words and sentence formation by keeping the same meaning.
- Missing out on information — paraphrasing is not about missing out the information at all. You are supposed to add on facts and figures as it is.
- Using inappropriate synonyms — changing words to synonyms is one of the common practices but in the end it cause some issue if the meaning is not appropriate.