How to Paraphrase

Paraphrasing is a way of restating a statement made by someone else using different words. It is an indispensable tool for writers. By paraphrasing, you can convey information without plagiarizing it. Furthermore, because accurate paraphrasing is impossible without understanding the original statement, paraphrasing demonstrates that you have read and understood the original text rather than simply repeating it. Paraphrasing also helps to prevent your work from being overwhelmed by quotations from the work of others.

Step 1

Read your source material carefully. Go back over it once you're done to make sure that you've understood it completely.

Step 2

Write down, in your own words, an explanation of what you've just read.

Step 3

Compare what you've written to the source. Ask yourself if your paraphrased content conveys all the information in the original body of work.

Step 4

Correct your wording, both to ensure that it reflects the meaning of the original and also to make sure it is not too similar to the original work.

Step 5

Note the page number and bibliographic detail of the source if you're writing an academic paper. Even paraphrases have to be correctly attributed.