How to Paraphrase without Plagiarizing

Last Updated: 11 November 2022

paraphrasing the correct way

Paraphrasing is an essential skill for college students and professionals alike, and this is because it is the core skill needed to write brilliant papers. You cannot write a brilliant college paper without proper paraphrasing of the ideas or the information you find in the credible sources you discover during research. It is a skill that helps you craft coherent research papers, term papers, dissertations, thesis papers, and other assignments in class. It is an alternative to quoting, which entails copying the words from a text verbatim and using quotation marks and the right citation within the paper.

While paraphrasing is a crucial skill needed for writing papers, many first-year college students do not know how to paraphrase correctly. Some take too much time to paraphrase, while others rewrite information instead of paraphrasing.

In this post, you will discover how exactly to paraphrase papers without plagiarizing anything. By the time you are done reading this post, you should be able to start paraphrasing papers with ease.

Let's dive in.  

What Exactly Is Paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing is a vital college skill, and it involves reading a text and rewriting it in your own words but in a way that does not lose meaning. Paraphrasing entails reading and interpreting the meaning of the original text or scholarly source and then writing it in your own words but providing the right citation for acknowledgment of the source. You are presenting someone’s ideas in your own words. As implied in this preceding statement, paraphrasing is all about rewriting.

To become a good paraphraser, you must learn how to rewrite things in your own words. Initially, you might not be very good at it, but with practice, paraphrasing texts/information will become very easy for you.

Every time you paraphrase from a source, you should cite the scholarly source using appropriate in-text citations to avoid plagiarism. Follow the guidelines for APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago, or Harvard formatting when integrating paraphrased texts from a source in your paper.

Before you start practicing how paraphrasing texts and learn paraphrasing techniques, let’s look at why paraphrasing is important.

Why It Is Important to Learn How to Paraphrase

If you are familiar with college paper writing, you know it is okay to quote texts or sources as long as you do it correctly. Because of this, it would be logical to argue that paraphrasing or learning to paraphrase is a waste of time. However, this is not the case. There are several reasons why you should learn how to paraphrase.

1. Excess quoting is not allowed

The number 1 reason you should learn how to paraphrase is that excess quoting is not allowed. Most colleges and professors only allow students to use two to three important quotes in their papers. Putting too many quotes in a college paper is often regarded as an attempt to cleverly reach the minimum word count without really putting in the work, and this usually results in some penalty during grading.

Because excess quoting is not allowed, there has to be another way to discuss or discuss the information you uncovered during research. And this is where paraphrasing comes in. Learning how to paraphrase can help you discuss information in different sources without quoting anything.

2. It reduces the similarity score (plagiarism)

In most colleges worldwide, students are nowadays asked to deliver papers in digital format so that plagiarism scanners can scan them. Papers with a high similarity score, especially those with a similarity score higher than 25%, are usually subjected to further scrutiny by professors to determine if there is any plagiarism.

Students who don't know how to paraphrase usually submit papers with a high similarity score. This often leads to further scrutiny of their papers, and they are often found guilty of plagiarism. To reduce the risk of being found guilty of plagiarism, you must learn how to paraphrase. And you must paraphrase properly to ensure a low or very low similarity score.

3. Enhances word/phrase choice

If you are ever rewriting something and find it difficult to put it in your own words, then you have more than enough reason to learn how to paraphrase. Paraphrasing will help you learn how to put your thoughts in words, and this is because it will equip you with an alternative or synonymous words, phrases, and terms to express different thoughts, ideas, facts, and concepts. In other words, learning how to paraphrase will make you a better academic writer who can express yourself much more clearly.

4. Reduces the use of problematic language

Learning how to paraphrase will reduce your use of problematic language. Problematic language is outdated language or language that is difficult to understand. Those who don't know how to paraphrase have limited ways to explain their thoughts and ideas. This is why they often end up using problematic language in their academic work. In contrast, those who know how to paraphrase have different ways of explaining their thoughts and ideas. Therefore, they are less likely to need to use inappropriate language in their writing.

5. Enhances word flow

If you have been writing college papers for a minute and your papers never have a good flow, you should definitely learn how to paraphrase. Learning the methods and techniques of paraphrasing will enable you to master how to write flowing college papers. This is because they will help you discover different ways to express your thoughts, which will undoubtedly improve the flow of your papers.

What Is the Difference Between Summarizing and Paraphrasing?

By definition, summarizing is the process of reading a text (usually the whole), processing the information, and then putting the main idea of the text according to you. It is a valuable skill, especially in general writing.

By definition, paraphrasing is the process of reading a test, processing the information, and then rewriting the whole of it without losing the meaning of any part of it. It is perhaps the most crucial skill to learn, especially in academic writing.

Summarizing and paraphrasing are slightly similar but different writing techniques. The similarity is that both techniques require you to read and write a text in your own words. This is key to understanding these two concepts, which is why people confuse them. But while the two concepts are somewhat similar, they are also very different. They are very different in terms of the result. The result of a summarizing process is a summarized or truncated text. In contrast, the end result of a paraphrasing process is a text roughly similar in size to the original text.

How to Paraphrase Correctly - A Step-By-Step Guide

Paraphrasing only sounds simple on paper, but it can be challenging to undertake, especially if you are pressed for time. If done wrongly, you might unintentionally plagiarize, which comes with many consequences. But not to worry, we want to make the process seamless and easy through sharing vital paraphrasing tips and steps so that you can ace your academic and professional papers. And if all you need is to hire someone to write your papers, place an order on our website.

Otherwise, if you are here to get knowledge to help you write carefully paraphrased papers, here is a guide for you. Follow the steps below to discover how to paraphrase correctly.

1. Read The Text You Want to Paraphrase

The first thing you need to do before you paraphrase anything is to understand it. So if you want to paraphrase a paragraph, it is vital first to understand what it means. For it is only by having the full and complete understanding of something that you can correctly paraphrase it.

Some people can read something just once and understand it enough to paraphrase it. However, for the majority, this is not the case. The majority need to read something twice or thrice to understand what it means to paraphrase it.

Read what you want to paraphrase twice or thrice to understand it before going to step 2 below.

2. Write Down the Key Points from your Memory

After reading what you want to paraphrase, you should try to write down the main points from memory. Make sure you write them in your own words. Do not look at the original text while doing this, as this could result in you copying words from there. As you write down the key points from memory, make sure what you are writing down is at least chronological and makes sense. If it is not, try to recall again what you read in the step above and edit your points or delete and write them afresh.

3. Compare New Text to Original Text

After writing your paraphrase, you should compare the new text with your original text. The main objective of doing this is to ensure that your new text has the same meaning as the original text. If it does, then you have rewritten the original text correctly. If it doesn't, you should edit it to make sure it does. But the new text is so far off, do not bother editing it; delete it.

The second objective of comparing the new text with the original is to ensure the new text is significantly different from the original text. This is important because a high similarity score between your new text and the original text will be considered plagiarism, especially if it is not cited correctly.

So compare the new text to the original text carefully in this step to ensure the new text is accurate and does not look very similar verbatim to the old text.

4. Turn The Key Points into Sentences

If you are paraphrasing in point form and you want your new text to also be in point form, skip this step to the step below. Otherwise, in this step, you need to take your paraphrased main points and turn them into sentences.

Usually, paraphrasing is done when writing essays to avoid copying information verbatim and getting a high similarity score. Therefore, after paraphrasing key points, it is essential to convert them into sentences and paragraphs. So do this at this stage, and do it carefully to ensure whatever you write makes good sense.

Furthermore, it is crucial to understand that you don't need to paraphrase everything. Sometimes you can paraphrase an original text or passage with fewer words or sentences; other times, you need more words to do the same.

5. Check The Final Text for Overall Sense and Similar Words

After expanding on the key points, check on the rewritten text to make sure it makes sense and that the words used are generally dissimilar from those in the original text. If you find words that are not dissimilar, check if there are any words that you can further change. Finding and changing all the remaining words that are similar to the original text will help you ensure that your final paraphrase is all in your own words.

6. Cite The Text Correctly

It is essential to cite the text you have paraphrased correctly. Many students usually forget or ignore the importance of this. This doesn't seem right. All information, facts, content, data, or ideas not your own should be cited. It is the academic norm in the whole world. Even if you have perfectly paraphrased a passage or a piece of text, failure to cite it properly will lead to plagiarism. Because it will be as if you are presenting the ideas as your own.

So make sure you cite paraphrased text correctly, especially when writing a critical college paper. The correct citation includes both in-text citations and a reference in the references page, and both have to be done as per the recommended formatting system.

The 4 Most Effective Methods of Paraphrasing

You now know how exactly to paraphrase. In this section, you will discover the most effective strategies for paraphrasing. By using the information in the section above alongside these strategies, you should be able to find it easy to paraphrase texts quickly and correctly while avoiding plagiarism.

1. Use Your Own Words

This is the primary method of paraphrasing and the most important thing to do when paraphrasing a piece of text.

To use this method, read what you need to paraphrase and write down what you understand in your own words. Doing this without looking at the original text should make it considerably easier to paraphrase most texts.

Once you write a piece of text in your own words, you should look at it keenly and compare it with the original text to ensure it is considerably different. If not, find similar words or terms and change them.

2. Use Synonyms

This is a secondary method of paraphrasing, and it is typically used further to enhance the uniqueness of paraphrased/rewritten text. In other words, once you rewrite a piece of text in your own words, you use this method to make the new text more different from the original.

It is straightforward to use this method. Simply check your paraphrased text for keywords that look similar to keywords in the original. Once you find them, replace them with appropriate synonyms. Of course, not all words have synonyms, and not all words need changing. Be very cautious when using synonyms because you can change the context of your sentences and paragraphs if you mess. As long as you have an idea about a vocabulary and can find an alternative that fits, you can use the synonyms. Otherwise, it is incorrect to paraphrase using the wrong synonym.

3. Change The Sentence Structure

This is also a secondary strategy of paraphrasing and is used to enhance the uniqueness of the paraphrased text. Changing sentence structure is all about rearranging the structure of different sentences to make sure they look as different as possible from the original text/passage.

When using this strategy to improve the uniqueness of the paraphrased text, do not overuse it. Because doing so could result in a new text that does not make much sense.

4. Add Extra Information

Adding extra information to paraphrased text can help to make it more unique. You can add extra information by explaining points further, providing context, or providing definitions. When you add extra information to a rewritten text, you must ensure the information is relevant and valuable to the reader. If it is not, do not bother adding it.


Is paraphrasing plagiarism?

No, it is not. Paraphrasing is not plagiarism, and in fact, it is a way to avoid plagiarism. By paraphrasing information and citing it properly, you do precisely what your professors expect you to do once you research and create an outline for your college paper. So do not be afraid of paraphrasing; embrace it fully.

Can you pay someone to paraphrase your essay or paper?

Absolutely. You can pay anyone to paraphrase your essay or your paper for you. At, we are in the business of writing college papers, but we also paraphrase them. So whether you want your college paper written from scratch or paraphrased, you can get assistance from us. You can always hire a human to paraphrase your essay. We insist on human paraphrases because they can reword and paraphrase the essay or any paper, and it will still make sense. We can paraphrase your paper without using plagiarism tools because we believe it is only the surest way to have a paper that addresses the assignment instructions. And when we do, it will be free of plagiarism and sound like it is written from scratch.

When you paraphrase, must you cite?

Yes, you must. It is a must to cite information you have paraphrased because while it is new, it is still not your original idea. You must give credit to the original author of that piece of information. If you don't and are found out, you could be guilty of plagiarism.

Can I paraphrase and submit a past assignment?

No, you cannot. Paraphrasing a past assignment and submitting it is considered self-plagiarism and should never be done. When you are given a new assignment, you should write it afresh, even if you have a similar past assignment you could use. If you do not have time to write your new assignment from scratch, order it from us.