Why Do You Need Paraphrasing in Academic Writing?
When you are asked to provide a piece of academic writing from a simple essay through to your dissertation you are expected to do your own writing. Even if you are going to be referring to what others have said to support your assertions or to provide a background for them.
Your work should not be a collection of quotations that you have cut and pasted into your own writing. If you are going to demonstrate your understanding and better target your specific audience, then you need to repeat what they have said in your own personal words; this is paraphrasing. The problem is that repeating what another has said in completely unique words is often harder than it looks and you run the risk of being accused of plagiarism if you don’t do it correctly.
Tips for Doing Paraphrasing in Academic Writing
Remember that online paraphrasing is not just about taking each word and swapping them for a synonym as a piece of software would. Paraphrasing is all about understanding. You have to fully understand something if you are going to be able to explain it to another in your own words. So to paraphrase you simply need to:
Read the original until you are completely sure that you have a full understanding of all of the points being made.
Make notes of all of those points using your own unique words.
Rewrite the text using your notes only and not referring to the original.
Try to write in your own personal style and keep in mind what your audience is looking for.
Compare the rewritten text to the original and modify anything that is too close to the original.
How Can a Sample of Paraphrase Help You?
A paraphrasing sample can help you to see exactly how paraphrasing should be done:
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