Know what you want to say, but not sure how you want to say it? Found a great idea in a source, but find that you are struggling to put it into your own words? Doing a reread on your essay or other academic writing project and realize that you are using the same word and phrases instead of offering variety in your writing? If you are experiencing any of these challenges, then you need help paraphrasing. Unfortunately, paraphrasing is difficult for many people. Some people mistakenly believe that paraphrasing just means changing up the words you use; however, to really paraphrase, you are also going to want to change word order and sentence structure. The idea is to capture the main idea of a sentence or paragraph but present it in a fresh and unique way. Fortunately, our paraphrasing tool is here to help you. You can enter a selected excerpt from your text and get suggestions about smart ways to paraphrase it.
We have made it super-easy to use our paraphrasing tool. Select the text you want to paraphrase, enter it into the tool, and hit the button. The tool will generate a suggested way to rephrase it. Don’t like the suggestion? Hit the button again. You may try it a few times to find the way you want to paraphrase the statement, or you might end up combining elements from your searches. Either way, you are going to get a fresh, new way to see the text that you have entered.
You may have been told to paraphrase in the past but might not have understood exactly what that means. If so, you are not alone. Many students are confused about the concept of paraphrasing. This can even end up getting a student in academic trouble if they believe they have paraphrased but have not and the information they are including is tagged as plagiarism. Paraphrasing means restatement. It takes information that another writer has previously stated or that you have included in another part of your writing and rephrases. Usually, paraphrasing is done to clarify information, connect it to the rest of a paragraph or statement, or to show that you understand the information that you are paraphrasing. The challenge is to write the statement “in your own words,” which refers not only to changing the words, but also adopting the writing style you would have chosen if the idea had been yours originally. This can be challenging if the topic is unfamiliar, but even more challenging when you are paraphrasing your own statements and have already written it once “in your own words.”
Our paraphrasing tool has a text limit. You cannot enter a novel and get a whole new one as a result. However, how you use it can help you customize your paraphrasing. You might decide to enter in text a phrase or sentence at a time to give you creative and unusual ideas about how to rephrase the information. If the text includes several sentences together that all form a single idea or thought, you might want to look at how the tool would paraphrase the entire passage. Sometimes you might try both, just to see which way gets you the most interesting results. Some students are going to be using the paraphrasing tool because they have instructors who have prohibited the use of direct quotes and they just want to make sure their cited information is sufficiently different to avoid triggering a plagiarism detector. Other students are going to be using the tool to really bring some creativity and sparkle to their writing. However you choose to use the tool, it can help you get the results that you want.
Using our paraphrasing tool is great when you are trying to take a global idea and put it into your own words. It is even fabulous when you are distilling pretty specific information and trying to highlight it, clarify it, or emphasize it. However, you may wonder how well the tool does when handling extremely specific topics.
There are some words and phrases that may be used in a specific discipline or subdiscipline that do not have reasonable substitutions. Proper nouns, terms of art, and brand names are all going to stay consistent, even if you are paraphrasing. However, that is when you need to use the paraphrasing tool carefully and wisely. Are the changes it suggests enough to sufficiently change the material and avoid suggestions of plagiarism. If the source sentence is too specific, it might be difficult to change it sufficiently without losing some of the meaning.
For example, let’s say you enter the following sentence into the tool:
Nancy bought a Big Mac from McDonald’s.
The paraphrasing tool could give you a number of suggestions, but you have to look at whether those suggestions convey the information that you need to convey.
“The girl purchased a sandwich from the fast-food establishment,” is generic, but it loses some of the original meaning, which may or may not be important, depending on your context.
Therefore, if you are writing about something where specific details are important, you may want to look for multiple paraphrasing suggestions.
Many use our paraphrasing tool for a very specific purpose. They have information that they want to cite in their paper and have determined that a direct quote is not appropriate. Therefore, they want to paraphrase it to include it in the paper. Simply enter the direct quote and see what the tool suggests as alternative ways to write the same information. Just keep in mind that if you are taking an idea from source material that is unique to that source material, you are still going to want to cite it.
Another major reason that people use our paraphrasing tool is to help them with the writing process. In most standard academic essays, the introduction paragraph and the conclusion paragraph are very similar. In fact, the conclusion paragraph is often thought of as a restatement of the introductory paragraph, but restructured with the thesis at the beginning, the body sentences, and then a conclusion statement or call to action. You can enter in your thesis for ideas on how to restate it, as well as on how to present the same ideas that you included in your body sentences, but in a new way.
Many people think of writing as challenging, but their actual problems are with little things, like paraphrasing. Let our paraphrasing tool takes away some of that stress. In fact, if you combine it with our other tools, you just might discover that you actually enjoy writing, after all!
While some people may just naturally be better writers than others, one of the great things about writing is that it is a skill almost anyone can acquire. The trick is to minimize the frustration you feel when doing some of the little tasks involved in writing. Our paraphrasing tool helps you figure out how to put things into your own words, so that you can move on to the rest of your writing assignment!