Why Should You Learn How To Paraphrase?

Why Should You Learn How To Paraphrase?

Why do you need to paraphrase?

Whenever you use information from original source, you should use your own words, i.e. paraphrase, unless you have a good reason to quote. But why is it so important to use your own words? After all, copying the text would be faster and you wouldn’t risk misinterpreting the content. However, there are several reasons why you should paraphrase, and getting to know them will make paraphrasing that much more valuable.

There are several reasons why you should paraphrase. First of all, paraphrasing the text really helps to process the material and understand it on a deeper level. Second, and related to the reason above, paraphrased information tells your reader that you have processed the information and understood the material, which is especially important when your reader is also your teacher. Third, paraphrasing helps ensure that you are using sources to communicate something important to your readers. If you focus too much on the original text, on the other hand, you risk losing track of what you want to say. Fourth, you really need to paraphrase; otherwise, you will not be able to pass the course work.

Paraphrasing takes time, but remember it helps you learn and write clearer text, which gives you more credit for your hard work.

How to paraphrase?

There are some useful strategies for developing your paraphrasing skills. However, the most important feature is to make sure you fully understand the text before trying to paraphrase it.

  1. Carefully read the text you wish to paraphrase before attempting to paraphrase it.
  2. Look up the words you don’t understand in your dictionary.
  3. Proofread the text quickly; check it out if you feel confident. In particular, pay attention to the first sentences of paragraphs (these are usually the thematic sentences) and keywords.
  4. Cover the text and summarize it verbally, just from memory. There is no need to use complex academic language: use your own words.
  5. Write your verbal summary.
  6. Check the original text to make sure you’ve included the main points. Add quotation marks if you used unique keywords or terms that cannot be paraphrased.
  7. Record all source and author details for future reference.

Why is paraphrasing so important?

Paraphrasing is important because it shows that you understand the source well enough to put it in your own words. It also provides a powerful alternative to using straight quotes, which should be used infrequently.

  • This is a useful way to use original source material for your research paper/dissertation, provided it is properly referenced. In academic writing, it is not acceptable to simply copy and paste a source, add a reference, and PRESTO!
  • You should use a variety of direct quotes (referenced), indirect quotes or paraphrases (referenced) and your own comments.
  • This is important because it shows you and your reader (i.e. your teacher) that you understand the source well enough to write it in your own words. It also offers a powerful alternative to using direct quotes (which may include less relevant material).

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