Let Your Own Words Do the Work: The Whys and Hows of Paraphrasing
With any information being available and accessible on the internet, it’s so easy to copy someone else’s work. That won’t get you anywhere, though, especially if you want to become a successful and reputable freelance writer. Plagiarism is something you should take seriously. You may not realize it at first, but the consequences might be more devastating than you could imagine.
Learning to write in your own words is a necessary skill. Understand the process of paraphrasing if you want to produce great content without plagiarizing.
The Art of Paraphrasing
Paraphrasing involves rewording of written or spoken content. It’s also a valuable skill as it can give you a powerful alternative to simply using direct quotes, which you must not do frequently. A good paraphrasing shows you understand your sources well enough that you can write it in your own words and connect with the readers.
Make Your Words Count
You could borrow some ideas from a reliable source without plagiarizing. To develop this skill, start with rereading the text until you understand its full meaning. Pay attention to adjectives, gerunds, and colloquial expressions used in the paragraphs. Jot down a few words and verbally summarize it.
Always compare your work with the original to be sure your version still expresses the main points. Keep in mind that you can use quotation marks if there are unique terms that you can’t paraphrase. The key here is to use as many sources as you can to have more source of “inspiration.”
Here are some samples to compare:
The original paragraph:
Every now and then, your car will have problems. From problems with the motor or just parts that need replacement or repair, sometimes doing it yourself just does not cut it. Therefore, it is safe to say that car needs a trip to the auto repair shop to fix the damages. You need to do the proper research to find the best places and the best deals so you find the right people to take care of car and you do not end up overspending on the repair costs.
A plagiarized version:
Every now and then, your vehicle will have problems – from issues with the motor or just parts that need repair or replacement. Sometimes doing it yourself will not work. Therefore, your car needs a trip to the auto repair shop to deal with the damages. You need to do proper research to find the best places and the perfect deals, so you find the appropriate people to take care of your vehicle and you do not end up overspending.
A legitimate paraphrase:
Your car will have problems at some point, such as issues with the motor that may need repair or replacement. To avoid this, make sure to bring your vehicle to an auto repair shop regularly. Research or ask around to find the best deals and hire the right people to fix your car.
Some writers think that copying only a few words from an article is the easy way out when facing a tight deadline and avoid the stress of creating a unique topic. Paraphrasing can be simple if you’re willing to learn. Just keep practicing.
We are not saying that you copy from someone else’s work, but it’s best to master your paraphrasing skills to improve your writing. Eventually, you will learn how to weave an engaging copy without resorting to paraphrasing or deriving inspiration from others.