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3 Benefits of Paraphrasing: The Skill for Learning, Writing and Communicating

Paraphrasing is the underrated skill of reinstating, clarifying or condensing the ideas of another in your own words. By paraphrasing, you can curate credible and well-developed documents, and arguments. But there’s more to paraphrasing than the final result, the process of paraphrasing engages your ability to learn actively, write well, and communicate creatively.

Paraphrasing allows you to share another’s ideas in your own words. This powerful technique is useful in both written and verbal communication, and acts as a tool for conveying information effectively. Paraphrasing is an underrated skill that is beneficial to a variety of individuals from students and writers to employees and business owners. In any setting, sharing information well is the key to good quality work and results. The process of paraphrasing itself also has a number of benefits, making you a better learner, writer and communicator. 

Paraphrasing: The Active Learning Strategy 

Paraphrasing requires you to think about the information you want to convey. You need to understand the meaning in order to reword and restructure the idea, and share it effectively. The process of paraphrasing encourages you to get to the core message, and improves your understanding of the material. In this way, you are actively engaging with the material. Instead of passively reading, you are breaking down the ideas and concepts. Rather than slotting information into your writing, you’re reworking and tailoring it to your needs and your audience. 

Paraphrasing can improve your memory by encouraging you to engage with the information. The 5-step approach to paraphrasing suggests writing your first paraphrase without looking at the original material. This engages your ability to actively recall information from memory, and think of new ways to write it out, rather than simply trying to memorise what you read word for word. After your first draft, you’ll revisit the original material to check if your work conveys the same meaning, this part of the process can further strengthen memory. You’re again revisiting the material in a way that is active and assessing your understanding. Likewise, the practice of paraphrasing improves your ability to convey information, ensuring that it is well-written and tailored to your audience.

This learning method is particularly useful for exams. You’ll learn the material well, developing a deep understanding and continue to refine this as you paraphrase the information. You’ll also be practising your ability to share this information in a way that is well-written, avoids plagiarism and engages your audience. This means, you’ll be able to easily add these ideas into your assignments or exams, having already taken the time to understand the ideas deeply and even practised sharing this information. You’ll be able to show the depth of your learning through paraphrasing, proving you understand the bigger picture and the finer details. 

Paraphrasing: The Technique for Improving Writing Ability

Once you’ve understood the concept well, the process of paraphrasing can improve your writing ability in a variety of ways. You’ll improve your vocabulary by making use of synonyms and identifying key words. You might also switch between word categories, using a noun instead of a verb or changing  adjectives into adverbs. Overtime, this will make you a better writer. Paraphrasing is more than changing a few words and can involve switching between the active or passive voice, this can improve your ability to distinguish between the two. Effective paraphrasing also involves playing around with sentence structure, you might utilise shorter or longer sentences to convey the idea at hand. 

These benefits can still be found even when using paraphrasing tools. You’ll still have to test your understanding by assessing the paraphrase the tool produced. Likewise, you’ll be exposed to new ways of writing things, new words, sentence structures, and organisation. You’ll learn how to pick out the paraphrasing styles that do or don’t work for your writing. Beyond the more technical aspects of writing, paraphrasing can also teach you how to communicate more clearly. You might rearrange the information to emphasise a particular point, or simplify the language to make it accessible to your audience. This improves your ability to clarify the ideas of the original material, and make ideas that might be overly complex, easier to digest. 

Paraphrasing: The Skill for Better Communication 

Finally, paraphrasing can make you a better and more creative communicator. By engaging in the process of paraphrasing, you’re developing your ability to share one idea in a variety of ways. For this to be engaging, you have to get creative. You might play around with the tone, switching between formal, informal, casual, or persuasive. Imagine a business launching a new product, communicating the idea to various internal teams, and customers, each would require a different approach and yet the meaning behind the information would remain the same. 

You might ask questions such as, how can I tailor this information to my audience? How can I bring this aspect of the idea to life? This highlights how paraphrasing can really exercise your ability to communicate creatively. Similarly, paraphrasing can teach you how to share ideas in your own personal way. Whether you’re sharing an idea with a friend, or on social media, you’ll find you can share information in your own personal style while still retaining the original meaning. This can make ideas more accessible and relatable to those in your circle. Additionally, this can prove to be a useful skill in your career, studies or creative endeavours.

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