Paraphrasing involves sharing ideas and information in your own words while preserving the original meaning and details. This essential writing technique can help you to not only avoid plagiarism but also share information effectively. Through your own words, you can convey another’s ideas and tailor the information to your audience.
By engaging in the process of paraphrasing, you’ll be able to build credible pieces of work, well developed documents and improve comprehension of information for your own knowledge. Although typically associated with writing research papers or assignments, paraphrasing is widely applicable to many forms of learning, writing and content creation.
For students, the capacity to read, understand and rewrite material is core to producing good quality work. It can be tricky to avoid plagiarism when sharing research or theories in your work, however, paraphrasing is one of the best ways to avoid this. Beyond plagiarism, paraphrasing is an active learning strategy that improves memory, comprehension and engagement.
The process of paraphrasing will test your knowledge, improving your comprehension of the material which in turn, allows you to demonstrate the depth of your knowledge to assessors in your exams and assignments. You’ll be able to develop credible arguments, showing you not only understand the content but also how this relates to your current piece of work.
Good communication is essential to ensuring things run smoothly within a business. For a business, information needs to be conveyed within the internal company but also to external partners, and clients or customers who use their services and products. Paraphrasing is the tool that can help to share that information, tailored to each audience while still communicating the core message.
For example, copywriting is an important marketing and branding tool. From branding in advertisements to building a relationship with your customers online, copywriting can be the defining piece for connecting with current and future customers or clients. This clear, concise and creative communication that occurs in copywriting can be achieved through paraphrasing.
Additionally, other aspects of business can benefit from paraphrasing. For business documents or presentations, it can be essential to collate factual information that maintains the meaning of the original source. This might be from meetings, interviews, research or other standardised business documents. You’ll need to be able to pick out what serves the purpose of your document or presentation, and paraphrase it so your audience can follow along.
Plagiarism is still something to be conscious of when blogging, to prevent your ideas from being discredited. You might want to share your latest findings from your most recent read, or a concept you heard about from another content creator. Paraphrasing can make this easier, and more engaging for your readers, while maintaining your credibility as a blogger with fresh ideas. Being able to outline the ideas of others in your own words can bring fundamental concepts to life for others. You might make something that resonated with you, relatable to those who feel connected to your content through paraphrasing.
Similar to blogging, content creation involves information sharing in a personal and engaging way. Whether that's to connect, share, educate or all three, rewriting is often a core component of the process. You might share information through captions, or infographics, which share bite-sized information gathered from other resources. Paraphrasing allows you to ensure you’re sharing the original ideas to your audience.
For video and audio content, many creators make use of scripting, this might be the stage where research or information is paraphrased to be included in the final piece of work. During content collaborations, paraphrasing can be even more essential for maintaining credibility. You’ll be able to convey your guests ideas without straying from their original thoughts, which is important for keeping content genuine, authentic and trustworthy in the age of social media.
Finally, paraphrasing is a useful skill for your own personal learning and growth. By engaging in the process of paraphrasing, you’re actively learning and engaging with the material in a way that makes sense to you. Instead of tailoring this information to share with others, you can instead use it to aid your own personal knowledge management. While you can collect quotes, paraphrasing helps that information to stick, and becomes more personal. You can paraphrase notes taken from reading, podcasts, Youtube videos and so on.
These insights can be stored and managed in systems like the commonplace book, a digital garden or the notecard system. These systems can then allow you to form new insights, and create work that hasn’t lost the original meaning of the content you might have consumed many years ago. In this case, you’re tailoring the content to make sense to you, or future you, rather than someone else. However cultivating this personal understanding can help you communicate better when you do want to share your insights.