Paraphrasing Guide: Main Styles and Techniques You Have to Know

When writing a report or doing an assignment, there is one rule that we are all aware of, the Plagiarism Rule. You work, has to be original, and not just the result of copy-pasting the works of others. It also applies to those who post their content online.

While you are expected to carry out research and base your arguments on the information that you find, you have to go the extra mile and use a text paraphraser. The following techniques will help you to avoid plagiarism and at the same time, add to the credibility of your work by validating it using the views of others.

They are the paraphrasing techniques:

1. Use your own words

The internet and library are useful sources of information. When given an assignment, you are asked to do your research about it and provide unique content. If you read through the material of others, you gain understanding in what they are stating.

It is not just enough to read through it; you need to understand what they say. Once you do, you will be able to pass the same message or even add to it, using your own words. If you can, you can resort to a paraphraser online for help.

You can include your opinion to the paraphrase to give it support. Ensure that you maintain the attitude of the author as you write in your own words. If they are critical about a subject matter, then, your wording should reflect this too.

2. Change the structure of sentences

At times, you may not be able to use your own words to restate a point without using the same words from your source. In such a situation, you can try changing the structure of the sentences. As you do this, you should ensure that the meaning is retained.

Changing the structure can lead to changing the meaning of the sentence, so, be keen on this. You can achieve this by starting with different sections of the passage or text, say, from the end to the beginning. It is also possible to start from the middle of the paragraph.

Where there are long sentences, use shorter ones. You will notice this if you use a website for paraphrasing.

3. Rewording

Plagiarism detectors can recognize the use of similar words and even patterns. Use a thesaurus to change the wording of your points. However, don’t just use the first option that the glossary gives you.

It should have the same meaning as the word you are interchanging with it. Also, you don’t have to settle with the most complicated word. It may not convey intelligence especially if it doesn’t fit in the context. Simple words can also do the trick.

Change the voice of the sentence, i.e., from passive to active and vice-versa. If it is a keyword in a particular subject, it doesn’t need changing. Use adverbs in the place of adjectives.

4. Change how you introduce your sources

If you want to include the name of the sources in your paper, you can vary how you present them. Use that indicate references, e.g., “according to, states or demonstrates,” etc. When using unique phrases from the source, use quotation marks.

Well, it is so because you want to retain the same meaning as the original text. Using your own words in such a situation could affect or change the intended message you wanted to pass across.


You are going to get useful points from the work of others, but you can maintain your originality by paraphrasing. The above techniques will help you avoid plagiarism. You don’t want your time spent on the research and drafting the document go to waste, just because of plagiarism. Do you?

With time and practice, you will get better at paraphrasing.

The Writing Cooperative is a community of people helping each other write better. Become a member to join our Slack team, get fresh eyes on your writing, and participate in the 52-Week Writing Challenge! Only $3 a month.