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What's a paraphrasing tool?

This AI-powered paraphraser lets you rewrite text in your own words. Use it to  paraphrase articles, essays, and other pieces of text. You can also use it to rephrase sentences and find synonyms for individual words. And the best part? It’s all 100% free!

What's paraphrasing

What's paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing involves expressing someone else’s ideas or thoughts in your own words while maintaining the original meaning. Paraphrasing tools can help you quickly reword text by replacing certain words with synonyms or restructuring sentences. They can also make your text more concise, clear, and suitable for a specific audience. Paraphrasing is an essential skill in academic writing and professional communication. 

paraphrase reply meaning

Why use this paraphrasing tool?

  • Save time: Gone are the days when you had to reword sentences yourself; now you can rewrite a text or a complete text with one click.
  •  Improve your writing: Your writing will always be clear and easy to understand. Automatically ensure consistent language throughout. 
  • Preserve original meaning: Paraphrase without fear of losing the point of your text.
  • No annoying ads: We care about the user experience, so we don’t run any ads.
  • Accurate: Reliable and grammatically correct paraphrasing.
  • No sign-up required: We don’t need your data for you to use our paraphrasing tool.
  • Super simple to use: A simple interface even your grandma could use.
  • It’s 100% free: No hidden costs, just unlimited use of a free paraphrasing tool.

Features of the paraphrasing tool

paraphrase reply meaning

Rephrase individual sentences

With the Scribbr Paraphrasing Tool, you can easily reformulate individual sentences.

  • Write varied headlines
  • Rephrase the subject line of an email
  • Create unique image captions

Paraphrase an whole text

Paraphrase a whole text

Our paraphraser can also help with longer passages (up to 125 words per input). Upload your document or copy your text into the input field.

With one click, you can reformulate the entire text.

paraphrase reply meaning

Find synonyms with ease

Simply click on any word to open the interactive thesaurus.

  • Choose from a list of suggested synonyms
  • Find the synonym with the most appropriate meaning
  • Replace the word with a single click

Paraphrase in two ways

Paraphrase in two ways

  • Standard: Offers a compromise between modifying and preserving the meaning of the original text
  • Fluency: Improves language and corrects grammatical mistakes.

Upload any document-to paraphrase tool

Upload different types of documents

Upload any Microsoft Word document, Google Doc, or PDF into the paraphrasing tool.

Download or copy your results

Download or copy your results

After you’re done, you can easily download or copy your text to use somewhere else.

Powered by AI

Powered by AI

The paraphrasing tool uses natural language processing to rewrite any text you give it. This way, you can paraphrase any text within seconds.

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Avoid accidental plagiarism

Want to make sure your document is plagiarism-free? In addition to our paraphrasing tool, which will help you rephrase sentences, quotations, or paragraphs correctly, you can also use our anti-plagiarism software to make sure your document is unique and not plagiarized.

Scribbr’s anti-plagiarism software enables you to:

  • Detect plagiarism more accurately than other tools
  • Ensure that your paraphrased text is valid
  • Highlight the sources that are most similar to your text

Start for free

How does this paraphrasing tool work?

1. put your text into the paraphraser, 2. select your method of paraphrasing, 3. select the quantity of synonyms you want, 4. edit your text where needed, who can use this paraphrasing tool.


Paraphrasing tools can help students to understand texts and improve the quality of their writing. 


Create original lesson plans, presentations, or other educational materials.



Explain complex concepts or ideas to a wider audience. 



Quickly and easily rephrase text to avoid repetitive language.



By using a paraphrasing tool, you can quickly and easily rework existing content to create something new and unique.


Bloggers can rewrite existing content to make it their own.


Writers who need to rewrite content, such as adapting an article for a different context or writing content for a different audience.


A paraphrasing tool lets you quickly rewrite your original content for each medium, ensuring you reach the right audience on each platform.

The all-purpose paraphrasing tool

The Scribbr Paraphrasing Tool is the perfect assistant in a variety of contexts.



Writer’s block? Use our paraphraser to get some inspiration.


Professional communication

Produce creative headings for your blog posts or PowerPoint slides.


Academic writing

Paraphrase sources smoothly in your thesis or research paper.


Social media

Craft memorable captions and content for your social media posts.

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Frequently asked questions

The act of putting someone else’s ideas or words into your own words is called paraphrasing, rephrasing, or rewording. Even though they are often used interchangeably, the terms can mean slightly different things:

Paraphrasing is restating someone else’s ideas or words in your own words while retaining their meaning. Paraphrasing changes sentence structure, word choice, and sentence length to convey the same meaning.

Rephrasing may involve more substantial changes to the original text, including changing the order of sentences or the overall structure of the text.

Rewording is changing individual words in a text without changing its meaning or structure, often using synonyms.

It can. One of the two methods of paraphrasing is called “Fluency.” This will improve the language and fix grammatical errors in the text you’re paraphrasing.

Paraphrasing and using a paraphrasing tool aren’t cheating. It’s a great tool for saving time and coming up with new ways to express yourself in writing.  However, always be sure to credit your sources. Avoid plagiarism.  

If you don’t properly cite text paraphrased from another source, you’re plagiarizing. If you use someone else’s text and paraphrase it, you need to credit the original source. You can do that by using citations. There are different styles, like APA, MLA, Harvard, and Chicago. Find more information about citing sources here.

Paraphrasing without crediting the original author is a form of plagiarism , because you’re presenting someone else’s ideas as if they were your own.

However, paraphrasing is not plagiarism if you correctly cite the source . This means including an in-text citation and a full reference, formatted according to your required citation style .

As well as citing, make sure that any paraphrased text is completely rewritten in your own words.

Plagiarism means using someone else’s words or ideas and passing them off as your own. Paraphrasing means putting someone else’s ideas in your own words.

So when does paraphrasing count as plagiarism?

  • Paraphrasing is plagiarism if you don’t properly credit the original author.
  • Paraphrasing is plagiarism if your text is too close to the original wording (even if you cite the source). If you directly copy a sentence or phrase, you should quote it instead.
  • Paraphrasing  is not plagiarism if you put the author’s ideas completely in your own words and properly cite the source .
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How to paraphrase (including examples)

Jessica Malnik

Jessica Malnik

paraphrase reply meaning

Paraphrasing has gotten a bad reputation due to its association with plagiarism . However, when used correctly, paraphrasing has the potential to elevate your writing and give you a better understanding of the research.

In this post, we’ll discuss what paraphrasing is, why we do it, and 6 steps to walk you through the process. We’ll also share what not to do with paraphrasing, along with some examples.

Paraphrasing definition and rules

Paraphrasing is simply a way of summarizing someone else’s content in your own words. When you paraphrase, you keep the meaning or intent of the original work without copying it word for word. However, paraphrasing can quickly become a form of plagiarism if done incorrectly. This is why it’s crucial to follow the rules of paraphrasing.

When borrowing the ideas from someone else’s content, there’s one important rule to follow: you must correctly cite your source. This can be done in a number of ways depending on the style guide you use. 

Source citing is different for MLA and APA formatting and style guides. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with the citation formats for whichever one you follow. However, in some cases, simply hyperlinking the source will be sufficient.

Why do we paraphrase?

There are a number of reasons that professional writers and students alike choose to paraphrase content. Here are just a few of the common reasons that a writer would choose to paraphrase instead of including a quote or summarization.

Process information better 

One benefit of paraphrasing is that it helps you process the author’s ideas. When you have to rewrite the material in your own words, it makes you really think about the context and how it fits into your piece. If you want to really understand the material you’re citing, try rewriting it. If you were to quote the same information, you would miss out on the benefit of analyzing the source material.

For example, if you are writing a research paper all about Shakespeare’s influence on modern-day literature, you don’t want to just use a ton of direct quotes, instead by paraphrasing original passages, it can help you comprehend and analyze the material better.  

Improve your credibility with readers

You can also improve your credibility by association with the sources you decide to paraphrase. 

When you rewrite the material, you create a connection between your content and the knowledge from the source. 

Your audience will have a better understanding of the direction of your piece if you’re paraphrasing a reputable source with established authority on the subject.

Present data in an interesting way

If you’re referencing a data-heavy webpage or study, then paraphrasing is an engaging way to present the information in your own writing style. 

This allows you to tell a story with the source material instead of simply citing numbers or graphs.

Show that you understand the source

Another reason for paraphrasing that’s particularly important in academic writing is to demonstrate that you’ve read and comprehended the source material. 

For example, if all of you are doing is copying and pasting the original words of a textbook, you aren’t really learning anything new. When you summarize the material in your own words, it helps you to understand the material faster.  

How to paraphrase in 6 steps

Paraphrasing is simple when you break it down into a series of steps. 

Here are the 6 steps you can use to paraphrase your sources:

1. Choose a reputable source

First, you need to pick a credible source to paraphrase. A credible source will likely have ideas and concepts that are worth repeating. Be sure to research the author’s name and publisher’s credentials and endorsements (if applicable).

You’ll also want to check the date of the publication as well to make sure it’s current enough to include in your writing.

paraphrase reply meaning

2. Read and re-read the source material

You want to be sure that you understand the context and information in the original source before you can begin to rework it into your own words. Read through it as many times as you need so you’re sure that you grasp the meaning.

3. Take some notes 

Once you have an understanding of the passage, you’ll want to jot down your initial thoughts. 

What are the key concepts in the source material? 

What are the most interesting parts? 

For this part, it helps to break up the content into different sections. This step will give you a sort of mini-outline before you proceed with rephrasing the material.

4. Write a rough draft

Write your version of the content without looking at the original source material. This part is important. 

With the source hidden, you’ll be less likely to pull phrasing and structure from the original. You are welcome to reference your notes, though. This will help you write the content in your own words without leaning on the source but still hit the key points you want to cover.

5. Compare and revise

Once you have your initial draft written, you should look at it side by side with the original source. Adjust as needed to ensure your version is written in a way that’s unique to your voice. 

This is a good time to break out a thesaurus if you notice you have used too many of the same words as the original source.

6. Cite your source

Whether you use MLA, APA, Chicago, or another style guide, now is the time to give proper credit to the original author or source. When posting content online, you may only need to hyperlink to the original source.

Keep in mind that the paraphrased text will not change depending on the citation style that you follow. It will just change how it’s cited.

What you shouldn’t do when paraphrasing

Now that you understand the process of paraphrasing and can follow the steps, it’s important that you know what to avoid. When paraphrasing, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Do NOT write while you’re still researching

You might be tempted to start writing during the research phase. However, this sets you up to miss information or restate the copy too closely to the source material. Be sure to do your research first, take notes, and then start writing the piece.

2. Do NOT skip the citations

When you pull a small amount of information from a paraphrased source, you may think you don’t need to cite it. However, any idea or copy that’s taken from another source is considered plagiarism if you don’t give it credit, even if it is only a little bit of information.

Paraphrasing examples

Here are some examples to help you understand what paraphrasing looks like when done correctly and incorrectly

Excerpt from LinkedIn’s Official Blog:

“When reaching out to connect with someone, share a personalized message telling the person why you would like to connect. If it’s someone you haven’t been in touch with in a while, mention a detail to jog that person’s memory for how you met, reinforce a mutual interest and kickstart a conversation.”

Here’s another example. This one is from the U.S. Department of Education:

“ The U.S. Department of Education does not accredit educational institutions and/or programs. However, the Department provides oversight over the postsecondary accreditation system through its review of all federally-recognized accrediting agencies. The Department holds accrediting agencies accountable by ensuring that they enforce their accreditation standards effectively. ”

Here’s one more example to show you how to paraphrase using a quote from Mark Twain as the source material:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.”

Paraphrasing can be a beneficial tool for any writer. It can give you credibility and a deeper understanding of the topic. However, to successfully use paraphrasing, you must be careful to properly cite your sources and effectively put the material into your own words each time.

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Paraphrasing - an overview

Paraphrasing is ..., what are the differences between quoting, paraphrasing & summarising .

  • Why Paraphrase?
  • Paraphrasing versus Plagiarism
  • The Do's and Don'ts of Paraphrasing
  • Paraphrasing - examples
  • Further Information

paraphrase reply meaning

Paraphrasing is 'a restating of someone else’s thoughts or ideas in your own words. You must always cite your source when paraphrasing’ (Pears & Shields, 2019 p. 245).  

(Solas English, 2017)

  • Quoting means using someone else’s exact words and putting them in quotation marks.. 
  • Paraphrasing means expressing someone else’s ideas in your own voice, while keeping the same essential meaning.
  • Summarising means taking a long passage of text from someone else and condensing the main ideas in your own words.

Watch the video below for more information.  

(UNC Writing Center, 2019)

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Definition of paraphrase

 (Entry 1 of 2)

Definition of paraphrase  (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

transitive verb

Did you know?

When we paraphrase, we provide a version that can exist beside the original (rather than replace it). We paraphrase all the time. When you tell a friend what someone else has said, you're almost always paraphrasing, since you're not repeating the exact words. If you go to hear a talk, you might paraphrase the speaker's main points afterward for your friends. And when writing a paper on a short story, you might start off your essay with a paraphrase of the plot. Paraphrasing is especially useful when dealing with poetry, since poetic language is often difficult and poems may have meanings that are hard to pin down.

  • restatement
  • translating
  • translation

Examples of paraphrase in a Sentence

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'paraphrase.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Noun and Verb

Middle French, from Latin paraphrasis , from Greek, from paraphrazein to paraphrase, from para- + phrazein to point out

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

1598, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Cite this Entry

“Paraphrase.” Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

Kids definition of paraphrase.

Kids Definition of paraphrase  (Entry 2 of 2)

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Paraphrasing Explained: Definition, Techniques, and Examples for Effective Writing

Manvi Agarwal

Table of contents

When writing content such as an essay or a blog article, you might come across a sentence or a paragraph that you found intriguing from someone else’s work and wanted to include in yours. But you can't use the exact words, right?

Here’s a little secret, you can by paraphrasing.

But what is paraphrasing?

Tweaking and restructuring the sentences is called paraphrasing. Paraphrasing is a tool that not only tweaks sentences but also improves your writing and reading skills.

Here we have shared what paraphrasing is, its benefits, and examples. Keep reading to find out.

What is paraphrasing?

It means, especially in a shorter and simpler form, to make the meaning clearer, along with your thoughts/comments. In addition to borrowing, clarifying, or expanding on information and your comments, paraphrasing is doing all the above-stated actions without plagiarizing the information.

Why do people paraphrase?

There are several reasons why people paraphrase. Following are some of the reasons for paraphrasing.

  • Paraphrasing helps avoid plagiarism.
  • It also provides support for claims or adds credibility to the writing.
  • It demonstrates your understanding and provides an alternative method to using indirect and direct quotes in your own words (referenced) infrequently.
  • Paraphrasing in academic research helps utilize source material for writing essays, providing evidence that the essay is appropriately referenced.
  • Paraphrasing in writing helps you ensure that you use sources to communicate something important to your readers.

What is paraphrasing plagiarism?

Plagiarism is stealing someone else’s ideas without acknowledgment. Plagiarism can come in several forms: global, verbatim, patchwork, paraphrase, and self-plagiarism. However, except for global plagiarism, the other types of plagiarism are often accidental.

Although paraphrasing is accepted , rephrasing sentences or paraphrasing someone else’s idea without citing or acknowledgment is considered paraphrasing plagiarism. Even when translating someone else’s words, if the translated text from another language is not cited, this is also a type of paraphrasing plagiarism.

What is the difference between summarizing and paraphrasing?

Summarizing is a concise statement that briefs the contents of the passage, whereas paraphrasing is when you rewrite sentences using your own words. There is more than one difference between summarizing and paraphrasing.

Refer to the following comparison chart to learn the differences between summarizing and paraphrasing, besides their definition.

How to paraphrase?

Following are 5 digestible paraphrasing tips you can incorporate when paraphrasing your sentences.

Identify the important parts

Since paraphrasing demonstrates your understanding of the original material, it is important to understand its meaning. To do so, read and re-read the original content until you understand the idea enough to explain it in your own words.

Once you get the original source's concept, reduce it to the key concepts or points and not focus on the sentence structures. Another way to rewrite or reword the source without losing your key points is by using a paraphrasing tool .

Change up the words

While noting down the concepts or key points, change up the words by using synonyms. But if you face writer's block and can’t find the right words, which can make your content incompetent, make use of rewording tools .

AI rewording tools can come up with synonyms, organize your phrases, and enhance your sentence structure. Moreover, an AI wording tool ensures the content is unique, original, and plagiarism-free.

Make sure meaning is preserved

Although paraphrasing requires rewording and changing the words, ensure that the same meaning must be maintained along with the ideas. In addition to that, keep your word choices lucid and simple to convey the relevant information from the source without sticking too close to the original source.

One way to keep your writing consistent when paraphrasing is by using paraphrasing tools . The AI tool can alter the sentence structure while maintaining the original meaning.

Double-check for grammar and punctuation

When paraphrasing, ensure to double-check and compare them with the original passage. Make adjustments to ensure it’s completely rewritten and that the grammar and punctuations are on point.

Double-checking your work for grammar and punctuation by reviewing it more than once improves the quality of your work. Paragraph rewriters use AI for paraphrasing, which can tweak the tonality and narrative, ensures a grammar check, and makes the content concise and conceivable.

Use an online paraphrasing tool like Writesonic

As stated previously in the article, using a paraphrasing tool is the fastest and fool-proof way to paraphrase your sources without plagiarizing them. One such creative AI writing tool that assists you with paraphrasing is Writesonic .

Writersonic is trained on billions of parameters. It refines the grammar, spelling, and style to generate original, paraphrased content. In addition to that, Writersonic generates unique and plagiarism-free content that resonates with the target audience with just one click.

With AI chatbots like ChatGPT by Open AI and ChatSonic by Writesonic taking away all the limelight in 2023, they can also be used effectively for paraphrasing text.

Different strategies for paraphrasing

Even though there are AI paraphrasing tools to make the work easier, the following are different strategies you can use to paraphrase your sentence.

Understanding the main ideas

One of the strategies for successful paraphrasing is understanding the source's main idea and writing style. Because when you understand the idea behind the sentence, it becomes easier to explain in your own words.

After taking note of the important nouns and verbs, see which synonyms might be appropriate to replace. You can use a synonym that expresses the same meaning for the key concepts or points in the original sentence.

Making connections

When you use synonyms, it is given that the structure may also need a little changing. So, instead of just swapping a single word, make appropriate changes around the words to make sense of the sentence. Here your paraphrasing skills come to play.

Here is an example of paraphrasing: “ According to scientists, there is another method to achieve a pollution-free environment.”

The paraphrased content would say something like - “Scientists found an alternate way to attain a pollution-free environment.”

In the above sentence, the adjective ‘according to’ is swapped with the verb ‘found’ along with other necessary changes. These changes are made to maintain a harmonious connection between the words and to make the sentence sensible while retaining its meaning and avoiding plagiarism.

Focusing on syntax

The syntax is the arrangement of words in a specific order written in well-formed phrases or sentences. And while paraphrasing is about restating or rewording, ensure to focus on the well-structured and grammatically correct sentences by making appropriate connections or paraphrases.

Benefits of paraphrasing

Paraphrasing has some benefits that you can reap in aspects of your writing skills and learning abilities.

Improves writing skills

As discovered, paraphrasing requires you to paraphrase the passages in your own words, which may help refurbish your writing skills. Rewriting or paraphrasing is a favorable writing skill in writing essays or research papers.

Paraphrasing allows you to express ideas or information in a refreshing and simple manner. It provides an opportunity to enhance your writing skills and stop plagiarizing someone else’s work. This includes rewriting and expressing the ideas in your own voice.

Increases comprehension

Comprehension is understanding the written material and explaining what is read. As stated previously, paraphrasing demonstrates your understanding of the complex details from the source and your ability to explain the connections between main points.

Moreover, it was found that paraphrasing for comprehension is an excellent tool for reinforcing reading skills. It can assist by identifying the main ideas, finding supporting details, and identifying the original author's voice.

So when you rewrite the sentence in your own words, you can double-check your comprehension. This helps improve your awareness and allows you to gain a better understanding of the content, and allows you to write better.

Enhances understanding

To paraphrase words or phrases, you must extract their meaning by reading the material again and again and fully understanding the context. This allows the reader to understand the original statement more clearly by adding more clarity to it. So when you paraphrase the original phrase, you articulate your thoughts and ideas more clearly and come up with new insights and perspectives on the topic..

Saves time & energy

Creating content from scratch is difficult and requires much time and energy. It requires you to do proper research, which is both time and energy-consuming.

An easy solution to the painstaking process is paraphrasing your sentence with appropriate citations. This will allow you to create the content without spending much time on research and ideation, saving much of your time and energy.

Helps avoid plagiarism

Among all the benefits, the most favorable benefit of paraphrasing is that it helps you avoid the accusation of plagiarism. You are simply committing plagiarism (an offense as stated by the federal government) when you use the same idea and speech from the original text, word by word.

However, by rewording the original source, you can present the ideas in your own words and easily avoid plagiarism. What’s more, paraphrasing can save you in both accidental and deliberate cases of plagiarism.

Paraphrasing examples

Now that we have known all about paraphrasing, its reasons for use, and its benefits, let’s look at some examples of paraphrasing and how exactly you can paraphrase.

#1 Example of Paraphrasing

#2 example of paraphrasing, final words.

Once you grasp the concept of paraphrasing, it can be a powerful tool for writers. It provides several benefits in aspects of writing and learning skills. And the correct way and right use of paraphrasing can protect writers from plagiarism accusations.

However, note that successful and correct paraphrasing requires the use of multiple techniques each time. So it is not sufficient to simply replace the keywords or the main concepts with synonyms.

One of the easiest ways to reword the original source is by using an AI writing tool. Writersonic is a well-known AI paraphrasing tool that can refine grammar, spelling, and style to generate original plagiarism-free AI content .

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  • What is Paraphrasing? An Overview With Examples
  • Learn English
  • James Prior
  • No Comments
  • Updated February 20, 2024

What is paraphrasing? Or should I say what is the definition of paraphrasing? If you want to restate something using different words whilst retaining the same meaning, this is paraphrasing.

In this article, we cover what paraphrasing is, why it’s important, and when you should do it. Plus, some benefits and examples.


Table of Contents

Paraphrase Definition: What is Paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing is when you restate the information from a source using your own words while maintaining the original meaning. It involves expressing the ideas in a different way, often to clarify or simplify the content, without directly quoting the source.

When you paraphrase, you are not only borrowing, clarifying, or expanding on the information but also ensuring that you do all of these actions without plagiarizing the original content. It’s a valuable skill that allows you to convey information in your unique writing style while still giving credit to someone else’s ideas.

Why is Paraphrasing Important?

Paraphrasing is important for several reasons, and it serves various functions in both academic and professional writing. Here are some key reasons why you should paraphrase:

  • Paraphrasing allows you to present information from sources in your own words, reducing the risk of plagiarism. Proper in-text citation is still necessary, but paraphrasing demonstrates your understanding and interpretation of the material.
  • When you paraphrase, you are required to comprehend the original content fully. You actively engage with the information, helping you better understand complex concepts and ideas. This process of restating the information in your own words showcases your understanding of the subject matter.
  • By paraphrasing, you can clarify complex ideas or technical language and convey information in a clearer, shorter, and simpler form. This makes it more accessible to your audience and ensures they grasp the key points. This is particularly important when communicating with readers who may not be familiar with specialized terminology.
  • Paraphrasing is valuable when synthesizing information from various sources. It enables you to blend ideas cohesively while maintaining a consistent writing style throughout your work.
  • Paraphrasing allows you to inject your unique writing style and voice into the content. It helps you present information in a way that is more aligned with your personal expression and perspective.
  • In certain situations where you need to meet specific length requirements for assignments or publications, paraphrasing allows you to convey information more concisely while still preserving the essential meaning.
  • Paraphrasing helps maintain a smooth flow and cohesiveness in your writing. It allows you to integrate information seamlessly, avoiding abrupt shifts between your own ideas and those from external sources.
  • Depending on your audience, you may need to adapt the language and level of technicality of the information you present. Paraphrasing allows you to tailor the content to suit the needs of your specific readership.

Incorporating paraphrasing into your writing not only showcases your understanding of the material but also enhances the overall quality and originality of your work.

When Should You Paraphrase?

Knowing when to paraphrase is an important skill, especially in academic writing and professional communication. Here are some situations in which you should consider paraphrasing:

  • To Avoid Plagiarism:  Whenever you want to incorporate information from source material into your own work, but don’t want to use a direct quotation, paraphrasing is necessary to present the ideas in your own words while still acknowledging the original source.
  • To Express Understanding:  Paraphrasing demonstrates your understanding of a topic by rephrasing the information in a way that shows you have processed and comprehended the material.
  • To Simplify Complex Information:  If you encounter complex or technical language that may be difficult for your audience to understand, paraphrasing can help you clarify and simplify the information to make it more accessible and digestible.
  • To Integrate Multiple Sources:  When synthesizing information from multiple sources, paraphrasing allows you to blend the ideas cohesively while maintaining your own voice and perspective.
  • To Maintain Consistency in Writing Style:  In academic writing or professional writing, paraphrasing can help you maintain a consistent writing style throughout your work. This helps to ensure that all sections flow smoothly and are coherent.
  • To Meet Specific Requirements:  Some assignments or publications may have specific requirements. This could relate to the number of words or concern the use of direct quotations. In such cases, paraphrasing allows you to meet these requirements while still incorporating relevant information from your sources.

What Are the Benefits of Paraphrasing?

Rewriting information in a clearer, shorter, and simpler form is called paraphrasing, so one of the benefits of paraphrasing is already clear! However, it can also be a useful exercise for other reasons, which are outlined below:

Avoiding Plagiarism

One of the main benefits of paraphrasing is mastering the ability to present information from external sources in a way that is entirely your own. By restructuring the content and expressing it using your words, you create a distinct piece of writing that reflects your comprehension and interpretation of the original material. This not only showcases your academic or professional integrity but also safeguards against unintentional plagiarism.

Paraphrasing is a fundamental skill in academic and professional settings, where originality and proper attribution are highly valued. This is especially true when it comes to writing research papers, where you’ll often need to reference someone else’s ideas with appropriate citations.

When you paraphrase effectively, you communicate to your audience that you respect the intellectual property of others while contributing your unique insights. This ethical approach to information usage enhances your credibility as a writer or researcher and reinforces the integrity of your work.

Enhancing Understanding

When you engage in paraphrasing, you actively participate in the material you are working with. You are forced to consider the ideas presented in the source material. You need to discern the essential concepts, identify key phrases, and decide how best to convey the message in a way that resonates with you.

This active engagement not only aids in understanding the content but also encourages critical thinking as you evaluate and interpret the information from your own standpoint.

By expressing someone else’s ideas in your own words, you deepen your understanding of the content. This process requires you to dissect the original text, grasp its nuances, and then reconstruct it using your language and perspective. In this way, you go beyond mere memorization and truly internalize the information, fostering a more profound comprehension of the subject matter.

Tailoring Information for Your Audience

Paraphrasing empowers you to adapt the language and complexity of the information to suit the needs and understanding of your audience. As you rephrase the content, you have the flexibility to adjust the level of technicality, simplify complex terminology, or tailor the tone to make the information more accessible to your specific readership.

Consider your audience’s background, knowledge level, and interests. Paraphrasing allows you to bridge the gap between the original content and the understanding of your intended audience.

Whether you are communicating with experts in a particular field or a general audience, the ability to paraphrase ensures that the information is conveyed in a way that resonates with and is comprehensible to your readers. This skill not only facilitates effective communication but also demonstrates your awareness of the diverse needs of your audience.

Improves Writing Skills

Paraphrasing helps in the development and refinement of your writing skills. When you actively engage in the process of rephrasing someone else’s ideas, you hone your ability to express concepts in a clear, concise, and coherent manner.

This practice refines your language proficiency, encouraging you to explore different types of sentence structure, experiment with vocabulary, and ultimately develop a more sophisticated and nuanced writing style.

As you paraphrase, you gain a heightened awareness of grammar, syntax, and word choice. This translates into improved writing, helping you construct well-articulated sentences and paragraphs. Moreover, paraphrasing allows you to experiment with different writing tones and adapt your style to suit the context or purpose of your writing, fostering versatility and adaptability in your expression.

Saves Time and Energy

Paraphrasing can significantly reduce the time and energy spent on the writing process. Rather than grappling with the challenge of integrating lengthy direct quotations or struggling to find the perfect synonym, paraphrasing allows you to distill and convey information in a more streamlined way.

This becomes particularly advantageous when faced with strict deadlines. By mastering paraphrasing, you empower yourself to produce well-crafted, original content in a shorter timeframe, allowing you to meet deadlines without compromising the quality of your work.

Examples of Paraphrasing

Here are some examples of paraphrasing:

  • Original:  “The advancements in technology have revolutionized the way we communicate with each other.”
  • Paraphrased:  “Technological progress has transformed how we interact and communicate with one another.”
  • Original:  “Deforestation poses a significant threat to global ecosystems and biodiversity.”
  • Paraphrased:  “The impact of deforestation represents a substantial danger to ecosystems and the diversity of life on a global scale.”
  • Original:  “Effective time management is essential for achieving productivity in both professional and personal spheres.”
  • Paraphrased:  “Efficient management of time is crucial for attaining productivity in both professional and personal aspects of life.”
  • Original:  “The restaurant offers a diverse selection of culinary choices, ranging from traditional dishes to modern fusion cuisine.”
  • Paraphrased:  “The restaurant provides a variety of food options, including both traditional and modern fusion dishes.”
  • Original:  “The novel explores the complexities of human relationships in a rapidly changing society.”
  • Paraphrased:  “The book delves into the challenges of human connections in a fast-changing world.”
  • Original:  “Regular exercise is crucial for maintaining optimal physical health and preventing various health issues.”
  • Paraphrased:  “Exercising regularly is important for keeping your body healthy and avoiding health problems.”

In these examples, you can observe the use of different wording, sentence structure, and synonyms while preserving the core meaning of the original sentences. This is the essence of paraphrasing.

What Are the Differences Between Paraphrasing, Quoting, and Summarizing?

So, we’ve established that successful paraphrasing is a way of rewriting someone else’s words whilst retaining their meaning and still giving credit to the original author’s ideas. But how is this different from quoting and summarizing?

While paraphrasing, quoting, and summarizing are all ways of incorporating information from source material into your own writing, there are key differences between them:


  • Definition:  Paraphrasing involves rephrasing someone else’s ideas or information in your own words while retaining the original meaning.
  • Usage:  You use paraphrasing when you want to present the information in a way that suits your writing style or when you need to clarify complex ideas.
  • Example:  Original: “The study found a significant correlation between sleep deprivation and decreased cognitive performance.” Paraphrased: “The research indicated a notable link between lack of sleep and a decline in cognitive function.”
  • Definition:  Quoting involves directly using the exact words from a source and enclosing them in quotation marks.
  • Usage:  You use quoting when the original wording is essential, either because of its precision or uniqueness, or when you want to highlight a specific phrase or concept.
  • Example:  Original: “The author argues, ‘In the absence of clear guidelines, individual judgment becomes paramount in decision-making.'”

The use of quotation marks is vital when quoting.


  • Definition:  Summarizing involves condensing the main ideas of a source or original passage in your own words, focusing on the most crucial points.
  • Usage:  You use summarizing when you need to provide a concise overview of a longer piece of text or when you want to capture the key points without including all the details.
  • Example:  Original: A lengthy article discussing various factors influencing climate change. Summary: “The article outlines key factors contributing to climate change, including human activities and natural processes.”

In summary, paraphrasing is about expressing someone else’s ideas in your own words, quoting involves directly using the original words, and summarizing is about condensing the main points of a source.

Each technique serves different purposes in writing and should be used based on your specific goals and the nature of the information you are incorporating. If you want to level up your writing skills you need to be able to do all three of these.

Conclusion (In Our Own Words)

Paraphrasing is a valuable skill with numerous benefits. It helps you understand complex ideas, refine your writing style, and demonstrate ethical information use. It also allows you to tailor information for different audiences and can save time in academic and professional writing.

So, if you want to incorporate information from external sources into your writing in a way that is clear, concise, and respectful of the original author’s work, it’s worth mastering the art of paraphrasing.

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Meaning of paraphrase in English

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  • din something into someone
  • drum something into someone
  • flog yourself to death idiom
  • reassertion
  • recapitulate
  • regurgitate
  • reiteration
  • repetitively
  • restatement
  • I would take issue with your paraphrase of my position .
  • She does not follow Shakespeare's text but has devised her own paraphrase of it.
  • Allow me to end my first speech with my own paraphrase of the statement .

paraphrase | Intermediate English

Examples of paraphrase, translations of paraphrase.

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Word of the Day

an object in the shape of an animal, etc. that contains sweets . It is hung up at parties and children hit it with sticks to break it open and release the sweets.

Infinitive or -ing verb? Avoiding common mistakes with verb patterns (1)

Infinitive or -ing verb? Avoiding common mistakes with verb patterns (1)

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  • Literary Terms
  • Definition & Examples
  • When & How to Use Paraphrase

I. What is a Paraphrase?

A paraphrase (pronounced par – uh -freyz) is a restatement or rewording of a paragraph  or text,  in order to borrow, clarify, or expand on information without plagiarizing. Paraphrasing is an important tool to use when writing research papers, essays , and pieces of journalism.

II. Examples of Paraphrasing

For examples of paraphrasing, consider these possible re-wordings of the same statement:

She angered me with her inappropriate comments, rumor-spreading, and disrespectfulness at the formal dinner table.

She made me angry when she was rude at dinner.

This paraphrase is an example of a rewording which shortens and simplifies while maintaining the same meaning.

Her impoliteness, gossiping, and general lack of respect at dinner infuriated me.

This rephrasing maintains the same meaning but is rearranged in a creative way.

I was mad when she started spreading rumors, making inappropriate comments, and disrespecting other guests at our dinner.

Another paraphrase, this rewording properly and interestingly rearranges the information provided in the original sentence.

III. Types of Paraphrasing

A. change of parts of speech.

Parts of speech ranging from verbs and nouns to adjectives and adverbs are replaced with new parts of speech in this type of paraphrasing. Here is an example:

Original Sentence:

The boy quickly ran across the finish line, seizing yet another victory.


The quick boy seized yet another victory when he ran across the finish line.

In this example, many parts of speech are changed: the adverb quickly becomes the adjective quick, and the verb phrase with the gerund seizing becomes the verb seized.

B.  Change of Structure

This type of paraphrasing involves changing the sentence’s structure, sometimes creating a passive voice from an active voice and vice versa. The change in structure can be used to reflect the writer’s interpretation of the original quote. Here is an example of change of structure paraphrasing:

Puppies were adopted by numerous kind souls at the puppy drive.

Many kind souls adopted puppies during the puppy drive.

In this example, the object of the sentence (kind souls) becomes the subject with an active voice (adopted) rather than a passive voice (were adopted).

C. Reduction of Clauses

Reduction of clauses paraphrases reduce the number of clauses in a sentence, which can be interruptive or confusing, by incorporating the phrases into the sentence. Here is an example of reduction of clauses paraphrasing:

While I understand where you’re coming from, and truly respect your opinion, I wish you would express yourself more clearly, like Clara does.

I understand where you’re coming from and respect your opinion, but I wish you would be more like Clara and express yourself more clearly.

D. Synonym Replacement

Synonym replacement paraphrasing is one of the simplest forms of paraphrasing: replacing words with similar words, or synonyms. Here is an example:

The older citizens were honored with a parade for those once in the military.

Senior citizens were honored with a march for veterans.

In this example, many synonyms are used: older citizens are senior citizens, a parade becomes a march, and those once in the military refers to veterans.

IV. The Importance of Using Paraphrase

Paraphrasing is a way of referencing a source without directly quoting it or of further explaining a selected quote. Correct paraphrasing is important in that poor paraphrasing can result in accusations of plagiarism, or copying from a source without correctly citing it. Paraphrasing allows writers to examine the meaning of others’ work, creatively rephrase their statements, and craft information to suit an essay or composition’s goal or focus.

V. Paraphrase in Literature

Paraphrasing can be found in a variety of journalistic sources from newspapers to film documentaries to literary journals. Here are a few examples of paraphrasing in literature:

Someone once wrote that musicians are touched on the shoulder by God, and I think it’s true. You can make other people happy with music, but you can make yourself happy too.

In John Berendt’s nonfiction novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil , a character references what someone has once written by paraphrasing their message.

I’m going to paraphrase Thoreau here… rather than love, than money, than faith, than fame, than fairness… give me truth.

In this example from the nonfiction novel Into the Wild , Jon Krakauer paraphrases Thoreau’s larger message of transcendence.

So far, Laurance’s critiques of new road-building schemes have been well received, but he expects that to change.

In Michelle Nijhuis’ article “What Roads Have Wrought,” William Laurance is paraphrased rather than quoted to express his general viewpoint.

VI. Paraphrase in Pop Culture

Paraphrasing is often found in pop culture when attempting to translate the language of older plays, poems, and stories, such as Shakespeare’s works. Here are a few examples of paraphrasing in pop culture:

10 Things I Hate About You (1999):

Just a minor encounter with the shrew… the mewling, rampalian wretch herself.

In the modern-day adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew , many characters ’ lines paraphrase Shakespeare’s originals. Here is Shakespeare’s version:

A meacock wretch can make the curstest shrew.

A Different World: Romeo, Oh Romeo

First, the student reads Shakespeare’s original words:

Oh gentle Romeo. If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully. Or if thou thinkest I’m too quickly won, I’ll frown and be perverse and say thee nay, so thou wilt woo.

Then, she paraphrases to translate its meaning for modern ears:

It’s all about translation. Oh, sweet thang Romeo. If you think I’m all that, then step to me correctly. But if you think I’m a skeeze, I’ll be dissin’ and dismissin’, then you’ll be workin’ overtime getting’ me back.

VII. Related Terms

Like paraphrases, summaries are rewordings of original statements. Whereas paraphrases are precise and specific, summaries are brief and selective. Summaries report main points in a shortened version of the original, whereas paraphrases simply restate the original statement in a new way. Here is an example of summary versus paraphrase:

Original Statement:

At the party we had delicious red punch, a bunch of different appetizers, and a cookout. Since it was at the park, we played volleyball, went swimming, and sunbathed for fun.

At the party we enjoyed food and drink and various outdoor activities.

Here, the summary purposefully shortens the original statement while covering its major points.

At the party we drank some punch, ate a handful of appetizers, and had a cookout. The park allowed us to enjoy a number of enjoyable activities from volleyball to swimming to sunbathing.

As this example shows, the paraphrase rephrases the original statement and keeps more of its original content than the summary.


Although paraphrase sometimes translates difficult phrasing into more understandable phrasing, it is not literally considered translation. For something to be a translation, it must change writing in one language to another language. Here is an example of translation versus paraphrasing:

Original Phrase:

That’s life.

Translation into French:

C’est la vie.

That’s just how life goes sometimes.

Although we loosely may refer to paraphrase as translating ideas, technically it is not a tool of translation.

VIII. In Closing

Paraphrasing is an important tool for nonfiction writers, journalists, and essayists alike. It is a common proponent of news and reporting. Correct paraphrasing protects writers from plagiarism and allows them to creatively rephrase original works, incorporating them into their own compositions.

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Article • 12 min read

How to Paraphrase and Summarize Work

Summing up key ideas in your own words.

By the Mind Tools Content Team

paraphrase reply meaning

Imagine you're preparing a presentation for your CEO. You asked everyone in your team to contribute, and they all had plenty to say!

But now you have a dozen reports, all in different styles, and your CEO says that she can spare only 10 minutes to read the final version. What do you do?

The solution is to paraphrase and summarize the reports, so your boss gets only the key information that she needs, in a form that she can process quickly.

In this article, we explain how to paraphrase and how to summarize, and how to apply these techniques to text and the spoken word. We also explore the differences between the two skills, and point out the pitfalls to avoid.

What Is Paraphrasing?

When you paraphrase, you use your own words to express something that was written or said by another person.

Putting it into your own words can clarify the message, make it more relevant to your audience , or give it greater impact.

You might use paraphrased material to support your own argument or viewpoint. Or, if you're putting together a report , presentation or speech , you can use paraphrasing to maintain a consistent style, and to avoid lengthy quotations from the original text or conversation.

Paraphrased material should keep its original meaning and (approximate) length, but you can use it to pick out a single point from a longer discussion.

What Is Summarizing?

In contrast, a summary is a brief overview of an entire discussion or argument. You might summarize a whole research paper or conversation in a single paragraph, for example, or with a series of bullet points, using your own words and style.

People often summarize when the original material is long, or to emphasize key facts or points. Summaries leave out detail or examples that may distract the reader from the most important information, and they simplify complex arguments, grammar and vocabulary.

Used correctly, summarizing and paraphrasing can save time, increase understanding, and give authority and credibility to your work. Both tools are useful when the precise wording of the original communication is less important than its overall meaning.

How to Paraphrase Text

To paraphrase text, follow these four steps:

1. Read and Make Notes

Carefully read the text that you want to paraphrase. Highlight, underline or note down important terms and phrases that you need to remember.

2. Find Different Terms

Find equivalent words or phrases (synonyms) to use in place of the ones that you've picked out. A dictionary, thesaurus or online search can be useful here, but take care to preserve the meaning of the original text, particularly if you're dealing with technical or scientific terms.

3. Put the Text into Your Own Words

Rewrite the original text, line by line. Simplify the grammar and vocabulary, adjust the order of the words and sentences, and replace "passive" expressions with "active" ones (for example, you could change "The new supplier was contacted by Nusrat" to "Nusrat contacted the new supplier").

Remove complex clauses, and break longer sentences into shorter ones. All of this will make your new version easier to understand .

4. Check Your Work

Check your work by comparing it to the original. Your paraphrase should be clear and simple, and written in your own words. It may be shorter, but it should include all of the necessary detail.

Paraphrasing: an Example

Despite the undoubted fact that everyone's vision of what constitutes success is different, one should spend one's time establishing and finalizing one's personal vision of it. Otherwise, how can you possibly understand what your final destination might be, or whether or not your decisions are assisting you in moving in the direction of the goals which you've set yourself?

The two kinds of statement – mission and vision – can be invaluable to your approach, aiding you, as they do, in focusing on your primary goal, and quickly identifying possibilities that you might wish to exploit and explore.

We all have different ideas about success. What's important is that you spend time defining your version of success. That way, you'll understand what you should be working toward. You'll also know if your decisions are helping you to move toward your goals.

Used as part of your personal approach to goal-setting, mission and vision statements are useful for bringing sharp focus to your most important goal, and for helping you to quickly identify which opportunities you should pursue.

How to Paraphrase Speech

In a conversation – a meeting or coaching session, for example – paraphrasing is a good way to make sure that you have correctly understood what the other person has said.

This requires two additional skills: active listening and asking the right questions .

Useful questions include:

  • If I hear you correctly, you're saying that…?
  • So you mean that…? Is that right?
  • Did I understand you when you said that…?

You can use questions like these to repeat the speaker's words back to them. For instance, if the person says, "We just don't have the funds available for these projects," you could reply: "If I understand you correctly, you're saying that our organization can't afford to pay for my team's projects?"

This may seem repetitive, but it gives the speaker the opportunity to highlight any misunderstandings, or to clarify their position.

When you're paraphrasing conversations in this way, take care not to introduce new ideas or information, and not to make judgments on what the other person has said, or to "spin" their words toward what you want to hear. Instead, simply restate their position as you understand it.

Sometimes, you may need to paraphrase a speech or a presentation. Perhaps you want to report back to your team, or write about it in a company blog, for example.

In these cases it's a good idea to make summary notes as you listen, and to work them up into a paraphrase later. (See How to Summarize Text or Speech, below.)

How to Summarize Text or Speech

Follow steps 1-5 below to summarize text. To summarize spoken material – a speech, a meeting, or a presentation, for example – start at step three.

1. Get a General Idea of the Original

First, speed read the text that you're summarizing to get a general impression of its content. Pay particular attention to the title, introduction, conclusion, and the headings and subheadings.

2. Check Your Understanding

Build your comprehension of the text by reading it again more carefully. Check that your initial interpretation of the content was correct.

3. Make Notes

Take notes on what you're reading or listening to. Use bullet points, and introduce each bullet with a key word or idea. Write down only one point or idea for each bullet.

If you're summarizing spoken material, you may not have much time on each point before the speaker moves on. If you can, obtain a meeting agenda, a copy of the presentation, or a transcript of the speech in advance, so you know what's coming.

Make sure your notes are concise, well-ordered, and include only the points that really matter.

The Cornell Note-Taking System is an effective way to organize your notes as you write them, so that you can easily identify key points and actions later. Our article, Writing Meeting Notes , also contains plenty of useful advice.

4. Write Your Summary

Bullet points or numbered lists are often an acceptable format for summaries – for example, on presentation slides, in the minutes of a meeting, or in Key Points sections like the one at the end of this article.

However, don't just use the bulleted notes that you took in step 3. They'll likely need editing or "polishing" if you want other people to understand them.

Some summaries, such as research paper abstracts, press releases, and marketing copy, require continuous prose. If this is the case, write your summary as a paragraph, turning each bullet point into a full sentence.

Aim to use only your own notes, and refer to original documents or recordings only if you really need to. This helps to ensure that you use your own words.

If you're summarizing speech, do so as soon as possible after the event, while it's still fresh in your mind.

5. Check Your Work

Your summary should be a brief but informative outline of the original. Check that you've expressed all of the most important points in your own words, and that you've left out any unnecessary detail.

Summarizing: an Example

So how do you go about identifying your strengths and weaknesses, and analyzing the opportunities and threats that flow from them? SWOT Analysis is a useful technique that helps you to do this.

What makes SWOT especially powerful is that, with a little thought, it can help you to uncover opportunities that you would not otherwise have spotted. And by understanding your weaknesses, you can manage and eliminate threats that might otherwise hurt your ability to move forward in your role.

If you look at yourself using the SWOT framework, you can start to separate yourself from your peers, and further develop the specialized talents and abilities that you need in order to advance your career and to help you achieve your personal goals.

SWOT Analysis is a technique that helps you identify strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats. Understanding and managing these factors helps you to develop the abilities you need to achieve your goals and progress in your career.

Permission and Citations

If you intend to publish or circulate your document, it's important to seek permission from the copyright holder of the material that you've paraphrased or summarized. Failure to do so can leave you open to allegations of plagiarism, or even legal action.

It's good practice to cite your sources with a footnote, or with a reference in the text to a list of sources at the end of your document. There are several standard citation styles – choose one and apply it consistently, or follow your organization's house style guidelines.

As well as acknowledging the original author, citations tell you, the reader, that you're reading paraphrased or summarized material. This enables you to check the original source if you think that someone else's words may have been misused or misinterpreted.

Some writers might use others' ideas to prop up their own, but include only what suits them, for instance. Others may have misunderstood the original arguments, or "twisted" them by adding their own material.

If you're wary, or you find problems with the work, you may prefer to seek more reliable sources of information. (See our article, How to Spot Real and Fake News , for more on this.)

Paraphrasing means rephrasing text or speech in your own words, without changing its meaning. Summarizing means cutting it down to its bare essentials. You can use both techniques to clarify and simplify complex information or ideas.

To paraphrase text:

  • Read and make notes.
  • Find different terms.
  • Put the text into your own words.
  • Check your work.

You can also use paraphrasing in a meeting or conversation, by listening carefully to what's being said and repeating it back to the speaker to check that you have understood it correctly.

To summarize text or speech:

  • Get a general idea of the original.
  • Check your understanding.
  • Make notes.
  • Write your summary.

Seek permission for any copyrighted material that you use, and cite it appropriately.

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  • How to Paraphrase | Step-by-Step Guide & Examples

How to Paraphrase | Step-by-Step Guide & Examples

Published on 8 April 2022 by Courtney Gahan and Jack Caulfield. Revised on 15 May 2023.

Paraphrasing means putting someone else’s ideas into your own words. Paraphrasing a source involves changing the wording while preserving the original meaning.

Paraphrasing is an alternative to  quoting (copying someone’s exact words and putting them in quotation marks ). In academic writing, it’s usually better to paraphrase instead of quoting. It shows that you have understood the source, reads more smoothly, and keeps your own voice front and center.

Every time you paraphrase, it’s important to cite the source . Also take care not to use wording that is too similar to the original. Otherwise, you could be at risk of committing plagiarism .

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Table of contents

How to paraphrase in five easy steps, how to paraphrase correctly, examples of paraphrasing, how to cite a paraphrase, paraphrasing vs quoting, paraphrasing vs summarising, avoiding plagiarism when you paraphrase, frequently asked questions about paraphrasing.

If you’re struggling to get to grips with the process of paraphrasing, check out our easy step-by-step guide in the video below.

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Putting an idea into your own words can be easier said than done. Let’s say you want to paraphrase the text below, about population decline in a particular species of sea snails.

Incorrect paraphrasing

You might make a first attempt to paraphrase it by swapping out a few words for  synonyms .

Like other sea creatures inhabiting the vicinity of highly populated coasts, horse conchs have lost substantial territory to advancement and contamination , including preferred breeding grounds along mud flats and seagrass beds. Their Gulf home is also heating up due to global warming , which scientists think further puts pressure on the creatures , predicated upon the harmful effects extra warmth has on other large mollusks (Barnett, 2022).

This attempt at paraphrasing doesn’t change the sentence structure or order of information, only some of the word choices. And the synonyms chosen are poor:

  • ‘Advancement and contamination’ doesn’t really convey the same meaning as ‘development and pollution’.
  • Sometimes the changes make the tone less academic: ‘home’ for ‘habitat’ and ‘sea creatures’ for ‘marine animals’.
  • Adding phrases like ‘inhabiting the vicinity of’ and ‘puts pressure on’ makes the text needlessly long-winded.
  • Global warming is related to climate change, but they don’t mean exactly the same thing.

Because of this, the text reads awkwardly, is longer than it needs to be, and remains too close to the original phrasing. This means you risk being accused of plagiarism .

Correct paraphrasing

Let’s look at a more effective way of paraphrasing the same text.

Here, we’ve:

  • Only included the information that’s relevant to our argument (note that the paraphrase is shorter than the original)
  • Retained key terms like ‘development and pollution’, since changing them could alter the meaning
  • Structured sentences in our own way instead of copying the structure of the original
  • Started from a different point, presenting information in a different order

Because of this, we’re able to clearly convey the relevant information from the source without sticking too close to the original phrasing.

Explore the tabs below to see examples of paraphrasing in action.

  • Journal article
  • Newspaper article
  • Magazine article

Once you have your perfectly paraphrased text, you need to ensure you credit the original author. You’ll always paraphrase sources in the same way, but you’ll have to use a different type of in-text citation depending on what citation style you follow.

Generate accurate citations with Scribbr

It’s a good idea to paraphrase instead of quoting in most cases because:

  • Paraphrasing shows that you fully understand the meaning of a text
  • Your own voice remains dominant throughout your paper
  • Quotes reduce the readability of your text

But that doesn’t mean you should never quote. Quotes are appropriate when:

  • Giving a precise definition
  • Saying something about the author’s language or style (e.g., in a literary analysis paper)
  • Providing evidence in support of an argument
  • Critiquing or analysing a specific claim

A paraphrase puts a specific passage into your own words. It’s typically a similar length to the original text, or slightly shorter.

When you boil a longer piece of writing down to the key points, so that the result is a lot shorter than the original, this is called summarising .

Paraphrasing and quoting are important tools for presenting specific information from sources. But if the information you want to include is more general (e.g., the overarching argument of a whole article), summarising is more appropriate.

When paraphrasing, you have to be careful to avoid accidental plagiarism .

Students frequently use paraphrasing tools , which can be especially helpful for non-native speakers who might have trouble with academic writing. While these can be useful for a little extra inspiration, use them sparingly while maintaining academic integrity.

This can happen if the paraphrase is too similar to the original quote, with phrases or whole sentences that are identical (and should therefore be in quotation marks). It can also happen if you fail to properly cite the source.

To make sure you’ve properly paraphrased and cited all your sources, you could elect to run a plagiarism check before submitting your paper.

To paraphrase effectively, don’t just take the original sentence and swap out some of the words for synonyms. Instead, try:

  • Reformulating the sentence (e.g., change active to passive , or start from a different point)
  • Combining information from multiple sentences into one
  • Leaving out information from the original that isn’t relevant to your point
  • Using synonyms where they don’t distort the meaning

The main point is to ensure you don’t just copy the structure of the original text, but instead reformulate the idea in your own words.

Paraphrasing without crediting the original author is a form of plagiarism , because you’re presenting someone else’s ideas as if they were your own.

However, paraphrasing is not plagiarism if you correctly reference the source . This means including an in-text referencing and a full reference , formatted according to your required citation style (e.g., Harvard , Vancouver ).

As well as referencing your source, make sure that any paraphrased text is completely rewritten in your own words.

Plagiarism means using someone else’s words or ideas and passing them off as your own. Paraphrasing means putting someone else’s ideas into your own words.

So when does paraphrasing count as plagiarism?

  • Paraphrasing is plagiarism if you don’t properly credit the original author.
  • Paraphrasing is plagiarism if your text is too close to the original wording (even if you cite the source). If you directly copy a sentence or phrase, you should quote it instead.
  • Paraphrasing  is not plagiarism if you put the author’s ideas completely into your own words and properly reference the source .

To present information from other sources in academic writing , it’s best to paraphrase in most cases. This shows that you’ve understood the ideas you’re discussing and incorporates them into your text smoothly.

It’s appropriate to quote when:

  • Changing the phrasing would distort the meaning of the original text
  • You want to discuss the author’s language choices (e.g., in literary analysis )
  • You’re presenting a precise definition
  • You’re looking in depth at a specific claim

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the ‘Cite this Scribbr article’ button to automatically add the citation to our free Reference Generator.

Gahan, C. & Caulfield, J. (2023, May 15). How to Paraphrase | Step-by-Step Guide & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved 19 February 2024, from

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Paraphrasing Tool: Free Sentence Rephraser

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Rephrase by ProWritingAid uses an advanced algorithm to provide quality rephrasing. Instead of replacing words with synonyms, the tool uses a combination of reworked vocabulary, sentence structure, and syntax to create fresh, new content. For the best paraphrased text, follow these easy steps:

Step 1. Check your text for errors

Rephrase by ProWritingAid works best when your existing text is error-free. ProWritingAid’s Realtime report highlights grammar, style, and spelling issues, which you can review to see suggestions and explanations. Quickly correct your writing errors so your paraphrased text will be clear.

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Step 4. Run Rephrase by ProWritingAid

You’ll receive multiple suggestions to choose from when you run Rephrase on your highlighted text. Browse through the options to find the perfect sentence. You can then accept one of the options or ignore the suggestions—or you can use them as inspiration for your own rewrites!

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Paraphrasing Tool FAQs

1. is paraphrasing the same as rewording.

Paraphrasing is when you rewrite text in a different form while still retaining the meaning of the original text.

Rewording is switching out words with synonyms, whereas paraphrasing changes the structure. Rewording is not sufficient for academic purposes.

2. Is this a sentence rephraser or does it work on paragraphs too?

Rephrase by ProWritingAid works on individual sentences. When you run the tool, you will be presented with multiple rephrases to choose from so you can find the perfect words quickly and easily.

3. What does our tool offer that others, such as QuillBot's paraphrase, don’t?

Our rewording tool is built into an even more powerful editing tool that analyzes your writing and shows you how to improve it. With over 20 tailored reports, you'll get access to suggestions about grammar, sentence structure, readability, and much more.

4. Does ProWritingAid have a plagiarism checker?

Yes! ProWritingAid’s plagiarism checker will check your work against over a billion web-pages, published works, and academic papers, so you can be sure of its originality. Find out more about pricing for plagiarism checks here .

5. What's the difference between rephrase vs paraphrase?

Paraphrase and rephrase are often used interchangeably. They both involve rewriting a piece of text using different words. Our Rephrase tool takes your original text and suggests ways to reword and improve it.

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How to Paraphrase a Paragraph

Last Updated: March 27, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 193,505 times.

If you have been asked to paraphrase a paragraph but aren’t sure how, don’t fret. Paraphrasing simply means taking the original text and using your own original word choices and structure to rewrite it while still conveying the same message. Scroll down to Step 1 to learn the basics of paraphrasing, or jump down to Method 2 if you just need a refresher on the things you need to change about the original paragraph (along with some helpful examples).

Understanding the Basics

Step 1 Know what ‘paraphrasing’ means.

  • Of course, you always want to give credit when you use someone else’s ideas, but paraphrasing gives you a chance to say it in your own words instead of using a direct quotation. By stating it your way, the information may fit better into what you’re writing, allowing your writing to flow more easily from one idea to the next.

Step 2 Be aware of the differences between paraphrasing and summarizing.

  • For example, let’s say the original writing is: “The fox stalked its prey in the moonlight, it’s large ears and bright eyes on high alert for the rabbit’s next move.”
  • Example of a paraphrased sentence : “The rabbit stayed still in the light of the moon while the fox surveyed the land using its spectacular hearing and night vision.”
  • Example of summarization : “Foxes hunt rabbits at night using their ears and eyes.”
  • Summarizing focuses on the facts of the statement rather than the details.

Step 3 Understand that paraphrasing doesn’t necessarily mean making the text shorter.

  • When you paraphrase, try to be as accurate as possible.

Paraphrasing Correctly

  • 1 Develop an understanding of the original text. Look over the paragraph you want to paraphrase at least 3 times so you can understand the meaning behind it. Look up any words that you’re unfamiliar with. This will help you choose the most accurate words later on. [4] X Trustworthy Source University of North Carolina Writing Center UNC's on-campus and online instructional service that provides assistance to students, faculty, and others during the writing process Go to source

Step 2 Change the original word choice.

  • Example: The words you would choose to tell someone how to ride a bike are different from the words another writer would choose. Someone else may say “Climb on the bike,” while you might say, “Sit on the bike seat.” Both have essentially the same meaning—“Get on the bike”—yet they are worded differently.

Step 3 Use a thesaurus to help you with word choice.

  • For instance, “grumble” and “protest” have similar meanings, and they would be listed as synonyms in a thesaurus. However, they have different connotations. For instance, “protest” is often connected to politics while “grumble” is usually associated with complaining.

Step 4 Create your own syntax for your paraphrased paragraph.

  • For instance, “Jane stared at the sunset as she ate oranges” is syntactically different from the sentence “Jane ate oranges while she stared at the sunset.”

Step 5 Try to change the structure of the paragraph.

  • Paragraph you would like to paraphrase : “Jane swerved in the road to avoid hitting the deer. As the car veered off the road, Jane couldn’t help thinking this day may be her last. Her thoughts flashed to her children and her spouse. The car hit the tree with a sickening crunch, and Jane blacked out. However, she awoke within a few seconds, bruised and sore, but alive.”
  • Paraphrased paragraph example 1 : “Jane saw a deer in the road, so she swung her car around to miss the animal. Her car headed for the trees. Her mind flooded with images of her family, and she wondered if she would die today. As the front of the car crunched into the tree, she lost consciousness for a moment, though she thankfully survived the crash with just a few bumps.”

Step 6 Keep in mind that there is more than one way to paraphrase a paragraph.

  • Paraphrased paragraph example 2 : “While out driving, Jane hit a tree because she swerved to miss a deer. She thought about how her family would miss her if she died as the car slammed into the tree. She sustained minor injuries, though the impact knocked her out for a bit.”

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Don’t worry if you don’t get it on the first try; as you practice paraphrasing, you will become better at it. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Remember to keep a thesaurus handy to help you out along the way. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Paraphrasing is not summarizing. Make sure you learn the differences Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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About This Article

Christopher Taylor, PhD

Paraphrasing a paragraph is repeating what someone else has said but in your own words. First, read through the paragraph a few times to make sure you understand its meaning properly. Then, change some of the word choices. For example, you could change “climb on the bike” to “get on the bike.” You can use a thesaurus to help you, but make sure your version makes sense and doesn’t sound awkward or change the meaning. Another way to help you paraphrase is to change the structure of the paragraph so it's not too similar to the original text. For example, if a paragraph starts by talking about self-driving cars and goes on to talk about traffic accidents, you can switch it round and start with the traffic accidents. For more tips from our English co-author, including how to paraphrase a paragraph by changing its syntax, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Rephrase vs. Paraphrase: The Difference with Examples

Table of Contents

Writing long papers can leave a lot of headache to you. As a writer, you should learn about the difference of rephrase vs paraphrase when trying to make your paper more interesting.

Academic papers and marketing content alike require a certain number of words to achieve. When you’re already running out of things to write, you might refer to other sources or previous work to fill the blanks . Professional writers know that paraphrasing could help in doing so.

However, most writers confuse paraphrasing with rephrasing. It’s understandable, because both indeed have close characteristics but different definitions. Keeping in mind what distinguishes them from one another will help you write effectively.

By reading this article, you will find out the difference between rephrase vs paraphrase .

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What Does Rephrase Mean?

First, we may want to know what this means. Rephrasing stands for rewriting something to make it clearer and much easier to comprehend. You may do it by using synonyms of terms you wish to simplify for the common reader to understand.

People use different strategies in rephrasing sentences. Some use synonyms while others use a different type of speech. As long as what you mean is clear to your readers, then your rewrite must have been successful.

An example of it would be the following:

Sample Sentence:

  • The wind outrageously uprooted the houses in Oklahoma City.

Altered Version:

  • Houses in Oklahoma City were destroyed by the strong winds.

It simply means rewording the sentence from its original to a more fathomable form. Usually, you should do this for readers that do not understand a high level of English.

Just make sure to keep the meaning. Because if you get too far from it, your text will look entirely different from the original one.

What Does Paraphrase Mean?

Paraphrasing, on the other hand, is a different thing. It technically means changing an original thought into a new one the way you understood it .

It’s usually done to prevent plagiarism. To paraphrase means to write something as how you understood it. You do this in the highest regard with the author of the source you’re referring to.

One of the smartest ways to paraphrase is through a quote. You do this if you really want to just incorporate the whole thing a writer said in his work.

You should use words that’s parallel with the language of the original text. Make sure that you encapsulate the main idea of the source you’re trying to paraphrase.

Also, you may consider adding an in-text citation after the paraphrase you made to prevent any form of plagiarism. The text should still contain the significant meaning of the statement you cited from a researcher or author.

Don’t change the main idea, because your effort to paraphrase will come to waste. You paraphrase because you want to share the thought of a fellow writer, not to provide your own idea. It defeats your purpose of referring to someone if you’ll just share your own thoughts.

Word by word, you should be watchful in your initiative to paraphrase. There are free paraphrase tools you can use online, like INKForAll, that can help ease your stress in doing so.

Rephrasing vs. Paraphrasing

Now, maybe the difference between the two is clear. The first one means to rewrite a phrase or a thought word by word for comprehensibility purposes. While paraphrasing stands for making a copy of an already existent statement or thought into a summarized form through a quote or paraphrased text.

Discovering the definition of both English writing terms will benefit your improvement as an aspiring writer. Whether for the academic or professional field, you can use this article to remind yourself about the perks of doing these things.

Part of improving is learning again and again. Give yourself a pat at the back and congratulations for learning something wonderful today. Remember what you’ve learned and keep the fire burning.

Hence, you might have already understood the difference between paraphrasing and rephrasing. Although they can be distinguished from one another, both serves the same purpose. Both wish to diminish a writer’s risk of committing plagiarism.

Rephrase vs. Paraphrase: The Difference with Examples

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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  1. How to Paraphrase

    Revised on June 1, 2023. Paraphrasing means putting someone else's ideas into your own words. Paraphrasing a source involves changing the wording while preserving the original meaning. Paraphrasing is an alternative to quoting (copying someone's exact words and putting them in quotation marks ).

  2. #1 Free Paraphrasing Tool

    Paraphrasing involves expressing someone else's ideas or thoughts in your own words while maintaining the original meaning. Paraphrasing tools can help you quickly reword text by replacing certain words with synonyms or restructuring sentences. They can also make your text more concise, clear, and suitable for a specific audience.

  3. How to Paraphrase (Without Plagiarizing a Thing)

    1 Use synonyms. Replace the essential words of an original passage with other words that mean the same thing, such as using "scientist" for "researcher," or "seniors" for "the elderly.". This is a common approach to paraphrasing, but it's not sufficient on its own. Combine this strategy with some of the others below to make ...

  4. QuillBot's Guide to Paraphrasing

    As a verb, "to paraphrase" means "to express the meaning of the writer or speaker (or something written or spoken) using different words, especially to achieve greater clarity.". As a noun, "paraphrase" is defined as "a rewording of something written or spoken by someone else.". Let's look at it this way: if you were talking ...

  5. Paraphrasing Tool

    Standard Synonyms: Try Sample Text Paste Text QuillBot's AI-powered paraphrasing tool will enhance your writing Your words matter, and our paraphrasing tool is designed to ensure you use the right ones. With unlimited Custom modes and 8 predefined modes, Paraphraser lets you rephrase text countless ways.

  6. Free Paraphrasing Tool

    Explore Grammarly Rewrite Sentences in Seconds Grammarly's free paraphrasing tool lets you quickly create high-quality paraphrases to simplify your own or others' writing in a new and articulate way. Save time by paraphrasing even the most complicated sentences in one click.

  7. How to paraphrase (including examples)

    Paraphrasing is simply a way of summarizing someone else's content in your own words. When you paraphrase, you keep the meaning or intent of the original work without copying it word for word. However, paraphrasing can quickly become a form of plagiarism if done incorrectly. This is why it's crucial to follow the rules of paraphrasing.

  8. What is Paraphrasing?

    Paraphrasing is ... Paraphrasing means 'to state something written or spoken in different words, especially in a shorter and simpler form to make the meaning clearer' (Cambridge Online Dictionary, 2022). Paraphrasing is 'a restating of someone else's thoughts or ideas in your own words. You must always cite your source when paraphrasing ...

  9. Paraphrase

    A paraphrase or rephrase ( / ˈpærəˌfreɪz /) is the rendering of the same text in different words without losing the meaning of the text itself. [1] More often than not, a paraphrased text can convey its meaning better than the original words. In other words, it is a copy of the text in meaning, but which is different from the original.

  10. Paraphrase Definition & Meaning

    1 : a restatement of a text, passage, or work giving the meaning in another form The teacher asked the students to write a paraphrase of the poem. 2 : the use or process of paraphrasing in studying or teaching composition paraphrase, which aims rather at recapturing the general impression of a foreign work Times Literary Supplement paraphrase


    to repeat something written or spoken using different words, often in a humorous form or in a simpler and shorter form that makes the original meaning clearer Compare rephrase reword SMART Vocabulary: related words and phrases Saying again din something into someone drill drum drum something into someone flog flog yourself to death idiom hammer

  12. Paraphrase: Definition and Useful Examples of Paraphrasing in ...

    May 12, 2020 by 7ESL 4.2k What is a paraphrase? You may have heard someone using the word paraphrase when talking about the English language, and this is a concept which is very commonly used. But what do people mean when they talk about paraphrasing? In this article, we are going to be looking at exactly what a paraphrase is and how it is used.

  13. Paraphrasing: What is Paraphrasing, Techniques and Examples

    Paraphrasing: Definition. Summarizing refers to the concise statements and key points of the original work or piece. Paraphrasing refers to restating the texts or passages in your own words based on your comprehension. Underlines. The central idea of the original sentence. Simplifies and clarifies the original sentence or texts. Length of the text

  14. Free AI Paraphrasing Tool

    English Settings 👔 Formal Writing tone Paraphrase Use cases of Ahrefs' Paraphrasing Tool Academic writing and research Ahrefs' Paraphrasing Tool can be valuable for students, researchers, and academics who need to paraphrase existing texts while maintaining the original meaning.

  15. What is Paraphrasing? An Overview With Examples

    Paraphrasing is when you restate the information from a source using your own words while maintaining the original meaning. It involves expressing the ideas in a different way, often to clarify or simplify the content, without directly quoting the source. When you paraphrase, you are not only borrowing, clarifying, or expanding on the ...


    to repeat something written or spoken using different words, often in a humorous form or in a simpler and shorter form that makes the original meaning clearer Compare rephrase reword SMART Vocabulary: related words and phrases Saying again cascade din something into someone drill drum drum something into someone flog flog yourself to death idiom

  17. Paraphrase: Definition and Examples

    A paraphrase (pronounced par - uh -freyz) is a restatement or rewording of a paragraph or text, in order to borrow, clarify, or expand on information without plagiarizing. Paraphrasing is an important tool to use when writing research papers, essays, and pieces of journalism. II. Examples of Paraphrasing

  18. How to Paraphrase and Summarize Work

    Paraphrasing means rephrasing text or speech in your own words, without changing its meaning. Summarizing means cutting it down to its bare essentials. You can use both techniques to clarify and simplify complex information or ideas. To paraphrase text: Read and make notes. Find different terms. Put the text into your own words. Check your work.

  19. How to Paraphrase

    Paraphrasing means putting someone else's ideas into your own words. Paraphrasing a source involves changing the wording while preserving the original meaning. Paraphrasing is an alternative to quoting (copying someone's exact words and putting them in quotation marks ). In academic writing, it's usually better to paraphrase instead of ...

  20. Paraphrasing Tool: Free Online Rewording Generator

    Paraphrasing is when you rewrite text in a different form while still retaining the meaning of the original text. Rewording is switching out words with synonyms, whereas paraphrasing changes the structure. Rewording is not sufficient for academic purposes.

  21. How to Paraphrase a Paragraph: 9 Steps (with Pictures)

    2. Change the original word choice. When you paraphrase, you must change the diction, or words being used. That is, as a writer you have your own unique way of explaining an idea, and therefore, your diction is important. "Diction" just means the words you choose to make your point.

  22. Rephrase vs. Paraphrase: The Difference with Examples

    Rephrasing vs. Paraphrasing. Now, maybe the difference between the two is clear. The first one means to rewrite a phrase or a thought word by word for comprehensibility purposes. While paraphrasing stands for making a copy of an already existent statement or thought into a summarized form through a quote or paraphrased text.

  23. Free AI Paragraph Rewriter

    Ahrefs' Paragraph Rewriter can be beneficial for content creators, editors, or writers who need to enhance or refine their written content. By inputting a paragraph into the tool, users can receive a rewritten version that offers improved clarity, structure, and overall quality. This use case can save time and effort in the manual editing ...