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How to Paraphrase a Sentence - Step-by-Step Guide with Examples

Nov 03, 2022

Two terms are commonly used when discussing academic and non-academic writing: paraphrasing and Plagiarism. It is essential to realize that these two concepts go hand in hand while the writing process. This blog is not meant to define or explain what they are but to guide you step by step and provide some hidden ideas to reduce your writing stress.

What is Paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing is putting someone else's ideas into your own words. Paraphrasing a source involves changing the wording while retaining the original meaning. It is an alternative to quoting (copying a person's exact words and putting them in quotation marks).

 In academic writing, paraphrasing sources are generally better than quoting them. It shows you understand the source, read more fluently and keep your own voice front and center.

Before you continue with the actual steps, you might be thinking:

 "Why is paraphrasing so important?" or "Why do I need to know how to paraphrase?"

Let me tell you that all of your writing should be your own words and not just a copy and paste of someone else's work. If you do not paraphrase your text correctly, it will be considered plagiarized.

Whenever you paraphrase, it is important to cite the source. Also, be careful not to use wording that is too similar to the original. Otherwise, your writings will be at risk of Plagiarism.

Methods for paraphrasing:

There are two methods of paraphrasing

  1. You can do it by paraphrasing sentences on your own(manually)
  2. By using online paraphrasing tools


1.    Paraphrasing sentences on your own:

Paraphrasing a Sentence is a relatively easy task. Some simple steps to paraphrase efficiently are as follows:

Step 1: Make sure you understand the source material thoroughly. This includes vocabulary, background and all essential information from the sentence. The ability to paraphrase well depends on fully understanding the material presented.

Step 2: Read the sentence to understand the meaning.

Step 3: Structure selected information into your own words.

Step 4: Highlight the keywords within the sentence. It is important to identify all the keywords because they should not be changed; otherwise, the author's idea or original thoughts could be lost. Hence, these keywords could only be moved around within the sentence while paraphrasing.

Step 5: Note down the key concept and flow of the sentence, then write the sentence in your own words.

This means completely recreating a sentence without changing the meaning, not just changing a word or two.

Here are some techniques to paraphrase correctly when paraphrasing the sentence yourself.


Techniques for paraphrasing:

Remember that these techniques should only be used after you have verified that you fully understand the sentence; don't try to paraphrase a sentence you don't understand.

  • Use synonyms (words that mean the same thing)

Using synonyms is possible; however, don't overuse them; also, be careful; some synonyms don't go well within a sentence. So check the flow of the sentence by reading it with the selected synonyms to ensure it is suitable. Be careful when using synonyms. Many words have multiple meanings, depending on the context, and you need to come up with synonyms that express the correct meaning for the given context.


Examples of paraphrasing (Manually): 

Here are some example of manually parpahrsing.



Source sentence: The need for investors to earn a commercial return may put upward pressure on prices.

Paraphrase:  The need for profit is likely to push up prices.

Here, "may" is replaced with "is likely to", and "put upward pressure on" is replaced with "push up".

  • Changing the form of words:

You have to change the form of the sentence in your text, such that the verb in the sentence has to be replaced by a noun.



Source sentence: The idea has failed on several counts.

Paraphrase: The failure of the idea is due to many factors.

A verb here has been replaced with a noun from the same word family.

  • Changing the structure

You can change or rearrange the structure of the sentence by changing the position of the in-sentence references and by rearranging the words.



Source sentence: While many governments have taken plans to implement privatization programs, progress has been slower than was anticipated in the early 1980's.

Paraphrase:  Although steps for the implementation of privatization programs have been made by many governments, progress in the area has not been as rapid as expected in the early 1980's.


2.   By using an online paraphrasing tool:

A paraphrasing tool has only one job: to paraphrase your text while keeping the original meaning to the required level of uniqueness.

Basically, paraphrase tools assist you in finding new methods to present your topic and make it distinctive by rewriting your sentence, article, or report.

A paraphrase tool will be helpful if you're unsure of your writing abilities or don't know how to adjust the structure of your material while maintaining its meaning.

Additionally, paraphrase tools are helpful for people who have trouble thinking clearly or typing swiftly.


Requirements before using the paraphrasing tool:

Here are some requirements for a paraphrase to be aware of before utilizing a tool:

  • The text that is being paraphrased must be distinct from the original text and should not be a replica.
  • Put your own words in the passage you want to reword.
  • When changing the structure, keep the text's meaning in mind.
  • Make sure the content is relevant to the source of your work.


How to paraphrase online?

To paraphrase online using a paraphrase tool, follow these simple steps:

  1. Copy/Paste or type the sentence in the input box.
  2. Choose a rephrase mode. For example, if you are using the Prepostseo paraphrasing tool, this has four modes:
  • Simple
  • Advanced
  • Fluency
  • Creative

As you can see in the picture given below


  1. Then click on the paraphrase button & let this paraphrasing tool do the rest of the work for you.


Examples of paraphrasing (using a tool):

Here are some sentences that have been paraphrased by using the Prepostseo paraphrasing tool.



Original: "Giraffes like Acacia leaves and hay, and they can consume 75 pounds of food a day."

Paraphrase: "Giraffes like acacia leaves and hay and can eat 75 pounds of food a day."



Original: Any trip to Italy should include a visit to Tuscany to sample their exquisite wines.

Paraphrase: Any ride to Italy have to consist of a go to Tuscany to pattern their outstanding wines.


Avoid Plagiarism when you paraphrase:

When paraphrasing, you must be careful to avoid accidental Plagiarism.

This can happen if the paraphrased text is too similar to the original citation, with phrases or whole sentences that are identical (and therefore need to be quoted). You may also fail to cite the source properly.

Students commonly use Paraphrasing tools, which can be particularly helpful for non-native speakers who may find academic writing challenging. While these can be helpful for a little extra inspiration, use these tools sparingly and with academic integrity in mind.

To ensure that you have correctly paraphrased and cited all of your sources, you can perform a plagiarism check before submitting your work. And of-course, you should always read the source material yourself and make your own attempts at paraphrasing.


Frequently asked questions about paraphrasing:

What does paraphrase mean?

Paraphrasing is putting someone else's ideas into your own words. Paraphrasing a source involves changing the wording while retaining the original meaning.

How to paraphrase a paragraph online?

We can paraphrase a paragraph or sentence online by using various tools available on the internet, such as Prepostseo, free of cost.

How to paraphrase a quote?

Paraphrase the quote by providing a citation that includes the last name of the author followed by a page number enclosed in parentheses, such as, "Here's a direct quote" (Smith 8).

How do paraphrases avoid Plagiarism?

To avoid Plagiarism, change the structure of the sentences, use the synonyms of the words, and provide a citation.

How to cite a paraphrase?

When you write information from a source in your own words, cite the source by adding an in-text citation at the end of the paraphrased portion as follows: Mother-infant attachment became a leading topic of developmental research following the publication of John Bowlby's studies (Hunt, 1993). If the author's name is not given, then use the first word or words of the title.

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.

APA in-text citation

(Brouwer, 2019, p. 874)

MLA in-text citation

(Brouwer 874)

Chicago footnote

1. Susanne Brouwer, “The Auditory Foreign-Language Effect of Moral Decision Making in Highly Proficient Bilinguals,” Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 40, no. 10 (2019): 874. https://doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2019.1585863.



When you are writing something and taking the material from somewhere else, then you have to write that text in your own words; this is known as paraphrasing. There are two methods for paraphrasing:

  • By writing in your own words
  • By using an online paraphrasing tool

Writing in your own words means you have to change the sentence structure and add synonyms to it, and using an online paraphrasing tool means changing your text by entering the text in the paraphraser.

When paraphrasing, you must be careful to avoid accidental Plagiarism. When you write information from a source in your own words, you have to cite the source by adding an in-text citation at the end of the paraphrased portion.