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In Your Own Words Generator
Need to formulate something in your own words? Generator on this page can paraphrase any academic writing piece quickly and efficiently.
This paraphrasing tool will help you formulate any piece of text in your own words. All you have to do is follow the 3 steps:
- 🗣️ When to Use the Tool?
- Bad & Better Examples
- 🔤 How to Use Synonyms?
🗣️ in your own words generator: when to use it.
- This paraphrasing tool will be there for you whenever you wish to refer to someone else’s opinion without quoting it word for word.
- It allows you to say it faster or more precisely, with more passion or wit or tact, or any other kind of change you want.
- The software helps to demonstrate that you understand the text well enough to retell or summarize it. It is indispensable for writing papers, as an indirect quote always includes more information than a direct one. Besides, teachers often assign a text summary to check how the students understood it.
- You can use it to diversify your text and see how it might look in an altered form. This feature can be handy for international students whose vocabulary is limited.
- When the text is too complicated, and you cannot get the point, use the tool to paraphrase it more clearly. The same feature is helpful when you need to transmit an author’s words in your voice.
- In Your Own Words Generator can adapt a study material to a new purpose or find a new meaning.
- It can also be used to restate a thesis statement and use in the concluding section. You’ll have to do that in all your essays.
📝 Write in Your Own Words to Avoid Plagiarism
Plagiarism is always unethical and sometimes even illegal. Submission of a plagiarized paper will undermine your reputation. Even if nothing wrong happens and you are given a second chance, the teacher will scrutinize your work next time. Or, you can be sued for a plagiarized piece if you are a professional writer. Here’s what you can do to avoid any problems with copyright:
Bad & Better Examples of Paraphrasing
Working on an academic paper, you stand on the shoulders of other researchers. You need to incorporate their works into your text correctly to avoid plagiarism. But switching some words with synonyms is not enough. Look at the following examples of rewording to know how you are supposed to do that. The original passage was written by Robert D. Putnam and is available on page 7 of his classic book Making Democracy Work .
The Italian regional experiment was tailor-made for a comparative study of the dynamics and ecology of institutional development. Just as a botanist might study plant development by measuring the growth of genetically identical seeds sown in different plots, so a student of government performance might examine the fate of these new organizations, formally identical, in their diverse social and economic and cultural and political settings.
Bad Example of Paraphrasing
The regional experiment was tailor-made to conduct a comparative study between the dynamics and ecology of the development of institutions. Like a botanist studies plant growth by measuring the development of genetically identical seeds in different plots, a government performance student examines the evolution of these organizations, which used to be equal, in different social, economic, political, and cultural settings.
Here, we deleted words and changed the others with synonyms. In the case of “growth” and “development,” the nouns have been swapped. It is not enough to count as good paraphrasing.
Good Example of Paraphrasing
The researchers developed an experiment on the regional experiment in Italy. It aimed to compare the dynamics of institutional development in this country. Putnam (1993) draws a parallel between a botanist’s study of plant development and a student’s analysis of the evolution of the newly-created organizations. In particular, the botanist compares genetically identical seeds planted in different plots, and the student of government performance traces the development of similar institutions in various social, economic, cultural, and political settings.
This example grouped and rearranged some information. And most importantly, it contains a reference.
🔤 How to Use Synonyms When Writing in Your Own Words?
A synonym is a word the meaning of which is close to another word. When several words or phrases mean the same thing, we call them synonymous.
We use synonyms of nouns, adjectives, verbs, and other parts of speech without thinking. They come in all parts of speech: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and so on.
There are dictionaries of synonyms called thesauruses . We’ll give you three examples in the section below. And now, let’s explore where and how synonyms should be used.
The style, genre, and subject matter dictate the choice of synonyms, but they are used everywhere.
For instance, compare the same sentences written in different styles .
It would help if you also considered your audience. What is their age? Do they have enough background knowledge to understand the synonyms you used? Here are another two samples, and now the difference is in the readers’ age.
Moreover, synonyms can make any statement more or less complete, readable, or detailed. At the end of the sentence, note how the introduction of an antonym makes the phrase more informative.
Where to Find Synonyms?
- Thesausus.com offers the best visualization by highlighting the most relevant synonyms. Besides, antonyms are also available to check. It can be helpful when you change the sentence structure and need the opposite word.
- Merriam-Webster is the most user-friendly variant that contains lots of additional information (etymology, context, etc.). Browse through almost 300 thousand synonyms and related idiomatic phrases.
- Synonym.com is another suitable variant to reword a sentence. It provides rhymes to all words and suggests the most famous quotes exemplifying your inquiry. Besides, the website will help you learn English as a second language. It features a language learning system based on scientifically proven strategies.
- How to Avoid Plagiarism: 5 Easy Methods | Grammarly
- How to Avoid Plagiarism – Citing Sources – UCLA Library
- Synonyms for words commonly used in academic writing
- Formal and academic pieces of writing – Macmillan Dictionary
- Avoiding Plagiarism – Paraphrasing | Academic Integrity at MIT
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How to Write in Your Own Words
Last Updated: January 18, 2023 Fact Checked
This article was co-authored by Michelle Golden, PhD . Michelle Golden is an English teacher in Athens, Georgia. She received her MA in Language Arts Teacher Education in 2008 and received her PhD in English from Georgia State University in 2015. There are 15 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 219,039 times.
Writing a strong essay combines original composition with the incorporation of solid research. Taking the words and ideas of others and weaving them seamlessly into your essay requires skill and finesse. By learning how to paraphrase, exploring how and when to incorporate direct quotes, and by expanding your writing tool-kit more generally, you will be well on your way to writing effectively in your own words.
Learning to Paraphrase
- Take notes, if you have to. If this is your personal text book and not a borrowed one, consider highlighting the text or writing in the margins.
- If you are working digitally, avoid using "copy" and "paste."
- You don't have to write it down word-for-word. Just write the gist of the passage.
- Specific style-guides change often. If you are using a style-guide text book, make sure that it is the more recent version. Another option is to use a website.
- Argue against another author’s specific idea
- Continue another author’s specific idea
- Prove your own point with the help of another author
- Add eloquence or power with a very meaningful quote
- In his book End of Humanism , Richard Schechner states, “I prefer to work from primary sources: what I’ve done, what I’ve seen” (15).
- As Dixon and Foster explain in their book Experimental Cinema , “filmmakers assumed that the audience for their films was to be an intimate group of knowledgeable cineastes” (225).
- In general, your quote should not exceed 3-4 lines of text. If it does (and it is truly necessary), you will need to use block quote formatting.
- At the end of the quote, include any relevant data that you have not already stated, such as the name of the author, the page number, and/or the date of publication.  X Research source
- If there is no specific author, then use the editor instead, or whatever your specific style-guide requires.
Building Your Writing Tool-kit
- When you encounter a word you don’t know, look it up!
- Browse a dictionary or thesaurus for fun.
- Talk to others. The spoken word is a great source of new and exciting vocabulary.
- A good resource is Strunk and White’s Elements of Style .
- Another great resources is Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft .
- Theme: A common thread or idea that is appears throughout a literary work.
- Symbolism: An object, character, or color that is used to represent an important idea or concept.
- Dramatic Irony: Irony that occurs when the meaning of the situation is understood by the audience but not by the characters.
- Using a dictionary or thesaurus is not a bad thing when writing. But they should be used when you have a full and complete thought in your head and have already written it out in simple form without their help. Once completed, develop your thought using similar words, or blend sentences using new words. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 1
- Writing is best accomplished when you have a fresh and open mind -- that means it isn't good to write just before bed. Try writing in the morning, but after breakfast, or before or after dinner in the evening. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 1
- Public libraries are a perfect place to not only find books, but to establish a reading schedule. Many libraries can help you form a list of books that become progressively more difficult and challenging. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 1
- Avoid using several words that all mean the same thing. For example, if something is small, and tiny, the general idea is that something is small. Don't over-use your vocabulary. Thanks Helpful 4 Not Helpful 2
You Might Also Like
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/using_research/quoting_paraphrasing_and_summarizing/paraphrasing.html
- ↑ https://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/QPA_paraphrase2.html ,
- ↑ https://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/QPA_paraphrase.html
- ↑ http://www.plagiarism.org/citing-sources/how-to-paraphrase/
- ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/quotations/
- ↑ http://www.ramapo.edu/crw/files/2012/07/5-Step-Approach-to-Incorporating-Quoted-Material.pdf
- ↑ https://web.ccis.edu/Offices/AcademicResources/WritingCenter/EssayWritingAssistance/SuggestedWaystoIntroduceQuotations.aspx
- ↑ https://pitt.libguides.com/citationhelp
- ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/02/
- ↑ http://www.plagiarism.org/citing-sources/quoting-material/
- ↑ https://success.oregonstate.edu/learning/reading
- ↑ http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/sep/12/how-improve-enlarge-vocabulary-english-memory
- ↑ https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/grammar-rules-and-tips/11-rules-of-grammar.html
- ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/literary-devices/
- ↑ https://openoregon.pressbooks.pub/aboutwriting/chapter/types-of-writing-styles/
About This Article
To avoid plagiarism, you’ll need to write other people’s ideas in your own words. Start by reading through the text to make sure you understand it. Then, put it away and try to write down the main ideas like you’re explaining them to a friend. When you’re finished, read your writing back to check it makes sense. Finally, compare it to the original text to see if you missed any important information. If you did, re-write it to include the extra details. Make sure you cite the text you paraphrased using your class's given style guide. That way, you won't get in trouble for plagiarism. For more tips from our English co-author, including how to quote texts in an essay, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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- How to Paraphrase | Step-by-Step Guide & Examples
How to Paraphrase | Step-by-Step Guide & Examples
Published on April 8, 2022 by Courtney Gahan and Jack Caulfield. 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 ). In academic writing, it’s usually better to integrate sources by paraphrasing 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. summarizing, avoiding plagiarism when you paraphrase, other interesting articles, 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.
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 .
Let’s look at a more effective way of paraphrasing the same text.
- Only included the information that’s relevant to our argument (note that the paraphrase is shorter than the original)
- Introduced the information with the signal phrase “Scientists believe that …”
- 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.
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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 analyzing 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 summarizing .
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), summarizing is more appropriate.
When paraphrasing, you have to be careful to avoid accidental plagiarism .
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.
Paraphrasing tools are widely used by students, and can be especially useful for non-native speakers who may find academic writing particularly challenging. While these can be helpful for a bit of extra inspiration, use these tools sparingly, keeping academic integrity in mind.
To make sure you’ve properly paraphrased and cited all your sources, you could elect to run a plagiarism check before submitting your paper. And of course, always be sure to read your source material yourself and take the first stab at paraphrasing on your own.
If you want to know more about ChatGPT, AI tools , citation , and plagiarism , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.
- ChatGPT vs human editor
- ChatGPT citations
- Is ChatGPT trustworthy?
- Using ChatGPT for your studies
- What is ChatGPT?
- Chicago style
- Critical thinking
- Types of plagiarism
- Avoiding plagiarism
- Academic integrity
- Consequences of plagiarism
- Common knowledge
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 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 .
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
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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 Citation Generator.
Gahan, C. & Caulfield, J. (2023, June 01). How to Paraphrase | Step-by-Step Guide & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved January 2, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/working-with-sources/how-to-paraphrase/
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