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  • What is Paraphrasing? An Overview With Examples
  • Learn English
  • James Prior
  • No Comments
  • Updated February 23, 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 therefore definitely worth learning how to paraphrase if you want to improve your writing skills.

Why is Paraphrasing Important?

Paraphrasing is a valuable skill that allows you to convey information in your unique writing style while still giving credit to someone else’s ideas. It’s 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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  • 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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How to paraphrase (including examples)

Jessica Malnik

Jessica Malnik

paraphrasing questions definition

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.

paraphrasing questions definition

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.

--> “A wide screen just makes a bad film twice as bad.” -->

May Habib CEO,

Here’s what else you should know about Ascending.

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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 12 May. 2024.

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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

paraphrasing questions definition

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)

  • Next: Why Paraphrase? >>
  • Last Updated: Apr 10, 2024 3:42 PM
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Using Evidence: Paraphrase

Paraphrasing sources video playlist.

Basics of Paraphrasing

A successful paraphrase is your own explanation or interpretation of another person's ideas. Paraphrasing in academic writing is an effective way to restate, condense, or clarify another author's ideas while also providing credibility to your own argument or analysis. Successful paraphrasing is essential for strong academic writing, and unsuccessful paraphrasing can result in unintentional plagiarism. Look through the paraphrasing strategies below to better understand what counts as an effective paraphrase.

In order for a reader to understand the impact of a direct quotation or paraphrased source material, you should work to integrate your evidence into your paragraph's overall discussion. A strong way to integrate source material is to use  transitions . As you integrate sources, you will also often begin  analyzing the evidence

Citing Paraphrases

  • Paraphrased material must be cited. Even though paraphrasing means that you are restating information in your own words, you must give credit to the original source of the information.
  • Citations for paraphrased material should always include both the author and the year. In-text citation can be placed within the sentence or at the end:

Example: According to Johnson (2012), mirror neurons may be connected with empathy and imitation.

Example: Mirror neurons may be connected with empathy and imitation in human beings (Johnson, 2012).

Note: Be sure to consider the frequency of your source citation when you are paraphrasing.

Integrating Paraphrases Into Your Paragraphs

Paragraph with paraphrased material not integrated.

The causes of childhood obesity are various. Greg (2005) found that children need physical activity to stay healthy. One study found that the amount of time spent in front of the television or computer had a direct correlation to an individual's BMI (Stephens, 2003). Parsons (2003) debated whether nature or nurture affects childhood obesity more. Scientists have linked genetics to obesity (Parsons, 2003). Parents often reinforce bad lifestyle habits (Parsons, 2003).

Here there is a list of paraphrased sentences, but again they seem to be missing any links or connections to show how the different ideas are related. Rather than simply using a list of paraphrased sentences from these sources, the author of the next example integrates each piece of information from the sources by using extra explanation or transitions.

Paragraph With Paraphrased Material, Revised (Revisions in Bold)

The causes of childhood obesity are various. Greg (2005) found that children need physical activity to stay healthy. However, children's inactive lifestyles and the time they spend in front of a screen seem to consume the time they could otherwise spend playing outdoors or involved in physical activities. In fact, this lack of physical activity has a direct effect on body mass index (BMI). One study found that the amount of time spent in front of the television or computer had a direct correlation to an individual's BMI (Stephens, 2003). Although screen time is correlated with high BMI, Parsons (2003) still debated whether nature or nurture affects childhood obesity more. Though Parsons admitted that scientists have linked genetics to obesity, he also explained that parents often reinforce bad lifestyle habits.

Adding transitions allows the author to make connections while still presenting the paraphrased source material.

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

Satwick Ghosh

Table of contents

While researching for your article or essay, you might have encountered a sentence or a paragraph that's so intriguing that you thought you must include it in your content! But you can't use those exact words, right?

Well, paraphrasing is the way to do that. However, the idea is not to steal someone's content but to capitalize on it by drafting a much better version while adding your input and research.

You can always have your own piece written and make it more intuitive to your audience while using the original one as a reference.

'It's easier said than done'

'Although the idea sounds like a good one in theory, it will still be difficult to actually execute it.'

Both the above sentences have similar meanings, but they appear different. That's a classic example of paraphrasing.

But how do you paraphrase while keeping the essence of the original sentence intact and still not plagiarising?

That calls for some tips and tricks! And here, we have got you covered.

In this blog, we will explain what is paraphrasing, why you might need to paraphrase, how to paraphrase, and the difference between paraphrasing and summarizing.

Let's dive in.

Table Of Contents

What is paraphrasing.

Paraphrasing is the process of restructuring or tweaking a paragraph so that it represents the same meaning or idea from the original statement but with different sentence construction, choice of words, formats, or, possibly, tone or voice.

It means making the meaning clearer, especially in a shorter and simpler form, 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, apart from global plagiarism, other types of plagiarism are often accidental.

Although paraphrasing is accepted , rephrasing sentences or paraphrasing someone else’s idea without citing or acknowledging 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.

How to paraphrase?

When it comes to paraphrasing, you can either do it manually or use an AI-powered tool like Writesonic to rephrase your content. While we will guide you through both processes, here is how to paraphrase with Writesonic Content Rephraser.

Check out the steps below:

  • Log in to Writesonic or sign up (if you haven't already done so!).
  • Search for Content Rephrase and select the tool from the results.

how to paraphrase

  • On the Content Rephrase v2 window, put the text in the Content box.
  • Select the Words Length from the drop-down for the rephrased content.
  • Select your Brand Voice / Tone of Voice from the list.
  • Finally, hit the Generate button.

paraphrasing questions definition

If you are not satisfied with the output received, simply click on the Regenerate button.

paraphrasing questions definition

If you want, you can also paraphrase manually without using any tool.  Here is a guide on different techniques to paraphrase effectively,

What is the difference between summarizing and paraphrasing?

Summarizing is a concise statement that briefs the contents of the passage. On the other hand, paraphrasing is just rewriting sentences using your own words. In fact, there is more than one difference between summarizing and paraphrasing.

Check out the comparison chart to learn the differences between summarizing and paraphrasing, besides their definition.

Top 5 tips and tricks to follow while paraphrasing

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

Identify the important parts

You can't paraphrase until you understand the meaning! In fact, paraphrasing demonstrates your understanding of the original material. Thus, read the original content until you get enough ideas to explain it in your own words.

Once you have the original concept, reduce it to the key points, and don't focus on the sentence structures at the start. Another way to rewrite or reword the source without losing your key points is to use a paraphrasing tool .

Change up the words

Change the words using synonyms while noting down the concepts or key points. However, if you face writer's block and can’t find the right words, which can make your content incompetent, use 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, double-check and compare the paraphrased copy with the original passage. Make adjustments to ensure it’s completely rewritten. Also, make sure that the grammar and punctuation are correct.

Double-checking your work for grammar and punctuation by reviewing it more than once improves its quality. Paragraph rewriters use AI for paraphrasing, which can tweak the tonality and narrative, ensure a grammar check, and make 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 way to paraphrase your sources without plagiarizing them. One such creative AI writing tool that assists you with paraphrasing is Writesonic .

Writesonic is trained on billions of parameters. It refines the grammar, spelling, and style to generate original, paraphrased content. In addition to that, Writesonic 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, 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. 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 into 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. 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

Paraphrasing requires you to change the passages in your own words, which may help refurbish your writing skills. Rewriting or paraphrasing is essential in writing essays or research papers.

Paraphrasing allows you to express ideas or information with a fresh set of words to make the same thing sound more interesting or even simpler. You can see paraphrasing as an opportunity to enhance your writing skills without 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. At the same time, paraphrasing demonstrates your understanding of the complex details from the source and your ability to explain the connections between main points. Therefore, it's obvious that you can comprehend a text better when you paraphrase it.

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. The correct way and right use of paraphrasing can protect writers from accusations of plagiarism.

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. Writesonic 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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Counselling Tutor

Reflecting and Paraphrasing

Part of the ‘art of listening’ is making sure that the client knows their story is being listened to.

This is achieved by the helper/counsellor repeating back to the client parts of their story. This known as paraphrasing .

Reflecting is showing the client that you have ‘heard’ not only what is being said, but also what feelings and emotions the client is experiencing when sharing their story with you .

This is sometimes known in counselling ‘speak ‘as the music behind the words .

The counselling skill of paraphrasing is repeating back to the client parts of their story

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It is like holding up a mirror to the client; repeating what they have said shows the client they have your full attention. It also allows the client to make sure you fully understood them; if not, they can correct you.

Reflecting and paraphrasing should not only contain what is being said but what emotion or feeling the client is expressing.

Let’s look at an example:

Client (Mohammed): My ex-wife phoned me yesterday; she told me that our daughter Nafiza (who is only 9) is very ill after a car accident. I am feeling very scared for her. They live in France, so I am going to have to travel to see her, and now I have been made redundant, I don’t know how I can afford to go.

Reflecting skill in counselling is showing you understand what the client said as well as the emotions it brings up for the client

Counsellor: So, Mohammed, you have had some bad news about your little girl, who has been involved in an accident. You are frightened for her and also have worries over money now you have lost your job.

Client: Yes, yes ... that’s right.

Notice that the counsellor does not offer advice or start asking how long Mohammed and his wife have been separated, but reflects the emotion of what is said : ‘frightened' and 'worries'.

Reflecting and paraphrasing are the first skills we learn as helpers, and they remain the most useful.

To build a trusting relationship with a helper, the client needs not only to be ‘listened to' but also to be heard and valued as a person.

"Reflecting and paraphrasing should not only contain what is being said but what emotion or feeling the client is expressing."

Definition of Reflection in Counselling

Reflection in counselling is like holding up a mirror: repeating the client’s words back to them exactly as they said them.

You might reflect back the whole sentence, or you might select a few words – or even one single word – from what the client has brought.

I often refer to reflection as ‘the lost skill’ because when I watch counselling students doing simulated skill sessions, or listen to their recordings from placement (where clients have consented to this), I seldom see reflection being used as a skill. This is a pity, as reflection can be very powerful.

When we use the skill of reflection, we are looking to match the tone, the feeling of the words, and the client’s facial expression or body language as they spoke .

For example, they might have hunched their shoulders as they said, ‘I was so scared; I didn’t know what to do.’

We might reflect that back by hunching our own shoulders, mirroring their body language while also saying ‘I felt so scared; I didn’t know what to do.’

Using Reflection to Clarify Our Understanding

We can also use reflection to clarify our understanding, instead of using a question.

For example, suppose the client says:

‘My husband and my father are fighting. I’m really angry with him.’

For me to be in the client’s frame of reference, I need to know whether ‘him’ refers to the husband or the father. So I might reflect back the word ‘ him ’  with a quizzical look.

The client might then respond:

‘Yeah, my dad. He really gets to me when he is non-accepting.’

So you can get clarification in this way. You can adjust where you are to make sure that the empathic bond is strong and that you are truly within the client’s frame of reference.

"When we use the skill of reflection, we are looking to match the tone, the feeling of the words, and the client’s facial expression or body language as they spoke".

Definition of Paraphrasing in Counselling

Paraphrasing is repeating back your understanding of the material that has been brought by the client, using your own words.

A paraphrase reflects the essence of what has been said .

We all use paraphrasing in our everyday lives. If you look at your studies to become a counsellor or psychotherapist, you paraphrase in class.

Maybe your lecturer brings a body of work, and you listen and make notes: you’re paraphrasing as you distill this down to what you feel is important.

How Paraphrasing Builds Empathy

How does paraphrasing affect the client-counsellor relationship?

First of all, it helps the client to feel both heard and understood. The client brings their material, daring to share that with you.

And you show that you’re listening by giving them a little portion of that back – the part that feels the most important. You paraphrase it down.

And if you do that accurately and correctly, and it matches where the client is, the client is going to recognise that and to feel heard: ‘ Finally, somebody is there really listening, really understanding what it is that I am bringing.’

This keys right into empathy, because it’s about building that empathic relationship with the client. And empathy is not a one-way transaction .

..."Empathy [is] the ability to ‘perceive the internal frame of reference of another with accuracy and with the emotional components and meanings which pertain thereto as if one were the person, but without ever losing the 'as if' conditions." Carl Rogers (1959, pp. 210–211)

In other words, we walk in somebody’s shoes as if their reality is our reality – but of course it’s not our reality, and that’s where the ‘as if’ comes in.

I’ve heard this rather aptly described as ‘walking in the client’s shoes, but keeping our socks on’!

Empathy is a two-way transaction – that is, it’s not enough for us to be 100% in the client’s frame of reference , understanding their true feelings; the client must also perceive that we understand .

When the client feels at some level that they have been understood, then the empathy circle is complete.

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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.

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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 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

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Encouragers, Paraphrasing and Summarising

A counsellor can encourage a client to continue to talk, open up more freely and explore issues in greater depth by providing accurate responses through encouraging, paraphrasing and summarising. Responding in this way informs the client that the counsellor has accurately heard what they have been saying. Encouragers, paraphrases and summaries are basic to helping a client feel understood.

Encouragers, also known as intentional listening , involve fully attending to the client, thus allowing them to explore their feelings and thoughts more completely. Paraphrasing and summarising are more active ways of communicating to the client that they have been listened to. Summarising is particularly useful to help clients organise their thinking.

The diagram below shows how encouragers, paraphrases and summaries are on different points of a continuum, each building on more of the information provided by the client to accurately assess issues and events.

Encouragers – Encouragers are a variety of verbal and non-verbal ways of prompting clients to continue talking.

Types of encouragers include:

  • Non-verbal minimal responses such as a nod of the head or positive facial expressions
  • Verbal minimal responses such as “Uh-huh” and “I hear what you’re saying”
  • Brief invitations to continue such as “Tell me more”

Encouragers simply encourage the client to keep talking. For a counsellor to have more influence on the direction of client progress they would need to make use of other techniques.

Paraphrases – To paraphrase, the counsellor chooses the most important details of what the client has just said and reflects them back to the client. Paraphrases can be just a few words or one or two brief sentences.

Paraphrasing is not a matter of simply repeating or parroting what the client has stated. Rather it is capturing the essence of what the client is saying, through rephrasing. When the counsellor has captured what the client is saying, often the client will say, “That’s right” or offer some other form of confirmation.

Example: I have just broken up with Jason. The way he was treating me was just too much to bear. Every time I tried to touch on the subject with him he would just clam up. I feel so much better now. Paraphrase: You feel much better after breaking up with Jason.

Summaries – Summaries are brief statements of longer excerpts from the counselling session. In summarising, the counsellor attends to verbal and non-verbal comments from the client over a period of time, and then pulls together key parts of the extended communication, restating them for the client as accurately as possible.

A check-out, phrased at the end of the summary, is an important component of the statement, enabling a check of the accuracy of the counsellor’s response. Summaries are similar to paraphrasing, except they are used less frequently and encompass more information.

  • July 21, 2009
  • Communication , Counselling Process , Encouraging , Microskills , Paraphrasing
  • Counselling Theory & Process

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Comments: 23

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Yeah,must say i like the simple way these basic counselling skills are explained in this article. More of same would be most welcome as it helps give a better understanding of the counselling process and the methods and techniques used within the counselling arena

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I really find this information helpful as a refresher in my studies and work. Please keep up the excellent work of ‘educating’ us on being a better counsellor. Thank you!

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Wonderfully helpful posting. Many thanks!

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Thankyou so much. I am doing a assignment at uni about scitzophrenia and needed to clarify what paraphrasing truly meant. Cheers

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So helpful to me as a counselor.

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Thankx so much for these post. I’m doing Counselling and Community Services and I need to clarify what summarising and paraphrasing really meant. Once again thank you, this information it’s really helpful

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Hello Antoinette friend and doing guidance and counselling need uo help about this question With relevent examples explain the following concepts as used in communicating to clients. (I;listening to verbal messages and using encouraged minimal prompts. 2)making use of non verbal communication and exhibiting attending behaviours using Gerald Eganis macro skill SOLER/ROLES. 3.paraphrasing 4.identifying and reflecting feelings and emotions from the clients story 5.summarizing 6.confrotation 7.counsellor self disclosure 8.asking open and close open ended concept 9.answering questions 10.clarifying

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thanks I am doing a counselling community services at careers Australia

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Really love the explanations given to the active listening techniques it was really useful and helpful good work done.

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Helpful. Thanks!

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I really like hw u explain everything in to simple terms for my understanding.

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Hai ,thanks for being here .Am a student social worker,i need help an an able to listen to get the implied massages from the client.and to bring questions to explore with them .I love to do this work .What shall I do i train my self in listening.

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really appreciate.

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You explanation of these three basic intentional listening are very helpful. Thank you for remained us.

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very helpful indeed in making the client more open and exploring the issues more deeply

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Very important cues.thanks

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the article was helpful .thank you for explaining it in more clear and simple words.appreciate it alot .

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I need to write about what counselling words mean ie I understand summarising and paraphrasing any more would be useful as I’m near the end of my course

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I have a role play exam tomorrow on counselling and find above explanation very useful. thanks for sharing.

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This explanation is clear and precise. Very easy to understanding than the expensive textbook. Please keep posting as this helps a lot. Thanks and God bless.

Pingback: Summarising In Counseling (a Comprehensive Overview) | OptimistMinds

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One of the simple and memorable descriptions of this I’ve read, thanks so much!

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