80. How to Paraphrase

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Paraphrase

Write paraphrases without looking at the source text, and avoid synonym-substitution.

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DEFINITION AND USE OF PARAPHRASE

Paraphrase means changing the wording of a text without changing its meaning, while a paraphrase (with countable a) is the new wording created (see 14. Countable Noun Meanings 1). The main use of paraphrase in formal writing is to report (with a suitable academic reference) what another writer has said. This can also be done by quotation (see 79. Quotation-Writing Problems), but that is less common, being preferred only when there is a good reason for keeping the original wording, for example because it is clever or very concise or ambiguous.

Successful paraphrase has two major requirements: keeping faithful to the original meaning and changing the words in the right way. This post offers advice in both of these areas.

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THE DANGER OF CHANGING THE MEANING

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