7 Effective Ways of Paraphrasing

Learning to paraphrase by rearranging words and using synonyms helps improve writing by expressing ideas in a unique way.

By:Amanda Montell

Published on : 2024-02-13, Last-Update: 15-04-24

Reviewed by: Amanda Montell

Table of Contents

If you're just starting with paraphrasing, it might seem tricky at first. Paraphrasing isn't as easy as just changing a few words—it takes practice and patience to understand it. But don't worry! We've got some helpful tips to make it easier. 

In this guide, we'll show you seven simple ways to rephrase text accurately and creatively. Whether you're a student, a writer, or just someone who wants to improve their writing, learning these techniques will give you more confidence. Let's start and discover how to express ideas in your own way!

1. Change the order of words

Changing the order of words is a key skill in paraphrasing. It means rearranging the words in a sentence while keeping the same meaning. This helps avoid copying while still showing you understand the original text.

When doing this, it's important to make sure the new sentence makes sense and flows well. Playing with word order can also make your writing more interesting.

To get good at this, practice is essential. Keep experimenting with different word orders until you feel comfortable. With practice, you'll get better at paraphrasing while keeping the original message clear.

For Example:

Original sentence: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog."

Paraphrased sentence (changing the order of words): "Over the lazy dog jumps the quick brown fox."

In this example, the order of words in the original sentence has been rearranged while preserving the main idea: a fox is jumping over a dog. Despite the change in word order, the essence of the sentence remains the same, demonstrating how this strategy can be employed to paraphrase content effectively.

2. Use Synonyms for Key Terms

Using synonyms for key terms is an effective strategy in paraphrasing. This involves replacing words or phrases with others that have similar meanings, while still conveying the original idea. By employing synonyms, writers can add variety to their language and avoid repetitive or redundant wording.

For Example:

Original sentence: "The dog chased the cat."

Paraphrased sentence: "The canine pursued the feline."

In this paraphrased sentence, "dog" is replaced with "canine" and "cat" is replaced with "feline," while maintaining the same meaning of one animal chasing another.

By using synonyms, writers can enhance the readability and richness of their writing while preserving the integrity of the original content.

3. Replace phrases with shorter alternatives

Replacing phrases with shorter alternatives is a useful strategy in paraphrasing, as it helps simplify sentences while retaining their original meaning. This technique involves finding concise alternatives to longer phrases, which can improve clarity and readability.

For Example:

Original phrase: "In spite of the fact that"

Shorter alternative: "Although"

By replacing the longer phrase with the shorter alternative, the sentence becomes more concise without changing its meaning.


Original phrase: "At this point in time"

Shorter alternative: "Now"

In this case, "at this point in time" is replaced with the simpler and more direct "now," maintaining the original temporal reference.

By using shorter alternatives for phrases, writers can make their writing more concise and impactful, ensuring that the essence of the original message remains intact.

4. Change active voice to passive, or vice versa

Changing between active and passive voice is a valuable technique in paraphrasing that can alter the focus and structure of a sentence while retaining its meaning.

Active voice emphasizes the doer of the action, while passive voice focuses on the receiver of the action or the result of the action.

For Example:

Active voice: "The chef prepared the meal."

Passive voice: "The meal was prepared by the chef."

In the active voice sentence, the emphasis is on the chef who performed the action of preparing the meal. In the passive voice sentence, the focus shifts to the meal itself and how it was prepared by the chef.


Active voice: "The team completed the project ahead of schedule."

Passive voice: "The project was completed ahead of schedule by the team."

By changing between active and passive voice, writers can vary sentence structure, add emphasis to different elements, and provide a fresh perspective on the same information. This technique is particularly useful in avoiding repetition and maintaining reader engagement.

5. Paraphrase Clauses or Sentences into Questions

Paraphrasing clauses or sentences into questions is a versatile technique that can add depth and engagement to your writing. This method involves transforming statements into inquiries, prompting the reader to consider the topic from a different angle or encouraging further reflection.

For Example:

Original sentence: "She completed the assignment before the deadline."

Paraphrased as a question: "Did she finish the assignment before the deadline?"

By restructuring the statement into a question, the focus shifts from a straightforward declaration to an inquiry, inviting the reader to ponder the timing of the completion.


Original sentence: "The company launched its new product last month."

Paraphrased as a question: "When did the company launch its new product?"

Transforming the statement into a question prompts the reader to think about the timing of the product launch, encouraging active engagement with the information presented.

Paraphrasing clauses or sentences into questions can also foster curiosity and encourage critical thinking, making it an effective tool for enhancing reader involvement and comprehension.

6. Summarize the main points in your own words

Summarizing main points in one's own words is a helpful technique to condense information while preserving its essence. This strategy involves articulating key concepts using simplified language, enhancing understanding and retention.

For Example:

Original instruction: "Summarize the main points in your own words."

Simplified version: "Recap key ideas in your own words."

In this example, the phrase "summarize the main points" is replaced with the shorter alternative "recap key ideas," maintaining the original meaning.


Original phrase: "In conclusion, it can be inferred that..."

Shorter alternative: "In conclusion..."

By substituting "it can be inferred that" with the shorter "in conclusion," the sentence becomes more concise without altering its meaning.

Utilizing shorter alternatives for phrases streamlines communication, making it more accessible and impactful, while ensuring the core message remains unchanged.

7. Adjust the tone or style to match your audience

Adapting the tone or style to suit your audience is an essential strategy in effective communication. This approach involves modifying the language, vocabulary, and overall presentation to resonate with the preferences and expectations of the intended audience.

For Example:

Original instruction: "Adjust the tone or style to match your audience."

Modified version: "Tailor your tone and style to suit your audience."

In this instance, "adjust" is replaced with "tailor," which conveys a similar meaning in a more concise manner.


Original phrase: "In order to cater to the needs of our clients..."

Shorter alternative: "To meet our clients' needs..."

By replacing "in order to cater to" with "to meet," the sentence becomes more concise while maintaining its original meaning.

By adjusting the tone or style to match the audience, communicators can establish a stronger connection, enhance comprehension, and foster engagement. This strategy ensures that the message is effectively received and resonates with the intended recipients.

Final Words

Learning how to paraphrase effectively can greatly improve your writing. By following these seven simple strategies, such as changing word order, using synonyms, and adjusting tone, you'll become better at expressing ideas in your own words. Keep practicing and you'll see progress in no time. Happy writing!