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Rephrasing Sentences Essay Writing Tips for Students

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Essay Writing

Essay writing is like a rite of passage of student life. All students have to go through it. No matter which grade they are in, they have to write an essay according to their level. In this article, we will talk about an especially important part of essay writing, rephrasing sentences. 

We will discuss why students should rephrase sentences and how they can do it. By the end of the article, you will understand both these things and be better equipped to write great essays. So, let us get into it.

 

Why Rephrase Sentences in an Essay?

So, why should we rephrase sentences in an essay? Well, we are going to give you three compelling reasons should you give heed.

 

  • Avoiding Plagiarism

 

Plagiarism is heavily frowned upon in academic circles. And students are part of that circle. So, if they commit plagiarism in their essays their teachers can and will penalize them for it. Some common punishments for committing plagiarism are:

  • Cutting marks
  • Failing the student
  • Suspending/expelling the student

To avoid these problems, it is important to go through your essay and check it for plagiarism. One of the easiest ways of avoiding plagiarism is to rephrase sentences that are plagiarized.

 

  • Improving Clarity

 

One of the aspects of grading an essay is how well-written it is. Essays with lots of good info but poor writing are not good essays, but an essay that is beautifully written even if it does not have a lot of info is still a good one.

So, the clarity of your write-up is necessary for getting good marks on your essay. 

And what is better than paraphrasing to improve the clarity of a write-up? Nothing! Paraphrasing covers it all. So, you should really paraphrase a sentence if it is too complex and hard to read or otherwise badly written.

 

  • Injecting Different Styles of Writing

 

Sometimes you need to write an essay in a specific style. But the thing is that students like to write in a particular style that is comfortable for them. Changing their style and actively writing in it is not so easy. 

But it is much easier to do after the essay is written by rephrasing it. You see most people find it easy to imagine how something could be rephrased in a different style rather than write it in that style, to begin with. That is why rephrasing is useful.

 

How to Rephrase Sentences in an Essay?

Now, let us see how you can employ rephrasing in your essay writing.

 

  • Understand the Meaning of the Sentence

 

To rephrase a sentence, you have to first understand it. What is the message of the sentence? Are there any key terms that are used? Are there any context-sensitive words? 

Understanding these things first is important because without knowing them, you may alter the meaning during rephrasing. 

Rephrasing is not supposed to change the meaning of the original sentence. Students can have trouble with this part, so to avoid the hassle they can use a sentence rephraser instead. 

A sentence rephraser is a tool that can automatically rephrase any given text without changing its meaning. They can apply different techniques of rephrasing as well to change the text in different ways.

 

  • Replace Words and Phrases with Synonyms

 

Once the student has understood the text that they need to rephrase they can start by using the most basic rephrasing technique, synonym exchange. 

Synonym replacement is a technique in which the words and phrases of a given text are replaced with their contextually correct synonyms.

It is the easiest technique of paraphrasing. Here is an example showing you how it works.

Original Sentence: The cat sat on the windowsill, observing the world outside.

Synonym Exchange: The feline perched on the windowsill, surveying the world beyond.

The underlined words are the ones that are synonymous with each other. You will notice that some of the words are only correct because of the context. For example, beyond and outside are not really synonyms in the traditional sense but in the context of the sentence they are.

 

  • Change Sentence Structure

 

This is an advanced technique of rephrasing as it involves extensive knowledge of grammar and the constituents of a sentence. In the simplest terms, changing the structure refers to moving around the parts of the speech in a sentence. 

The most common example of this phenomenon is the conversion of sentences from active voice to passive voice and vice versa. In active voice, the order of the sentence constituents is as follows:

Subject -> Verb -> Object

But in the passive voice, it is reversed. 

Object -> Verb -> Subject (?)

And sometimes the subject is completely removed from the equation. Here is an example of paraphrasing a sentence by changing its sentence structure. 

Original Sentence: The chef prepared a delicious three-course meal for the guests.

Sentence Restructured: A delicious three-course meal was prepared for the guests by the chef.

As you can see the verb (prepared) remained in place, but the position of chef and meal was switched. So that is sentence restructuring in a nutshell. A sentence rephraser can also do this so, if you find it difficult, just use a tool.

 

  • Split or Join Sentences

 

Splitting sentences that are too long and joining sentences that are too short is also a kind of rephrasing. You need to alter the sentences just enough to make sure that when you split/join them, they still make sense and retain their meaning. That is why it qualifies as rephrasing.

Here are some examples to show you how you can split or join sentences together.

Short Sentences: The sun was setting over the horizon. The stars began to appear in the night sky.

Long Sentence: As the sun set over the horizon, the stars began to appear in the night sky.

 

And let us see an example of doing the opposite as well.

Long Sentence: Greta could not find her belongings even though she knew for a fact that she had them by her side just two minutes ago.

Short Sentences: Greta could not locate her belongings. Greta could not locate her belongings.

So, as you can see there are marked differences between the split/joined sentences, yet they still convey the same meaning.

 

Conclusion

In summary, you need to rephrase sentences in essays to avoid plagiarism, improve clarity, and emulate a different writing style (if required). 

To apply rephrasing in practice you need to learn synonym replacement, sentence structure alteration, and splitting/joining sentences. 

If you can do all of that then you will be able to paraphrase sentences in essays easily. However, even if you cannot still rely on sentence rephrasing tools.

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