Paraphrasing Worksheets

All About These 15 Worksheets

Paraphrasing involves rephrasing the words of others to convey the same meaning in a new and original way. It’s an important skill to develop for writing essays, research papers, and for understanding complex texts. We work on a wide variety of skills including:

Passages to Paraphrase –  These include short passages that students are asked to paraphrase. This helps students practice putting ideas into their own words.

Comparing Paraphrases – Students might be given an original passage and several paraphrased versions, and asked to identify the best paraphrase. This can help students understand what makes a good paraphrase.

Paraphrase and Original Side by Side – These include an original text and a paraphrase side by side, asking students to identify the similarities and differences. This can help students understand how to maintain the original meaning while changing the wording.

Originality Awareness – The focus here is on distinguishing between paraphrasing and plagiarism, teaching students the importance of changing the structure and words of the original text significantly, and of giving credit to the original source.

What Are the 3 Ways of Paraphrasing?

Here are three common techniques for paraphrasing:

1. Change the Word Order

Changing the sentence structure can be an effective way to paraphrase. Be careful to ensure that the new sentence still accurately represents the original meaning.

2. Use Synonyms

Replace words with their synonyms, but be careful about the words that have no exact synonym or whose meanings vary based on context. Always double-check to make sure that the synonyms fit the context and preserve the original meaning.

3. Change the Voice

If the sentence is in active voice, you can change it to passive voice, and vice versa. However, you should use this method judiciously as overuse of the passive voice can make your writing seem weak or awkward.

Let’s take an example sentence to illustrate these techniques:

Original sentence: “The cat chased the mouse.”

Change the Word Order: “The mouse was chased by the cat.”

Use Synonyms: “The feline pursued the rodent.”

Change the Voice: “The mouse was being chased by the cat.”

Remember, even when you paraphrase, you must provide appropriate citation. Paraphrasing is not just about changing words but about fully understanding and conveying the original idea in your own style. Even if you’ve put the idea into your own words, it’s still someone else’s idea, so it’s important to give credit where it’s due.

What Are the 5 Steps of Paraphrasing?

Step 1: Read and Understand the Original Text

First, thoroughly read the original text to ensure you fully understand the meaning. You might need to read difficult or complex texts several times before you grasp the core idea.

Step 2: Identify the Main Ideas

Once you understand the text, identify the main ideas that you want to include in your paraphrase. This step might involve taking notes or highlighting key points in the text.

Step 3: Write Without Looking at the Original

Put the original text aside and write the paraphrase in your own words. This helps to ensure that you’re not just substituting words with synonyms but truly expressing the idea in a new way.

Step 4: Compare With the Original

After writing, compare your paraphrase with the original text. Make sure you have accurately represented the main ideas and details, and that your paraphrase is significantly different from the original. Check that you haven’t inadvertently used the same phrases or sentence structures.

Step 5: Cite the Source

Even though you are paraphrasing, the ideas are still someone else’s, so it’s important to appropriately cite the source of the information. The citation style (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago) you use will depend on the academic discipline or the preference of your instructor or institution.