The Three Ps of Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing is the process of saying or writing something differently than what it originally is but having it convey the same meaning. The process of paraphrasing has to be done while keeping different rules and regulations in mind. This post is about three of the main rules that we have dubbed the three “Ps” of paraphrasing.

Let’s take a look at those.

  1. First P of Paraphrasing: “Preserve” the meaning

The process of paraphrasing remains paraphrasing if the meaning is not changed. If the meaning of the text is subtracted from or added on, it becomes something else. Omitting details, for example, will make the changes more like summarizing rather than paraphrasing. On the other hand, adding details would make the process explaining rather than paraphrasing.

That is why the first rule of paraphrasing is preservation. You have to keep the meaning of the text preserved as it is. To do that, here is what you can do:

  • Before paraphrasing the text, read the text a couple of times to understand its meaning. Make notes of the main points it contains (if necessary).
  • When paraphrasing the text, make sure that the main points are adhered to in the changes that you make.
  • And once you are done with paraphrasing the text, read it a few times to check and make sure that the meaning is not altered or subtracted in any way.
  1. Second P of Paraphrasing: Be “Precise” with the changes

When a piece of text is paraphrased, the following are the types of changes that are typically made to it:

  • The words in it are replaced with their synonyms
  • The sentences are broken up into smaller sentences or joined together
  • The structures of the sentences, i.e., the way the object/subject appears, are changed

Now, when making the first change, i.e., the synonymizing, there are some situations in which you can replace a word with another that is technically its synonym but does not have the same connotation or nature.

For example, the word “scream” is a synonym of “exclaim,” but they don’t have the same connotation. An exclamation can be that of joy or excitement, whereas a scream would be of a typically negative nature in most cases.

In the same way, breaking and merging sentences is typically fine to do. However, in some cases, it may lead to changing the meaning if the sentences are split or merged in the wrong places or in the wrong way.

When paraphrasing your content, you have to take this into consideration. You have to make your changes precisely and in a calculated way. That way, not only will the meaning remain the same, but also the tone and style of the message.

  1. Third P of Paraphrasing: Be “Picky” if you are using an online tool

One of the ways in which paraphrasing is performed is by using an online tool. Many people can elect online paraphrasers since they are quick and they can make smart changes without deviating from the original meaning.

However, when it comes to using online tools, picking a good one is paramount. While there are benefits to using them, they only come out if the tool you’ve selected is high-quality.

If you use just any other tool for the job, you may end up having to make edits and changes afterward – which would just cost you more time and effort rather than less.

If you want to choose and use the best paraphrasing tool, here is a criterion that you can adhere to.

  • Look for a tool that has a large user base. If a tool is used by lots of people, it is an automatic indicator that the tool is awesome.
  • Make sure that the tool you use is AI-driven. There are standard tools available on the Internet that don’t use artificial intelligence, and their results are just meh. They don’t understand the content, and the changes that they make are not coherent for the most part.
  • You should also look for tools that have the right features that you need. The exact features that you need depend on the type of content that you want to paraphrase and the purpose for which you are paraphrasing it. For example, if you are a professional writer who has to paraphrase content on a regular basis and that too in bulk, you should look for a tool that has a large input limit and comes with a handy file-importing feature.

It has to be kept in mind that even if the tool you’re using is usually stellar in its performance, you should proofread the results before using them. There is always a chance of the tool making wrong changes – which could make their way into the final version of the content if you don’t spot and remove them.

Final Thoughts

And that brings our post to an end.

Paraphrasing is a useful technique, and it can be useful in many different situations. However, it remains so when it is done properly within the confines of all the necessary rules and regulations.The post above was about those rules and regulations. You have to preserve the meaning of the text that you are paraphrasing, be precise about the changes that you make, and be picky about the tool you choose if you want to delegate the process to a paraphrasing tool instead.

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