Worldwide educational institutes allow upto 8-10% plagiarism in academic writings. Therefore, students constantly look for techniques to escape plagiarism. Indeed, paraphrasing is the most effective strategy used to write a thesis without plagiarism.
In technical terms, paraphrasing is an act of restating a text with the same meaning but different wording. It is an essential technique in academic writing but you need a higher level of critical thinking and thorough reading to do it with accuracy.
The majority of the students commonly misunderstand the concept of paraphrasing. They think that its purpose is to summarize the text or simply substitute synonyms to make a text unique. It is not right as paraphrasing is a strategic way to rewrite a piece of content in unique, clearer, and improved wording.
Let’s discuss what is paraphrasing and what are the paraphrasing techniques that students can use to write a unique thesis.
What is Paraphrasing in Academic Writing?
Paraphrasing means rewriting a text differently while maintaining its inherent meaning. Most people misunderstand the term paraphrasing, assuming that it merely refers to rewording or rephrasing a text.
Rewording involves substituting synonyms for words in the text, while rephrasing alters the order of the words in the text. In an academic context, paraphrasing refers to putting someone else’s thoughts into your own words.
While writing a thesis, it is imperative to restate whatever data you collect from relevant studies in a unique way. Whenever you include a paraphrase statement, you must acknowledge the source properly to avoid plagiarism.
Whether you are copying ideas from another author’s research work, or even paraphrasing statements from your own previously published articles, you will need to cite them properly or else, it will be considered plagiarism.
Paraphrasing Techniques for Students to Write Unique Thesis
These are the most effective techniques that will help you paraphrase the text for your thesis with ease:
Use of Active & Passive Voice
When paraphrasing, many writers use this method. They read an article and alter its syntactic voice to make it unique. Yes, it works, but overusing passive voice will affect your text’s readability score.
In English, a sentence is typically constructed as Subject-Verb-Object which is in active voice. You can reverse this structure in passive voice as “Object-Verb-Subject”.
Some people think that passive voice adds formalism in writing. However, it may make writing more complicated for the readers to understand.
Indeed, excess use of anything is never good. In the same way, excessive passive voice may negatively affect the writing style and tone of your thesis. However, used appropriately, then the passive construction can add value to the thesis’s content quality.
You should focus on using active voice when paraphrasing as it keeps things simple without creating confusion between subject and object.
Use Compelling Words
If you want to grab your reader’s attention, your words must be compelling and convincing. When you are writing a thesis, you can substitute the unattractive parts of your text with more appealing and appropriate words.
Using correct synonyms is the most common technique of paraphrasing. This technique differentiates the original text from the paraphrased. This practice is also noticeable when we use a paraphrasing tool online.
When it comes to improving the readability of your writing, you need to use the right words and structure to make it clearer. Neither you repeat words nor use difficult words in your writing as it will be annoying for the readers.
It is important to remember that using strong words does not mean that you must use difficult words. From the reader’s perspective, strong words should have a beneficial effect, rather than something that reads like a scrolling message from the 18th century. Therefore, you must be wise with the words you choose to substitute and make your text unique and better.
Change the Grammatical Form
In this technique, we must examine the sentence constituents including predicate, adjectives, and adverbs. We must determine whether their grammatical form can be changed or not. The choice of words when replacing them with a synonym is crucial.
While changing the grammatical form of a noun or a verb, we need to ensure that the sentence or paragraph’s apparent meaning is not changed. Changing words shouldn’t alter the sense delivered in the original text.
An example can be taken as follows:
Original text: I am working on my research paper to make it unique to secure better grades in the evaluation.
Synonym changed: I work on my research paper to make it unique and ensure better grades in the assessment.
It is important to note that even when the grammatical form of the verbs and nouns is modified, the apparent meaning of the original text is preserved.
Use of Proper Tenses
There are always grammatical errors and misplaced tenses in research papers and studies. Even professionals can make this mistake in their thesis, which has a negative effect on their work.
Adjusting the noun-verb arrangement is essential to a successful result when writing a research paper. Moreover, another common problem is using singular verbs with multiple subjects.
if done with AI then paraphrasing can help you avoid these grammatical issues.
Use of In-text Citations
Suppose you are using direct quotes from previously published documents. So, write the Author’s name, book, or article and when and where it was published. Citations must be made in the text, and references must be made at the end of the thesis. A few common styles are used worldwide, named MLA and APA styles.
Example of in-text citation: According to the APA style, you can do the referencing like this. (Roose & Buttler, 2019, p.15). Here, you enlist the Author’s name, the publication’s year, and the page number.
MLA citation can be done like this: (Roose & Buttler, 15). In this format, you must include the Author’s name and the page number.
Use of a Paraphrase Tool
Many paraphrasing tools allow users to quickly rewrite large text sections to produce unique content. Some tools reorder the words in the text, and others simply replace the words with their synonyms.
Since students must understand the text’s meaning and rewrite it in their own words, these tools are suitable for thesis writing. Only a few paraphrasing tools are available which can paraphrase with high-level accuracy, precision, and efficiency.
Paraphraser.io is an effective paraphrasing tool that can help students to craft unique and compelling content with just a single push of a button.
Moreover, there are some tools that are designed to help users gather writing ideas through phrase templates derived from high-quality scientific documents. Students can use these phrase templates as guidelines to rewrite their texts.
Common Paraphrasing Mistakes Made by the Students while Writing a Thesis:
It is common for us to make some writing mistakes without knowing the basics of paraphrasing. It is also important not to copy words while rewriting.
This is a minor issue but has a significant effect on our writing. The reader is sometimes unable to understand an entire text due to these deficiencies, so that a paraphrasing tool will avoid these mistakes. So, it is necessary to consider avoiding the following mistakes:
Missing credits—giving incorrect or no credit to the authors while paraphrasing may lead to high levels of plagiarism. Furthermore, it is unethical and will negatively affect your research work.
Keeping the text as it is — you should not directly copy the text into your writing. Plagiarism tools can detect the text story to change its words, but remember that you don’t have to change the intent.
Missing out on information — Paraphrasing does not mean that you will lose information. Instead, your words should be complemented with facts and figures.
Using inappropriate synonyms – substituting synonyms for words is a common practice, but it can confuse if the meaning is not clear.
Some Practical Tips for Paraphrasing
Paraphrasing is undoubtedly a technique that takes a lot of time and practice to master. However, by following these tips, you can do it easily:
Make sure you read and understand the passage thoroughly to extract maximum information. Only read reliable sources for information.
Making notes based on your research and understanding will help you write. When researching and gathering information from various sources, summarize the main points to create unique content.
Researching will lead you to different structures and formatting. It is best to create your structure. When researching a specific topic, you can combine the formats you find.
Do not change the words right away. Read the whole paragraph first to understand the passage, then rearrange the words.
To produce quality content for a thesis, students must leverage the right paraphrasing techniques.
There should be no mistake in understanding that paraphrasing is not simply rewriting a thesis from scratch, in fact it is a way to escape plagiarism, improve choice of words, and perfect the writing style.
Whenever you rewrite content for your thesis using manual or AI-based paraphrasing, you should make sure that it is relevant, readable, and error-free.