If you’re struggling with paraphrasing, then we’ve got some tips and tricks to help you break through any mental block you might be feeling and get your paraphrasing flowing again.
1. Focus on the Main Point
Read your original paragraph. Think about what the essence of that paragraph is – the general idea, the main point. Now write your new paragraph without looking at the original. If the paragraph consists of several key points, mull them over until the concept is clear in your mind, and then write about them without looking at the original. You could also do this at a sentence by sentence level. See what the point of the sentence is, let this role around in your head as you rephrase it and put it into different words. Say things out loud if that helps you. Figure out what the sentence is really saying and say out loud, “So what it’s really saying is . . .” or “Another way to say this is that . . .” Then after you’ve verbally or mentally worked out a different way to say what’s being said, write that down.
2. Be More Descriptive
Be more descriptive in your paraphrase or a bit more colorful with your language (in a good, professional way of course). If you’re describing something that’s bigger or better, you can say it’s “significantly,” “really,” “noticeably,” “actually,” bigger or better. Instead writing in absolute terms and saying something “is helpful,” you can write in more general terms about how many people perceive this. You could say “for many people this is a really helpful feature” or “a lot of people find this to be a really helpful improvement.”
Use Idioms – Common Phrases or Sayings
You can also consider restating things by slipping in sayings, common phrases, or jargon (idioms) that your audience is most likely familiar with. Just make sure it’s appropriate, professional, and not too weird. Don’t get carried away with something like this. You don’t want to turn off potential clients.
Here are some common idioms that would be fine to use as they are professional and well understood:
We’re not saying you should use these, but when you’re paraphrasing a lot of text, it’s nice to have options to consider.
3. Change or Reverse the Order
Consider reversing the order of what you’ve written in a sentence.
Our company’s service can not only save you money but it can provide you with peace of mind knowing that you don’t have to worry about this anymore.
We find our company’s service often provides people with peace of mind since they can now rest assured that everything is taken care of. An added bonus is that this can actually save you money.
You can also consider reversing the order of the details or information you’ve laid out in a paragraph. If it makes sense to do this, moving sentences around will usually require you to slightly re-write them so that they flow and make sense in the new order. Doing this can take care of a lot of the paraphrasing for you.
4. Get Someone Else to Paraphrase Your Work
Write your page of content in collaboration with a colleague or friend. You can offer to do the most work and write the article. You can then ask them to paraphrase what you’ve written: paragraph for paragraph. We each have a different way of saying things. So it shouldn’t be too difficult for someone to take what you’ve said and repeat it using their own words (in many cases – if you work with the right person – this can be very easy or actually fun for some people). If you take this approach, make sure you edit the other person’s work and massage it to make sure the tone of their work matches your own. When you do this you are working to harmonize the paraphrase with the original content – even editing the original work as it makes sense to do so – so that they both read and flow as if they were written by the same author.
5. Use the Built-In Thesaurus in Microsoft Word
The thesaurus in Microsoft Word can be very helpful when you’re paraphrasing. Type your content in Word and right click on any word you would like to find a synonym for (a synonym is a different word that means the same thing or something similar). When you click (left click) in the middle of a word in Microsoft Word, the vertical flashing line will appear there. You can then right click on that word and a menu will appear. Near the bottom of the menu will be the word “Synonyms.” Let your mouse hover over this word and a list of synonyms will appear to the right. You can then look through the list of synonyms to find one that might be a good replacement for the original word. Click on any word on the list that you wish to use to replace the original word.
- If you can’t find a good synonym on the list, you could try using one of them and then look up the synonyms of that word. Sometimes this will get you a different list of synonyms that may prove helpful.
- Finding of thinking of a good synonym can often inspire are different way of phrasing a portion of a sentence to better fit the different word. If this happens to you, go with it.
- While replacing words with synonyms may seem like an easy way to paraphrase your content, it’s not the best approach. So don’t get too carried away doing this. Many times it can actually be a lot faster to replace a complete sentence with a new one that says the same thing in a different way rather than look up synonyms one by one. Paraphrasing a complete sentence also makes your new sentence much more unique and different than the original sentence. Paraphrasing things well will help to make all of your new geo pages unique in Google’s eyes. You don’t want them to penalize you for using duplicate content. Other than one or two pages out of 500 that Google didn’t seem to recognize, we’ve never had an issue with being penalized because we’ve always tried to make sure our content is paraphrased fairly well.
6. Simplify Things
Try simplifying what’s being said. Put it in layman’s terms – words that anyone can understand. Rather than being concise, open things up a bit and be a bit more wordy (see an example of this below in green). You can also take somewhere where you have used a lot of words and make it more concise. However, if you become descriptive about what you’re being concise about, you won’t lose any words in the process. In normal writing you wouldn’t do this, but when paraphrasing geo pages, this can be a worthwhile technic (see an example of this below in blue).
Undertaking this process in the traditional way results in a waste of materials, labour, and valuable project time.
Trying to complete this process the way it’s typically done often results in an unnecessary waste of valuable resources.
7. Break Up Sentences
Break a longer sentence up into shorter sentences. This should naturally give you opportunities to re-phrase things. Doing this can also get you thinking about the ideas in the sentences a bit differently and create even more opportunities to re-word things.
8. Use a Different Form of a Key Word
Another way you can spark a different way of saying something is to think of a different form of one of the keyword words in a sentence. The word “consolidate,” for example, could be used in the following ways: “consolidation”, “consolidating”, “consolidated”, or “consolidates.” So if I want to paraphrase a sentence that reads, “We can help you consolidate your debts,” and I realize that there are a number of different ways to use the word “consolidate,” I can then say, “If you’re looking for debt consolidation, we can help,” or “We can assist you with consolidating the debts that you have.”
We all have different ways of saying things. We each have our own phrases that we’ve picked up somewhere. When we think of a different variation of a word, often we will have a different way of expressing a thought using the different form of that word. Here are some more examples:
“We understand the importance of keeping up to date with…”
“We know how important it is to stay current with…”
“…it can potentially cause health problems…”
“…it has the potential to result in health issues…”
Let Us Know if You Have Any Helpful Paraphrasing Tips or Tricks
Hopefully you’ve found at least a few paraphrasing tips and tricks here that help you. If you have any other tips you think might be helpful to others, feel free to let us know. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.