The Art of Paraphrasing

Imagine watching a cricket match, be it on your television screen or seeing it live in the cricket stadium. Every single time our favorite batsman is on strike, we want him to hit a four or six. Little do we know about the kind of ball the batsman is going to receive, maybe it’s a yorker, short ball, or a half volley, the time, speed, and the distance the ball covers and then lands on the bat to which the batsman responds is going count the respective runs scored.

Similarly, paraphrasing is the understanding and contemplating of an author’s words and ideas to further proceed with our own. The best possible way to do this is to opt for a stepwise process in which right from the initial step to the last step everything is properly listed.

Paraphrasing is not a day’s task, it requires time to master and it is one of the most important things when it comes to writing. It is essential in terms of writing as requires a lot of reading and playing with words in a precise manner when keeping things original. In the recent times, content is everything and by content I mean good and original content, which is new, fresh, and never seen before. This way it attracts the attention of many and leads to become popular amongst all.

One of the simplest and easiest way to improve grammar is to start reading a lot and also by talking and using the words which are learnt on a daily basis. Language is an art and having command over it is like every author’s wish, but it involves a lot of efforts and practice for doing it.

This skill of paraphrasing should be inculcated in student’s right from a young age. It will help them progress with vocabulary, grammar, communication, and writing. In school, effective initiatives from teachers like conducting a storytelling time, writing a story, delivering a speech will boost a student’s confidence and also help in learning the language in depth. To remember some of the key points in paraphrasing, the teachers can also conduct a classroom activity in which students can be split in groups. Four groups can be created in which each can represent a key point and similarly process for other groups. The teacher can now give the classroom one paragraph which has to be paraphrased and each group has to do their part respectively to get the final answer. A quick overview of the same:

  • Group 1 – This Group can work on finding synonyms of words and phrases and replace it whenever possible. (Paraphrasing can contain synonyms which are precise.)
  •  Group 2 – After Group 1 completes their part, the Group 2 can jump in and continue further with their part. This Group can form the sentences by rearranging the words and make new sentences while keeping the same meaning. (Paraphrasing contains sentences which are new with originality and also the voice of the sentences can be changed vice versa while paraphrasing)
  • Group 3 – After Group 2 has completed their part, the Group 3 can ensure that the facts in the paragraph does not change for e.g. titles, names, dates, events and etc. Also doing a through grammar check is needed. (Paraphrasing contains the exact facts which cannot be replaced at all)
  •  Group 4 – After Group 3 has finished their part, the Group 4 can do the final analysis of the paragraph by making sure that there is no plagiarism and also it depicts its original meaning.

Using the correct words to form a sentence with the right punctuations and grammar is what all that is required. Juggling between the words to form sentences and further will conclude to form a paragraph that goes ahead to create meaningful paraphrases.

After school, a quick homework routine of learning five new words every day and forming new sentences can help with this skill. Even reading a paragraph and writing it differently without changing its meaning while representing its originality is something students can opt for. As it is said, “Practice makes man perfect”, it is so true in this case, and paraphrasing is a skill which one will master after continuous practice and efforts.

— Apurva Bhosale

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