How to Paraphrase Quotes in an Essay?

Writing an essay is like a routine task in the life of a student. It’s important to improve your essay writing skills if you want to grab good grades during your academic career. When you are a kid, your essay can match a fellow student because you’re taught the same thing in class.

But as you grow up, copy-pasting will not be encouraged. And as you reach high class, college, or university, plagiarism becomes a crime.

Quotes Can Red Flag Your Essay

When you write an essay, especially on a personality, you will have to add quotes. Quotes are exact words from that person and excessive use of quotes can red flag your essay because it can increase the plagiarism from the allowed threshold.

You can’t neglect the quotes because that’s what you are writing about but you have to avoid plagiarism as well. So, the only way out of this problem is paraphrasing.

What is Paraphrasing?

Restating something in a way that makes it different from the source without hurting the meaning and essence of the sentence or source, is called paraphrasing. Paraphrasing is something you must learn if you’re a student because it will give you a career-saving hand at various stages.

When adding quotes is making your essay flagged by a plagiarism checker, you can use the paraphrasing technique to change the words of the quotes by keeping the essence alive. But there’s another issue with paraphrasing, it’s time-consuming. You will have to read every sentence and will have to spend some time thinking about and paraphrasing it.

Online Paraphrasers Save Time

As we know paraphrasing eats time and that’s what a student doesn’t want to do. But wait, there’s a solution “online paraphrasing tools”. The web is full of paraphrase tools, free, and paid, which you can use these paraphrasers to paraphrase online for quick paraphrasing purposes.

When choosing an online paraphraser, don’t choose the conventional one which is nothing but a spinner or word changer. You can find AI and NLP-based paraphrasing tool which is far better than the conventional ones.

When Paraphrasing Quotes is Necessary?

We already discussed one of the reasons why paraphrasing quotes become necessary. There are other triggers which must keep in mind so that you can nip the plagiarism in the bud.

  • When the quote is spread to a considerable length it can cross the allowed plagiarism threshold.
  • When the wording or grammar of the quote is not proper.
  • When the quote is technical to understand by the layman.

Practical Ways of Paraphrasing Quotes

Quotes that we add or plan to add in our essays are often from experts in the field and we can’t match their knowledge and level. That’s why we’ll have to be extra cautious while paraphrasing the quotes because it’s not an ordinary paraphrasing. Here below, I’ve tried to jot down some of the tips, tactics, and practical methods to deal with the quotes paraphrasing:

1.     Get the Gist

Read the quote, again and again, to get what the author tried to say. Try to extract and understand the gist of the quote.

2.     Jot Down Power-Phrases

If the quote is wordy, there would be some power phrases describing or focusing on the central idea. Jot down those power phrases.

3.     Know the Context

Try to know the context of the quote, the cultural background of the author, and the scenario where those words were said. It will make you clear why the author used those certain words because sometimes, we see a vague word that doesn’t fit in but if we read the context and scenario, that word always makes sense.

4.     Paraphrase Cautiously

Paraphrase the quote once the above steps are done. Keep in mind that you’re trying to avoid plagiarism so, try to change words except for those power phrases. It can be time taking thing if the quote is wordy so you always have to option to use a paraphraser for better rephrasing.

5.     Cite it Properly

Although you have paraphrased the quote in your own words, don’t be shy to add a reference to let the reader know that the basic idea is from another author. It will build the credibility of your essay. So cite it properly, according to the style you’re following [MLA or APA] even if you’re describing and explaining quotes in your own words.

Take Away

Adding quotes is almost necessary when you’re writing academic essays. But the problem with adding quotes is that it triggers plagiarism which can be an issue. To avoid the issue, the paraphrasing technique can be used. You will have to follow certain rules and tips that we mentioned here to effectively paraphrase quotes in your essay.

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