Paraphrasing involves taking a passage - either spoken or written - and rewording it. Writers often paraphrase sentences and paragraphs to deliver information in a more concise way, as you'll see in the examples below. When paraphrasing, it is important to keep the original meaning so that the facts remain intact. Basically, you are writing something in your own words that still expresses the original idea.
Paraphrasing is common when writing an essay or research paper. It allows you to explain important ideas in your own writing style and focus on the information that is most useful in making your point. Even when you put someone else's ideas into your own words, you must cite the source of your information. This gives credit to the original author for their ideas.
Paraphrasing is slightly different than summarizing. When you summarize a passage, you focus on restating only the main idea in your own words. Paraphrasing, on the other hand, aims to provide most of the information in a slightly condensed form. Summaries are much shorter than the original passage, while paraphrasing can be shorter, longer or the same length.