Paraphrasing means rewriting a document using different words and changing the style, sentence structure and even whole blocks of text, while most importantly retaining the original meaning. This is best done by an experienced editor who has a good command of language and an extensive vocabulary.
Students, and others doing research work, read a considerable amount of material written by experts in whatever field is being researched. In doing this, there is always a possibility of students or researchers, knowingly or unknowingly, quoting someone else’s work as if it is their own. This is known as plagiarism and is dishonest. Additionally, when a student quotes directly from someone else’s work, this gives no indication that the student actually understands the quotation, which is not likely to be advantageous when the examiner assesses the paper. In fact, most universities now use specialist software which is able to detect plagiarism, which if detected could mean a student failing an assignment.
There are basically two ways to avoid plagiarism. Firstly, direct quotations should always be accompanied by a citation giving the name of the author, the title of the work and the date, among other information. If another person’s work is quoted directly without a citation, this may well result in a breach of copyright. There are particular styles and methods which standardise citations, such as Chicago and Havard. It is therefore wise for a student or researcher to be assisted by an experienced editor who is familiar with these citation styles.
Secondly, the work can be paraphrased without quoting directly from the source, although it may still be good practice to mention the name of the source. A good understanding of the text is necessary in order to rewrite it in one’s own words and this is likely to impress the examiner. This is best done by an experienced editor who can paraphrase the work in a way that flows well and does not appear ‘awkward’ or ‘artificial’ while accurately retaining the meaning of the original.
Additionally, the editor will ensure that the document is of a formal and good academic standard including correct spelling and grammar.