5 Painful Mistakes I’ve made When Trying to Paraphrase My Paper the First Time

Paraphrasing is definitely not for everyone. There are some people it comes naturally to and then there are the others. I definitely remember the first time I had to paraphrase my paper and I failed. We all have certain skills and some of our skills need to be practiced. This is what I have learned when it comes to paraphrasing. I was not very good at it the first time around, but I have managed to improve my skills since then.

It takes a lot more time than I anticipated. The focus that goes into rephrasing large amounts of content is draining. There are so many elements you have to think about. The paraphrased content has to be completely different from the original, but it also cannot change the meaning. Sure, it sounds like you can use a few synonyms, but it is more complicated than that. You have to commit a certain amount of time to the process of rephrasing. These 5 mistakes have taught me valuable lessons that I would not have learned if I never made any.

Direct translation

When we look at languages, we already know that you cannot simply directly translate word for work. Well, this is the approach I took and I realized that it is a mistake. The entire context needs to be taken into consideration. When you directly translate word for work, the context can actually change a lot. When you are a paraphrasing essay, you need to do so with the entire paper. I thought I was being clever in my approach but I don’t do that anymore.

No cite

I thought that I was paraphrasing to pass the content as my own. Unfortunately, this is not how it works. You still have to cite the paraphrased work, especially if it is based on facts. People put a lot of work into coming to some conclusions. You cannot take credit for the work they have put in. Paraphrasing may help you to a point, but still, give credit where it is due.

Exact structure

Paraphrasing requires you to rewrite content that is already good. Besides changing the words in the content, you also have to change the structure. Another mistake I made without realizing it. This goes hand in hand with the direct translation mistake. Only when you understand the content fully, can you make sure moves? Writing can be more complicated than one thinks, but if you stick to the foundation rules, there should not be a problem. We all learn and improve through practice.


This might be due to personality, but I have over thought every work I paraphrased and it only complicates it more. You keep looking at the content and wanting to make more changes. Sometimes there is no need to do this. Be careful not to over analyze content that is already good. You can end up making more mistakes by trying to fix it. A text paraphraser will show you the same. If you still work on it after a tool has, it may be time to step away.

Not enough time

When it comes to paraphrasing, you definitely need a lot more time than you think. In my mind, I was going to rewrite this paper and it is going to be a breeze. It was actually a lot more difficult than I anticipated. You are not going to get it right on your first try, so this is also something I did not budget any time for.

Have you tried paraphrasing before?

It can be a fun process, but when it is attached to a very important essay, it definitely adds pressure. Know what your limitations are and work on improving daily. Over the years, I have practiced my paraphrasing skills because I failed so dismally. It is definitely tons better today. Put in the effort and you will get the results you desire. Never stop trying to improve your writing skills and capabilities. You can always use it again at a later stage. We are always writing, even if we are not professional writers.

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