How to Paraphrase a Research Paper

Effective strategies to paraphrase research properly. A simple guide to rewriting content uniquely without plagiarizing.

By: Dustin Long, Published on: 2024-02-04 , Last Updated: 04-02-24

Reviewed by: Rachel Meltzer

Table of Contents

Sometimes research papers use advanced language that can be hard to understand. It's like they're speaking another language. But we're going to learn a cool trick called paraphrasing that makes those papers much easier to understand.

Rephrasing means rewriting something using everyday words you'd use with your friends. In this guide, we'll learn how to give those fancy research papers a makeover with simple words. No secret code is needed—just plain language that everyone can follow along with.

So if you come across a research paper that seems confusing, don't stress out. We'll turn it into something easy. 

Why do you need to Paraphrase a Research Paper?

Paraphrasing a research paper serves several important purposes.

1. Making it Easier to Understand

Research papers often have big words and complicated sentences. Rewriting helps simplify those words, making it easier for everyone to understand the ideas.

2. Speaking Everyone's Language

Not everyone talks in complex terms. Restating is like translating the paper into a language that more people can easily connect with.

3. Exchanging Good Things

Researchers want to share their discoveries with as many people as possible. Rephrasing helps spread the knowledge to a broader audience.

4. Avoiding Confusion

Big words can sometimes be confusing. Rewriting helps to explain and make sure everyone understands.

5. Connecting with More People

Imagine having an awesome story to tell. Paraphrasing makes sure that more people can join in on the excitement and understand what's going on.

Things to consider before starting to restate a Research Paper

Before you start rewriting a research paper, here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. When you are about to change things, ensure you really understand the research paper. Read it a couple of times to understand the main ideas.
  2. Break the paper into smaller sections. It makes the task less difficult and allows you to focus on one part at a time.
  3. Imagine you're explaining the concept to a friend who knows nothing about the topic. Use your own words, and don't be afraid to simplify complex terms.
  4. If there are specific terms or phrases used in the paper, make a note of them. You might need to find simpler words to convey the same meaning.
  5. Don't overcomplicate things. The goal is to make the information more accessible, not more confusing.
  6. While putting things in your own words, make sure you're not changing the meaning. The rephrased version should still capture the essence of the original.
  7. Even though you're putting it in your own words, give credit where credit is due. If you got the information from the research paper, acknowledge it.

How to Rephrase a Research Paper in 7 Steps?

Restating a research paper can be tricky, but with a few simple steps, you can do it smoothly. Let's break it down into seven easy-to-follow steps:

Step 1: Understand The Paper Carefully

First things first, read the research paper carefully. Make sure you fully understand the main ideas and arguments. If there are complex words or sentences, try to simplify them in your mind.

Step 2: Write Important Notes in Your Own Words

Now, grab a pen and paper (or open a digital document) and start jotting down the key points in your own words. Don't just copy-paste; express the ideas using your unique language. Imagine explaining the concepts to a friend who's not familiar with the topic.

Step 3: Focus on Sentence Structure

Look at the original sentences and think about how you can reorganize the information. Change their structure, but make sure the meaning stays the same. You're not trying to play word-swap; you're reshaping the presentation.

Step 4: Replace Key Terms

Identify the important terms or keywords in the research paper. Instead of using the same words, find synonyms or alternate expressions. This will help you maintain the original meaning while avoiding direct replication.

Step 5: Use Different Sentence Starters

Change your sentence starters to add a natural flow to your rephrased text. Instead of starting every sentence the same way, mix it up. This not only helps in avoiding repetition but also makes your writing more engaging.

Step 6: Check and Compare

After rewriting, compare your version with the original. Ensure that the core ideas remain intact. If you've unintentionally retained too much from the original wording, go back and rephrase it until it feels genuinely like your own expression.

Step 7: Review for Originality

Before you consider your restating complete, run your text through a plagiarism checker if you have access to one. This is an extra precaution to make sure your work is entirely in your own words. If any similarities are detected, revisit those areas and tweak accordingly.

Benefits of Rewriting a Research Paper

Restating a research paper can bring about some really good advantages. Let me break it down for you in simple terms:

  • It helps you understand better.
  • Rephrasing makes your content fresh without any worries about plagiarism.
  • When paraphrasing, it shows you've got a good handle on the topic. 
  • Rewriting helps you express ideas in a way that feels more like you.
  • It allows you to freshen up and make things more compelling.
  • When you put information in your own words, it sticks in your brain better. It's like making the material your own, and you're more likely to remember it.
  • Rephrasing lets you adapt the language to your style. 
  • It feels pretty awesome when you can rephrase a complicated sentence and still make it sound smart. It's like flexing your brain muscles and boosting your confidence in understanding the topic.

Things to avoid while Restating a Research Paper

  1. Don't just copy and change a few words. 
  2. Make sure you don’t just swap the words. 
  3. Try not to make the sentence structure too complicated. Keep it easy to understand.
  4. Don’t skip the main idea.
  5. Use less thesaurus in the paper. Keep it simple, like explaining it to a 10-year-old.
  6. Don't take bits from different sentences and put them together. Keep it all to the same thought.
  7. Make sure to give credit to the source.


Learning how to rephrase research papers helps make difficult ideas easier for everyone to understand. The seven steps we talked about make it simple to change fancy words into everyday language. Paraphrasing is not just about understanding; it's about sharing cool discoveries with more people. But be careful not to use too many similar words, and always give credit to the source. In the end, it is like a superpower that lets us share smart ideas with everyone in a way that's easy to understand.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. Why is rephrasing important in research papers?

It simplifies complex concepts, making research more accessible to a broader audience.

2. What are the initial steps in rewriting a research paper?

Read and understand the content, take notes in your own words, and reorganize information while preserving the core meaning.

3. Is there a recommended structure for restating a research paper?

Follow a structured approach: read, take notes, reorganize, replace terms, vary sentence starters, compare, and review for originality.

4. How do I translate complex academic language? 

Use simpler vocabulary and grammar to explain concepts clearly without losing meaning.

5. What are the benefits of rephrasing in a research context?

It enhances understanding, showcases intellectual capability, allows personal expression, broadens audience reach, and facilitates effective knowledge dissemination.