Paraphrase Examples


Paraphrase means to reword something that is written or said by someone else using your own words. So, instead of quoting the person-using their exact words-you paraphrase-put what they said into your own words. You must keep the main idea of what is said or written the same.

We often paraphrase the thoughts of others when we are writing or speaking in response to texts. It is important for you to understand how to paraphrase because it helps you to avoid overreliance on quoting the text or plagiarizing the text.

Examples of Paraphrase:

Excerpt from Romeo and Juliet-Juliet's speech:
O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name.
Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love
And I'll no longer be a Capulet.
'Tis but thy name that is my enemy:
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? It is nor hand nor foot
Nor arm nor face nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O be some other name.
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

Paraphrase: Juliet wishes that Romeo would give up his name, or if he will love her, she will give up her name. He is not her enemy, even though his family, the Montagues, are enemies of the Capulets. The name, Montague, means nothing-it is not as much a part of Romeo has his hands, feet, arms, face, or other body parts. A name means nothing. A rose would still be a rose even if it were called something different.

Excerpt from To Kill a Mockingbird:

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.

Paraphrase: You must consider things from the other person's perspective, rather than your own, if you wish to really understand him.

Quotation from John F. Kennedy, Jr:

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.

Paraphrase: Instead of attempting to deal with problems by choosing one ideological position rather than another, let us choose a position that is the right, or best, way. Rather than focusing on blaming each other for the past, let's jointly agree that we are responsible for the future.

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