Whether you are writing an essay, article or a scientific paper, at some point you will find yourself searching for a paraphrasing tool or sentence rephraser to look up for better words or a better way to say something. No worries, there are plenty of tools available that will help you reword, rephrase and rewrite your text. Most of these tools are available online for free. If you search for, “Online Paraphrasing Tools”, “Rewrite my Essay” or “Rephrase my Sentence”, in search engines, hundreds of search results with links to various paraphrasing tools will show up. These tools go by different names: article spinner, rewriting tool, rewording tool, paraphrasing tool, paragraph rewriter, sentence rewriter, text rewriter, sentence rephraser, paper rewriter, and essay rewriter. However, they all fundamentally work on the same principle of swapping the words with their synonyms and reordering the words to rewrite the text significantly different from the original but still retaining the core meaning of the sentence.
In this blog, we review the paraphrasing and rewriter tools available in the market at the moment and classify them based on their functionality. We spent months evaluating and testing hundreds of paraphrasing tools and sentence rewriters and have come up with the following classification.
1. Scholarly Paraphrasing Tools
Paraphrasing is a very important part of academic writing. Academic writers have to frequently use text from previous papers. If a piece of text is copied from a previous paper, it should either be enclosed in quotes and the source cited, or it should be rewritten with a different choice of words to avoid plagiarism. So it is very important that the writer uses a good scholarly paraphrasing tool to rewrite and rephrase the sentences when required. There are not many paraphrasing tools available exclusively for academic writing. Although most tools claim that they can rewrite academic text, but the choice of words used by these tools for rephrasing may not be formal enough to be academically acceptable. There is no shortage of resources for academic writing, but when it comes to automatic paraphrasing tools, REF-N-WRITE is the most popular rephraser that has been exclusively designed for scientific writing. Manchester Academic phrase library is another source that offers a good collection of phrases for academic writing.
2. Rewording Tools
Most of the paraphrasing tools use a synonym library in the back end to lookup for replacement words to rewrite the text. Although most of these tools call themselves paraphrasing tools, in our opinion, all they do is to reword the text with synonyms. Most of the paraphrasing tools and sentence rewriters available online can be classified in general as ‘rewording tools’ as they do nothing more than word replacements. Following is a list of paraphrasing tools available online that we found through search engines. The biggest problem with these tools is that they don’t do word-sense disambiguation, and hence the rewritten sentence may not be grammatically correct and might require a further review by the user.
3. SEO Rewriter Tools
SEO stands for search engine optimization. A large proportion of people searching for paraphrasing tools and sentence rephrasers are after tools to produce unique content for their website. They will typically copy and paste text from an existing source and use the paraphrasing tools to rewrite the text so the resulting content is unique enough to be used on their website without running into copyright issues. This may be acceptable for websites, but can be dangerous when these tools are used by students for rewriting academic text for use in college essays and research papers as it may be seen as plagiarism. Following is a list of sentence rewriter tools available online that claims to have been customized for SEO purposes.
4. Text Simplification Tools
This category of tools rewrites the text by replacing hard words with its simple equivalent. These tools are more focussed on helping users learn new words as opposed to paraphrasing and rewriting sentences. Some of the tools in the category allows the user to specify the type of text (legal, scientific, etc.) and difficulty type (mild, moderate, difficult) so the text can be processed according to the needs and requirements of the user. These tools are very handy for teachers looking for paraphrasing tools to simplify the text to suit students with learning difficulties. Following are some text simplification tools that are available online.
5. Rephrasing Tools
Although the terms ‘rephrasing tools’ and ‘rewording tools’ are used interchangeably, we define the terms rephrasing and rewording as follows. ‘Rewording’ is a process of simply replacing words in a sentence with their synonyms, whereas ‘rephrasing’ is a process of rewriting the sentence altogether which includes rewording and also changing the order of the words. Here we list some paraphrasing tools that do both rephrasing and rewording. These tools certainly use more sophisticated algorithms to paraphrase and rewrite sentences. The rewording process is challenging enough on its own as the meaning of the sentence should be retained after processing the text, and rephrasing adds an additional layer of complexity to the whole process. Following is a list of rephrasing tools available online.
6. Word suggestion tools
This class of tool provides users with word and phrase replacement suggestions and ideas instead of paraphrasing and rewriting sentences automatically. The benefit of this approach is that the tool presents a list of potential word and phrase replacements for each word or phrase in the text. Now, it is down to the user to decide what words and phrases to replace and then chose the appropriate alternative from the list. So the tool hands over the control to the user instead of attempting to reword or paraphrase the text itself. This approach has both advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that the user has complete control over the writing process, and the disadvantage is that these tools sometimes offer too many choices for word and phrase replacements and this can be overwhelming to the user. Following are some of the word suggestion tools currently available online. Please note that most of the tools listed below are paid tools.