Paraphrasing: Sometimes you can have trouble figuring out what an author means. You can often make more sense of a writer's thoughts by paraphrasing. To paraphrase, you read the passage and figure out, often piece by piece, what the author's message is. Then you change the author's words into your own words by using synonyms (words that have similar meaning) and by simplifying what is said. A paraphrase might be shorter than the original, but not always.