One way to paraphrase effectively and ensure your words aren't too close to the original is to paraphrase the source at the "ideas" level rather than sentence by sentence. To do this, you should
- read the original
- put it aside
- write down the main ideas in your own words without looking at the original
- afterwards, look back to ensure you've kept the essential meaning of the original source.
In general, paraphrases should be shorter, more succinct, and get to the main point quicker than their source passages. For example, read the extract below:
This would be long and unwieldy to paraphrase sentence by sentence. It is far more effective to extract the key idea, as the paraphrases below demonstrate: