As freelance writers, many of us may come across a request to rewrite an article that the client has referred us to. Sometimes, the client asks us to take a published article written professionally and “make it original because if it won’t pass Copyscape I will reject it.” Other times it is a blog piece that needs to be rewritten for grammar. Since I have worked on a number of these assignments lately, I thought it might help others if I shared my tips for article rewrites.
Tip #1: Read the article you have to rewrite a few times. Do not print it out. Using just your memory, write the new piece. Paraphrasing the work from memory will cause you to write from a fresh perspective worthy of paid article writing.
Tip #2: If the article is barely literate, copy it and first put it into readable copy. After you have done this then follow Tip #1.
Tip #3: If the piece you are using as the basis of the new article does not have bullet points try to use at least one bullet list. Likewise, if bullet lists are in the original then make them into a narrative. This will refresh the article from a stylistic perspective.
Tip #4: Use a thesaurus. Changing of words (other than keywords) is a great way to add interest and freshness to the article. For instance, I have now used refresh, fresh and freshness in this article, but, my thesaurus suggests other words like up-to-date or state-of-the-art. If I chose to use up-to-date then a more interesting sentence would emerge.
Tip #5: Do a little research. To make sure that the information in your rewrite is up-to-date, make sure the article you are rewriting does not have outdated information. Recently I rewrote a legal article about worker’s compensation. The original article had information on worker’s compensation from 2005, though the current information was from 2010. When I submitted the article I informed the client of the outdated original information and that I had changed it. He gave me 5 stars and thanked me for the update. In addition, if you follow Tip #1 for your research you will find that you add interesting information related to the article which helps you meet word count requirements without “stuffing fluff.”
Tip #6: Check the facts. One recent article I rewrote made reference to Buena Park. For some unknown reason I repeatedly used Buena Vista—perhaps because as a child my Mom and Dad never took me to Disney World in Buena Vista, FL. The client did send it back as clearly his shop was located in Buena Park. I made the changes, apologized for my temporary insanity due to childhood trauma and asked him to place me on his Love list. Apology accepted but I did not make his list—because I did not check the facts.
Tip #7: Paperrater.com is a great free tool. It checks grammar, spelling and originality. If you are doing an article rewrite and you do not know its origin, you really want to make sure that your work is original. Although it uses a different way of checking for plagiarism than Copyscape, it does pick up possibly plagiarized passages and cites the source(s). In addition it has a neat feature that suggests changes for some words to avoid redundancy or clichés. It will increase your writer proficiency and is free.
Alan K is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments. WriterAccess is powered by ideaLaunch.