When doing syntactic paraphrasing, semantic paraphrasing has to be done as well. Merely changing the syntax can be considered lifting if the keywords are not paraphrased. Thus paraphrasing at the semantic level has to be done.
Syntactic paraphrasing is still useful to alert students that the syntax, structure or order of a sentence can be changed as long as the main meaning or point is retained. At times, students find it difficult to paraphrase and tend to use word-for-word substitution (which may not be appropriate all the time) because of the misconception that they must follow the original syntax of the given text. This could lead to much time being wasted on trying to think of synonyms or getting stuck (not knowing how to paraphrase).
Changing from the active voice to the passive voice and vice versa
People have overthrown tyrannical rulers.
→ Despotic rulers have been forced from power (by their people).
Despotic rulers have been forced to abdicate (by their people).
→ People have overthrown tyrannical regimes.
Combining sentences: There is a need to first see the connection or relatedness between the sentences. This is useful for the summary section as well.
Music can have deep effects on us. Pop, hip-hop, rock and jazz can influence how we feel and shape who we are.
→ Music can have a profound impact on us as it can affect our moods and define our individuality.
Breaking up a sentence into two or more sentences. This is useful if the sentence is too long or has several sub-clauses or parts. Students who are weak in grammar or language can consider using this technique, which can help them to digest and understand the sentence better.
Teenagers readily reveal their musical tastes on social networking sites as a coded expression of their personalities and values, thereby hoping to define who they are and show how they wish to be perceived by others, as a prelude to being accepted by them.
→ Youngsters willingly / openly share their musical orientation / inclination / preferences and allegiances on the social media. This is a subtle or symbolic reflection of their character and beliefs, as they want to express their individuality and create a particular self-image / image of themselves to others in order to gain social approval / belonging.