Rewriting Articles – A Definition

There is a lot written in many of the more popular forums about rewriting or spinning articles. The debate at times becomes heated. What is lacking is a definition.


What is meant by rewriting an article? Rewriting articles or spinning them has been and is associated with articles that are gibberish. I have read material on the web that can only have been written by a robot, or perhaps by a third grade foreigner attempting to learn to read and write English. The results are much less than acceptable. In fact, they are abominable. If that is rewriting articles, then it should surely be banned from the web.

It is quite obvious that no human ever looked at the article before it was published on the web. I can only conclude that the article was composed by one of those automated non-human spinning services. Although, I have never used spinning services and I can only speak from my observation. And, my observation is not quantified. It appears as if the material is generated by substituting synonyms for specific words or by substituting phrases. The results seem to be generated without human intervention.

Another definition could be that of rewriting articles with some human intervention. The author selects specific words or phrases and allows the software to generate articles based on those substitutions. Again, human intervention is limited and the results often require significant editing to make the article ready for web publication. Of course, some article marketers may be only interested in SEO and publish the material “as is” resulting in sometimes nonsensical verbiage or at best second or third grade reading material.

If the definition of rewriting articles falls within either of these two definitions or methods, then I must agree with the naysayers and ask that all such work be banned from the internet. This is where the debate fails to distinguish between the traditional limited definition and a definition that is more universal.

Repackaged Articles

Few can deny that they have “repackaged” an article to save time or to quell a writer’s block. Rewriting or repackaging an article is acceptable. A publisher-editor of a well known and popular article directory once said, “Repackaged, rewritten articles on the same subject are hardly ever 100% unique.” He also said, “… the use of existing articles reworded or not, is not an issue.” Given that even repackaged rewritten articles are hardly ever 100% unique; would it be far fetched to describe those articles as spun articles? I think not.

So the hotly debated spinning issue comes down to what kind of rewritten articles are acceptable. It is not whether or not articles should be spun or rewritten; it is rather how they should be spun or rewritten and how they are used. That rewritten articles are acceptable is a fact. The quality of spun articles and their use are the issues.

Now that we have established that rewritten or spun articles are not an issue what remains is a debate over the quality and use of those articles.

Two Schools

Obviously there are two schools of thought. One school believes that spinning is wrong, bad, spamming, and black hat. The other claims that spinning is useful, not spamming, and good for SEO. The first school holds their view simply because of their limited definition of spinning. I doubt that not at least one of them have written on the same topic more than once. That they have, regardless of whether they used an existing article as a template or not, they put a new or different twist on the subject and in that sense the article was spun.

Fully Automated Services

One method is to use a spinning service. You submit an article to this service and they generate spun articles which then you can use or not. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, most often, the results are abominable.

Automated Human Assisted

Another method uses software that takes an article and replaces words that you identify with synonyms. This gives much better results than the first method. However, the results are still very often less than acceptable and require significant rewrites and editing to make them worthy of publication.

Human Generated

There is a third method that does generate high quality, informative, and unique content. In its strictest sense, this method is one of rewriting an article. The author rewrites the original article on a sentence by sentence or paragraph by paragraph basis. Needless to say this is very time consuming. You are better off just rethinking the topic an extemporaneously writing down the words.

What is the problem? How can properly rewritten articles not be valid informative quality articles? Negative responses elude me.

New to article marketing? Consider reading: Writing On The Web: An Introduction To Article Writing