A paraphrase is a restatement. Paraphrasing is an essential skill to master in the study of English literature. It's not always possible to quote the passages you would like to discuss; sometimes passages are too long and at other times too many quotes make your writing clumsy. It's important to be able to encapsulate the sentence or passage you wish to use, without copying the words. This is difficult because writers choose their words with care, which can make your own words sound poor in comparison. Perseverance is needed.
Try this quiz for practice.