Can you Paraphrase?
published by Andrei Paul
Paraphrasing – that is, restate a passage in different wording without changing the meaning – is an important part of the TOEFL exam. In the reading section of the exam you will be asked to recognize paraphrases, and creating your own paraphrases in the speaking and writing sections will be sure to boost your overall score. How are your paraphrasing skills right now? If they aren’t up to par, or you don’t know how to paraphrase something, follow these steps:
Select a passage and read it over and over until you are certain you understand main idea of the passage.
Put away the passage – if you look at it while completing this exercise you may be tempted to copy the passage word for word – and that’s plagiarism, not paraphrasing!
Write down the passage as if you were explaining the idea to someone who had never read this passage before.
Compare what you have written to the original passage. Did you use your own words? Did you use different sentence structure? Most importantly, did you keep the original idea the same? If the answer to those questions is yes – congratulations, you’ve paraphrased! If not, head back to Step one (with a new passage) and try again.
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