Academic Paraphrasing Skills
What is the difference between quotation, paraphrase or summary?
Quotation: is the exact words taken from the source. Use speech marks / quotation marks “…..”
Example: Smith (2010, p.221) states that “the Council spends £3.3 million each year on biofuel heating rather than £7 million it would spend if it still relied on oil and gas”.
Paraphrase: your understanding of the source in your own words (no page in Harvard Referencing)
Example: Smith (2010) highlights that £3.7 million is saved on heating by the Council from changing to biofuel sustainable energy.
Summary: this is the overall understanding of the key idea. A page, a couple of pages or a chapter.
Example:Smith (2010) suggests that the Council could save millions of pounds on heating from changing to sustainable energy.
The tools for the job
Paraphrasing is a difficult skill and needs constant practice. However, there a range of websites to help you paraphrase words and change the sentence structure. These four websites are important in good paraphrasing. For more information go here
Key steps to effective paraphrasing
1.Highlight important words / key terms (words that cannot be changed)
2.Find synonyms / alternative words for high frequency words
3.Change grammar: active to passive, nouns to verbs, adjectives to adverbs, word order
Paraphrasing step by step examples (using synonyms)
Original Sentence: ‘Memory is the capacity for storing and retrieving information’ (Smith, 2017).
1: Choose key words that can not be changed
Memory has the capacity for storing and retrieving information (Smith, 2016, p.21)
2: Find Synonyms for the other words
Memory is the capacity for storing and retrieving information.
Use Google or thesaurus.com to find a range of synonyms – like below
3. Choose the words that are similar in meaning or change the form (storing to storage)
- b) Memory is the facility for storage and recovering data. [paraphrased sentence – ok
4. Change the grammar, word forms and structure
- c) Data recovery and storage are facilitated in the memory. [paraphrased sentence – good]
Paraphrasing Lesson – how to paraphrase effectively!
It starts by discussing the differences between quotation, paraphrase and summary. It takes students through the basics of identifying keywords, finding synonyms and then changing the grammatical structure. There is plenty of practice all with efficient teacher notes. Level ***** [B1/B2/C1] Example / Webpage link / TEACHER MEMBERSHIP
Writing a paragraph: Paraphrasing
This lesson provides a number of quotations based around smoking. The lesson ask students to pick three quotes, paraphrase them and write a coherent paragraph using the paraphrases. It includes a model answer. More info.
Basic Paragraph Analysis: Free Download (new for 2020)
This worksheet provides a step-by-step guide to the key components of a paragraph. It analyses a basic paragraph on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) through structure, topic, cohesion, referencing and stance. It also includes a writing practice on Globalisation. Enjoy! Level: ***** [B1/B2/C1]
Academic Paragraph Analysis: block or point-by-point (new for 2020)
This lesson helps students identify the key elements in paragraph writing. It focuses on two paragraph structures; block and point-by-point. Students analyse each paragraph for structure, controlling ideas & key terms, in-text referencing, cohesion and author’s stance. It also includes two writing practices. Example. Level: ***** [B2/C1] MEMBERSHIP
Reading & Writing Argument: Essay [Mergers & Acquisitions]
Topic: Mergers & Acquisitions. Two short texts (included) – students read the texts, make notes of key arguments, and write a 400-600 word essay using in-text referencing and paraphrasing. The essay should follow (block / point-by-point structure) more info. Lesson includes teacher notes, outline & a model essay. Example Level ***** [B2/C1] / Webpage link. / TEACHER MEMBERSHIP
Writing a paragraph – using quotes about smoking
Students are given a worksheet with nine quotes taken from The New Scientist, BBC News, The Economist, etc… and choose only three. They use these three quotes to write a paragraph trying to paraphrase the quotes and produce a cohesion piece of writing. Level ***** [B1/B2/C1] Example / Webpage link / TEACHER MEMBERSHIP
Free lesson: Paraphrasing quotes
Here are a range of quotations adapted from an academic text on the topic of the Environment. Take the quotations and paraphrase them into suitable sentences with similar meaning.
Paraphrasing: writing worksheet
This worksheet provides paraphrasing practice. There are five sentences taken from an academic text and students paraphrase the sentences to keep the same meaning. Includes possible answers.
Practice ExerciseParaphrases these six sentences
Smith et al., (2010) state that ‘human activities can also change the climate.’
Peterson et al., (2010) point out that ‘climate is controlled by the long term balance of energy of the earth and its atmosphere.’
Smith et al., (2010) note that ‘winds and ocean currents redistribute heat over the surface of the earth.’
Jones & Smith, (2010) argue that ‘the atmospheric amounts of many greenhouse gases are increasing, especially carbon dioxide, which has increased by 30 % over the last 200 years, primarily as a result of changes in land use (e.g., deforestation) and burning coal, and natural gas (e.g., in automobiles, industry, and electricity generation).’
Lucus et al., (2010) mention that ‘the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere due to human activities will change the climate by enhancing the natural greenhouse effect, leading to an increase in in the earth’s average temperature.
Academic English / Paraphrasing Exercises
1) Smith et al., (2010) state that ‘human activities can also change the climate.’
It has been suggested that climate change is influenced by human activity (Smith et al., 2010)
2) Peterson et al., (2010) point out that ‘climate is controlled by the long term balance of energy of the earth and its atmosphere.’
According to Peterson et al, (2010) the lasting equilibrium of energy between the earth and the atmosphere is regulated by the climate.
3) Smith et al., (2010) note that ‘winds and ocean currents redistribute heat over the surface of the earth.’
The continuous distribution of warmth is through wind and ocean currents across the periphery of the planet (Smith et al., 2010).
4) Jones & Smith, (2010) argue that ‘the atmospheric amounts of many greenhouse gases are increasing, especially carbon dioxide, which has increased by 30 % over the last 200 years, primarily as a result of changes in land use (e.g., deforestation) and burning coal, and natural gas (e.g., in automobiles, industry, and electricity generation).’
Jones & Smith’s (2010) argument holds validity that over the last 20 years there has been a 30% increase in Greenhouse gases (CO2) due to the manipulation of the environment for the benefit of globalisation.
5) Lucus et al., (2010) mention that ‘the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere due to human activities will change the climate by enhancing the natural greenhouse effect, leading to an increase in in the earth’s average temperature.’
Lucus et al., (2010) argue that the earth’s average temperature is increasing because of human activity through the intensification of atmospheric greenhouse gases.