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Paraphrasing is such a hard skill to master – and so very important! Paraphrasing is essential for many kinds of writing. Kids who don’t learn to paraphrase well will not only grow into poor writers but may also even resort to plagiarism, which is not at all a good thing. Here is a step by step plan for teaching paraphrasing to your students.
Start by Talking
- Reword – Replace words and phrases with synonyms whenever you can.
- Rearrange – Rearrange words within sentences to make new sentences. You can even rearrange the ideas presented within the paragraph.
- Realize that some words and phrases cannot be changed – names, dates, titles, etc. cannot be replaced, but you can present them differently in your paraphrase.
- Recheck – Make sure that your paraphrase conveys the same meaning as the original text.
At just 8.5 square miles, the Pacific island country of Nauru is one of the smallest countries in the world. The island was once rich in phosphate, but most of the resource has been mined, leaving damage to the environment behind. Nauru has a population of about 10,000 people.
Nauru is a Pacific island country that is only 8.5 square miles in area. It is one of the smallest countries on the planet and only about 10,000 people live there. Nauru has mined its once plentiful supply of phosphate. This has damaged the environment on the island.
Pulling It All Together
- paraphrasing from notes you have taken from the original text, rather than from the text itself.
- including quotes in your paraphrased writings.
- paraphrasing some parts and summarizing other parts.
- paraphrasing, summarizing, and including quotes all in one piece.
- using more than one source to paraphrase, summarize, and include quotes. (Throw in a bibliography, and what do you know? You’ve written an actual report!)
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