Many students who take the TOEFL iBT do not understand how to summarize other people’s ideas. However, without framing information from the speaker’s or writer’s point of view, their integrated speaking or writing task will sound like they are asserting the ideas and not the author or speaker from the reading or listening passage. Consequently, it will be unclear how what they say relates to the reading or listening passage, and they will score lower on their integrated speaking or writing tasks. Keep reading this article so you can learn how to paraphrase other’s peoples ideas from their point of view and not yours.
What is a paraphrase?
- When you paraphrase something, you are using your own grammar and vocabulary to re-explain the ideas.
- Moreover, you include a voice marker into the sentence to acknowledge the source you are re-explaining.
- Typically, unlike a summary, a paraphrase includes roughly the same number of words as the original source.
- A paraphrase is used to simplify a complicated sentence, and it can be used to highlight an important fact, detail, or statistic that you want to point out.
- Paraphrases should include an objective tone, so do not embed any arguments. In fact, you should use an objective tone throughout the integrated writing task and all integrated speaking tasks, except for integrated speaking task 5 (Listening, Speaking–Casual) in which case you are asked to summarize two solutions to a problem and explain which one you think is most practical.
How you can paraphrase one sentence by embedding voice markers at the beginning, middle, and end of the sentence
Original sentence from a TOEFL reading passage: Euphemism is an inoffensive or positive word used to avoid a harsh, unpleasant, or distasteful reality.
The author asserts that euphemisms, which are used instead of talking directly about an unpleasant situation, are polite words with positive meanings.
Euphemisms, which are used instead of talking directly about an unpleasant situation, according to the author in the reading passage, are polite words with positive meanings.
Euphemisms, which are used instead of talking directly about an unpleasant situation, are polite words with positive meanings, argues the author in the reading passage.
Final points about paraphrasing
- Paraphrasing is preferable to quoting since you are showing TOEFL iBT human raters that you have good control over your vocabulary and grammar.
- The more you quote from a TOEFL iBT reading or listening passage, the less original your writing becomes.
- Use simple present reporting verbs in your paraphrases.
- Make sure that your voice markers in your paraphrases are placed in various parts of the sentences so that you show you have good syntactic variety. In each of your integrated writing and speaking paragraphs, plan on using 2-3 voice markers.
- Your paraphrase should not change the meaning of the original sentence and should not leave out important information.
- Put this important writing skill in its proper context: You are learning how to paraphrase not only to score high on the integrated speaking and writing tasks but also to be able complete complex university research paper assignments in which you are required to explain other people’s ideas in relation to you own.
Michael Buckhoff, firstname.lastname@example.org