TOEFL IBT reading tip

13/04/2016 19:14

 

Perfect paraphrasing

 

In the TOEFL, you will also be tested on your ability to paraphrase parts of the

text. This means you must know how to rewrite sentences by using other words

and phrases without changing the original meaning. The TOEFL tests your ability

in this area because when you do research in college, you are not allowed to copy

and paste scholars’ works directly. Instead, you should paraphrase and integrate

the scholars’ works with your own.

 

Common Mistake 1:

Here is an example of poor paraphrasing that can result in you being penalized

for academic dishonesty:

 

Original:

The key drivers for the food and beverage industry’s rise in the United

States are growing household income, which increased by more than 10%

every year for the past decade, and shifting consumer preferences towards

eating out.

Poor paraphrasing:

The important drivers for the food and beverage industry’s rise in the

United States are increasing household income, which grew by more than

10% every year for the past decade, and changing consumer preferences

towards eating out.

 

The paraphrased version is different from the original, but as you can see,

only a few words were changed. This means the paraphrased version is nearly

the same as the original, which is a sign of poor paraphrasing.

 

Common Mistake 2:

Here’s another example of how students often get it wrong:

Poor paraphrasing:

The American food and beverage industry was fuelled by growing household

income and changes in consumer preferences.

 

Perfect Paraphrasing

The problem with the above paraphrasing is that while it has varied sentence

structure and also used different vocabulary, the original meaning is lost. Refer

to the original version and you will see that more information is given, such as

the 10 percent increase in household income and how consumers are moving

towards eating out.

 

The TOEFL will test you more on your ability to avoid Common Mistake 2.

Since the questions are multiple choice, you will not be tested on your ability to

paraphrase in writing. Rather, you will be asked to select the answer option that

best paraphrases a certain portion of the passage.

 

Simple Steps

In order to answer paraphrasing questions correctly, put these simple steps into

practice:

1. List down essential information in the original sentence point by point.

2. List down essential information in each answer option point by point.

3. Eliminate answer options that do not possess all essential information.

Then, analyze the remaining options and select the best choice.

Topic: TOEFL IBT reading tip

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