In this post, we will look at the importance of being able to paraphrase. Paraphrasing is important, not only for the writing test but for all of the other parts of the test too. Being able to paraphrase will show the examiner that you have a wide vocabulary, helping you to achieve a higher band score.
To paraphrase text is to read the question then rewrite it in your own words. You should not copy words straight from the question, instead change the order of the words and choose words with a similar meaning (a synonym). This means you are using different words to write about the same idea.
Here is an example of a Writing Task 1 Question >>
The graph below shows the average monthly temperatures in three well-known cities. Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparisons where relevant.
The line graph illustrates the climate conditions in Athens, Barcelona, and Sydney over the period of one year.
Here I changed temperatures to conditions (synonym) and then I added the three city names instead of saying ‘in three well-known cities’.
Synonyms are words you use when you want to write a word that has a similar meaning to the original word in the question. For example;
- Area / space
- Map / diagram / picture
- Amount / number
- Car / automobile / vehicle
- Price / amount / cost
- High / big / great
When paraphrasing the question, you don’t need to change all of the words, but you should try to change most of them. Be careful though, because choosing a word that has a similar meaning – not the same meaning can make the meaning of the sentence change or become unclear.
The best way to practice this is to have a look at writing task 1 questions and paraphrase/re-write the question in your own words. Whilst practising you can use an online thesaurus tool to help you find synonyms and learn new words.
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