Learning Center


Paraphrase Author Ideas

august 20, 2017

FAQ: How can I help students to paraphrase without plagiarizing?

ANSWER: The secret to writing an original paraphrase lies in reading comprehension. We have to make sure that students truly understand the content before they attempt to paraphrase it. To help students achieve this, reveal a 4-step process that features corresponding hand signals.

Step 1: Read the text.

The writer can’t paraphrase the text in his own words if he didn’t first read the author’s original idea.

Step 2: Remove the text.

As students view a text long enough, they start to memorize it and will eventually copy it word for word. That’s not a paraphrase. After reading the text, students must remove the text to keep them from simply repeating it verbatim.

Paraphrase in 4 Steps

Step 3: Explain out loud what you read.

This step is the secret to paraphrasing. If the student didn’t comprehend what the author said, then he can’t put it into his own words. After reading the text, students must be able to explain the gist–without looking at the text. (If a writer cannot accomplish Step 3, have him repeat steps 1-3.)

Step 4: Write down the paraphrase.

After stating the gist out loud, then the student writes or types out the paraphrase in his own words.

While initially executing the four steps, teach students the corresponding hand signals, too. Then, eventually add the fifth step to this paraphrasing process.

Paraphrase in 5 Steps
Paraphrase Author Ideas - Hand Signals

Step 5: Return to the original text.

Students must confirm the source of the information, the accuracy of the facts and details, the spellings of names and specifics. This essential step must be done after the writer has first captured the sentiment of the author’s idea in his own words.

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