In this blog post, you can learn TOEFL paraphrasing in four steps.
Table of Contents
Why is important to learn TOEFL paraphrasing in four steps on the reading section?
On the reading section of the TOEFL iBT exam, you will be asked to recognize which answer best paraphrases a highlighted sentence. As a result, there are specific strategies, as you can learn here, that you will need in order to choose the correct answer. In addition, understanding how to paraphrase will help you to score higher on the reading section of the TOEFL exam.
Why is TOEFL paraphrasing important to the speaking section?
On the TOEFL exam, you will have three types of integrated speaking tasks that involve paraphrasing: task 2 (reading, listening, speaking–campus related), task 3 (reading, listening, speaking–academic), and task 4 (reading, listening, speaking–academic). On each of these tasks, using your own vocabulary and grammar, you will need to re-explain the most important points from reading and listening passages. As a result, the more accurately you can paraphrases sentences, the higher your TOEFL speaking score will become.
Why is it important to learn TOEFL paraphrasing in four steps for the writing section?
During the TOEFL integrated writing task, you will need to paraphrase sentences from a reading and listening passage. Consequently, similar to the integrated speaking tasks, you will need to re-explain the listening points. Particularly, your purpose, as you paraphrase, is to show how the points made in the listening passage are related to the points mentioned in the reading passage. Hence, the better control you have with your paraphrasing, the higher you will score on the writing section.
How is paraphrasing different from summaries and quotes?
Summarizing condenses a large text into a much smaller version. Moreover, quoting reproduces exactly the words from a reading or listening passage. Finally, paraphrasing rewrites a sentence using different vocabulary and grammar in roughly the same number of words.
How do I paraphrase a sentence?
There is no exact way to paraphrase a sentence. However, following the three steps I outline here will help you to 1) completely explain the sentence using your own words and grammar and 2) avoid leaving out any essential information. The more you practice paraphrasing, the more likely that you will develop a unique style of re-explaining sentences using your own grammar and vocabulary.
Example sentence to be paraphrased: Photosynthesis is the process by which plants convert sunlight into energy that they use as food.
1. Break the sentence into smaller grammatical units.
The example sentence can be broken into three grammatical parts: an independent clause and two adjective clauses:
- Independent clause: Photosynthesis is the process
- Adjective clause: Plants convert sunlight into energy by this process.
- Adjective clause: The plants use the energy as food.
2. To learn TOEFL paraphrasing in four steps, change the word order of the sentence.
Now that you have separated it into three smaller simple sentences, change the word order of the sentences. There is no exact way to do this. Thus, rearrange the sentence in a way that makes sentence.
- Plants convert sunlight into energy by this process. + The plants use the energy as food. + Photosynthesis is the process.
3. Find synonyms for nouns, adjective, adverbs, and verbs.
You have broken the sentence into smaller parts. Moreover, you changed the word order. Use synonyms for some of the nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and verbs. Download my TOEFL Vocabulary PDF if you need more practice.
- Plants convert (change) sunlight into energy by this process (procedure). + The plants use the energy as food. + Photosynthesis is the process (procedure)
4. Rewrite the sentence without looking at the original. This will also help you Learn TOEFL paraphrasing in four steps
Lastly, combine the sentences that you have written without looking at the original. Compare the paraphrased sentence with the original sentence below.
- Paraphrased sentence (14 words) : Plants change sunlight into energy to be used as food through a procedure called photosnythesis.
- Original sentence (16 words): Photosynthesis is the process by which plants convert sunlight into energy that they use as food.
Final Tips for TOEFL Paraphrasing
- Your paraphrase should contain about the same number of words as the original source.
- Make sure that you do NOT change the meaning of the original sentence.
- Do not leave out any essential information.
You can learn TOEFL paraphrasing in four steps even more through practice in one of the lessons I created last year. In the lesson, you will read passages and listen to lectures. Then you will write paraphrases of the information. Finally, you can compare what you wrote to sample paraphrases. That way make you can make sure that you have not left out any important information. Click on the link below to practice a variety of exercises to help you paraphrase ideas from reading and listening passages.
- Integrated Speaking and Writing Practice: Showing causal relationships
- Integrated Speaking and Writing Practice: Explaining contrasts
- Integrated Speaking and Writing Practice: Sequencing ideas numerically, chronologically
- Integrated Speaking and Writing Practice: Exemplifying ideas
- Defining concepts
- Support for your TOEFL Integrated Speaking and Writing Practice