PARAPHRASING:

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Writing in your own words

When you read something and then write about it you have to write it in your own words – this is paraphrasing, a vital skill to avoid the problem of copying or plagiarising.


Example

In this example notice the difference in language between the first and second versions:


Version A:

Since the time of Descartes, it is estimated that no fewer than five hundred attempts have been made to create artificial languages for international use.  The most successful by far has been Esperanto, a language constructed around the end of the nineteenth century by Dr. Zamenhof of Poland.  Esperanto is a language that is extremely easy to learn and speak with its words mainly drawn from English, German, the Romance languages, Latin and Greek. (Pei).


Version B:

Since the early seventeenth century, an estimated five hundred artificial languages have been created for international communication.  Esperanto, a language invented around the end of the nineteenth century in Poland by Dr. Zamenhof has been the most successful.  Esperanto is very easy to learn and speak.  Its vocabulary comes mainly from English, German, the Romance languages, Latin and Greek. (Pei).

Examples taken from "Writing Academic English" Oshima & Hogue 1990.

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