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Summarising and

Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing

What?

Why?

How?

(Examples taken from Writing Tutorial Services, Indiana University,


Bloomington, http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/wts/plagiarism.html)

Original:
“When the Maracana soccer stadium (in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) was opened to
the public in 1950, and Brazil lost the World Cup to the Uruguayan team, the
Brazilians were so disheartened one had the impression that the country itself
had died. And people did die of sadness. Mere threats of defeat in a
championship match can cause heart attacks, and the despair of the public is so
great that many beat their heads against the cement posts. Such is the
Brazilians’ passion for soccer” (de Moraes and Gullar, p13).

Paraphrase:
In 1950, when Brazil was defeated by Uruguay for the World Cup in Soccer in
their new stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazilians were so dejected that it seemed
the whole country had perished. In fact, some citizens actually did die of sorrow.
Brazilians react very strongly even to the possibility of defeat in championship
soccer games; soccer fans pound their heads against cement posts and even
suffer heart attacks. Such reactions prove that Brazilians are very emotional
about soccer (de Moraes and Gullar, p13).

(from Oshima and Hogue, Writing Academic English, p133)


How to Recognize Unacceptable and
Acceptable Paraphrases
Here's the ORIGINAL text, from page 1 of Lizzie Borden: A Case Book of Family
and Crime in the 1890s by Joyce Williams et al.:

The rise of industry, the growth of cities, and the expansion of the population
were the three great developments of late nineteenth century American history.
As new, larger, steam-powered factories became a feature of the American
landscape in the East, they transformed farm hands into industrial labourers,
and provided jobs for a rising tide of immigrants. With industry came
urbanization the growth of large cities (like Fall River, Massachusetts, where the
Bordens lived) which became the centres of production as well as of commerce
and trade.

Paraphrase:
The increase of industry, the growth of cities, and the explosion of the
population were three large factors of nineteenth century America. As steam-
driven companies became more visible in the eastern part of the country, they
changed farm hands into factory workers and provided jobs for the large wave
of immigrants. With industry came the growth of large cities like Fall River where
the Bordens lived which turned into centres of commerce and trade as well as
production.

The rise of industry, the growth of cities, and the expansion of the population
were the three great developments of late nineteenth century American history.
As new, larger, steam-powered factories became a feature of the American
landscape in the East, they transformed farm hands into industrial labourers,
and provided jobs for a rising tide of immigrants. With industry came
urbanization the growth of large cities (like Fall River, Massachusetts, where the
Bordens lived) which became the centres of production as well as of commerce
and trade.

Paraphrase:
Fall River, where the Borden family lived, was typical of northeastern industrial
cities of the nineteenth century. Steampowered production had shifted labour
from agriculture to manufacturing, and as immigrants arrived in the US, they
found work in these new factories. As a result, populations grew, and large
urban areas arose. Fall River was one of these manufacturing and commercial
centres (Williams, p.1).

The rise of industry, the growth of cities, and the expansion of the population
were the three great developments of late nineteenth century American history.
As new, larger, steam-powered factories became a feature of the American
landscape in the East, they transformed farm hands into industrial labourers,
and provided jobs for a rising tide of immigrants. With industry came
urbanization the growth of large cities (like Fall River, Massachusetts, where the
Bordens lived) which became the centres of production as well as of commerce
and trade.

Paraphrase:
Fall River, where the Borden family lived, was typical of northeastern industrial
cities of the nineteenth century. As steampowered production shifted labour
from agriculture to manufacturing, the demand for workers "transformed farm
hands into factory workers,“ and created jobs for immigrants. In turn, growing
populations increased the size of urban areas. Fall River was one of these
manufacturing hubs that were also "centres of commerce and trade" (Williams,
p.1).
SUMMARIZING

Outline
A. Brazil lost the world cup in 1950.
1. Entire country was sad
2. Some people died

B. Possible defeat causes strong reaction


1. Some experience heart attacks
2. Some beat their heads

C. Brazilians are very emotional about soccer.

Summary
The Brazilian people are very emotional about soccer. In 1950 when their team
lost the World Cup to Uruguay, the entire country was saddened, and some
people even died. Even the possibility of defeat may cause people to have heart
attacks or injure themselves (de Moraes & Gullar, 1977).

Are Firstborns Better?

Freud, Kant, Beethoven, Dante, Einstein and Julius Caesar – what do they have in
common? All of these eminent men were firstborn children. Although many laterborn
children also become famous, certain studies hint that a firstborn child is more likely to
excel. For example, more firstborns become National Merit Scholars, earn more doctor’s
degrees and rate mention in Who’s Who.

Researchers suggest several explanations for the higher achievements of firstborns.


Some believe that the reason is simply that firstborns are more likely than other children
to attend college. They argue economic factors alone could account for this difference,
although firstborns typically get high grades before college as well.

Others suggest that firstborn children have a higher need to achieve (Rosen, 1964). This
need to achieve may be an outcome of the special relationship between firstborn children
and their parents. Firstborns have their parents’ exclusive attention and seem to interact
more with parents than other children (Gerwirtz & Gerwirtz, 1965). Parents of firstborns
also seem to expect more of them (Hilton, 1967). As a result, firstborns may seek
approval by conforming to adult standards, including standards of achievement.

Whatever the reasons, firstborn children do tend to be more conforming, shyer, more
anxious than their siblings – and more likely to outdo them. (From Psychology, p101).
According to Charles G. Morris in his discussion of firstborns on p 101 of
Psychology, the first child in a family is more likely to have achieved excellence
than are those children who are born later. Scientists explain this in a number of
ways. The firstborn has a greater opportunity to receive higher education, if only
financial elements are considered. Another suggestion is that these children
have a deeper motivation for achievement, possibly resulting from the way they
relate to adults, particularly their parents, who have very high expectations for
them. Thus, firstborn children try to gain acceptance through conformity and
meeting the high standards set for them.

Representing ideas of others

Source:
Swales, J. (1990). Genre analysis: English in academic and research settings.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp 149 and 153

Brie (1988) The moon's According to Brie's theory


showed that cheesy Brie (1988), (1988)
Author the moon is composition the moon is contends that
prominent made of was made of the moon is
cheese established cheese. made of
by Brie cheese
(1988)
Previous It has been It is currently The moon
research has shown that argued that may be made
Information established the moon is the moon is of cheese
prominent that the moon made of made of (Brie, 1988)
is made of cheese (Brie, cheese (Brie,
cheese (Brie, 1988) 1988)
1988)
Below are some verbs and their synonyms for you to draw on when you want to
talk about someone else's ideas or words - a thesaurus of verbs of attribution just
for you.

Show: demonstrate, establish

Persuade: assure, convince, satisfy

Argue: reason, discuss, debate, consider

Support: uphold, underpin, advocate

Examine: discuss, explore, investigate, scrutinise

Note that the following words are value-laden. Your


choice of word will reveal to your reader your stance
toward the author you are reporting on. It will show
whether or not you consider the author’s claims to be
substantiated.

Propose: advance, propound, proffer, suggest (the view that.)

Advise: suggest, recommend, advocate, exhort, encourage, urge,


Believe: hold, profess (the view that.)
Emphasise: accentuate, stress, underscore
express, comment, remark, declare, articulate, describe, instruct, inform,
State:
report
Evaluate: Appraise, assess
Hypothesise: speculate, postulate
Disagree: dispute, refute, contradict, differ, object, dissent

Reject: refute, repudiate, remonstrate (against), disclaim, dismiss


Claim: allege, assert, affirm, contend, maintain

Another look at verbs used in critical analysis

Arnaudet & Barrett (1984, P.153-5) provide a useful


resource on verbs of attribution reproduced in the box
below:

Neutral verbs of restatement


Add inform (of, about) remind (of, about)
Clarify present report (on)
Describe remark speak / write of

Verbs of restatement with a + or - connotation

apprise (someone of) Explain indicate


argue (about) Express observe
Verbs of opinion
This category is used to report the content of another
writer's opinion (or conclusion or suggestions).

Positive opinions:

Affirm agree (with) applaud


concur (with, in) Praise support

Reporting opinion (usually neutrally)

Assert believe (in) claim


Determine expound (on) maintain
point out think

Verbs of uncertainty
This category is used to report the
content of another writer's expression of
doubt or uncertainty.

Challenge dispute question

disagree (with) doubt suspect (of)

Dismiss mistrust wonder (at)

Attribution and critical analysis


The following paragraph is an excerpt from an essay on approaches to
intercultural education. Notice the words that indicate what the writer thinks about
the ideas of the other writer's she mentions. How does she use particular verbs of
attribution to convey a particular attitude to the work of the writers she refers
to? What words or phrases signal her own ideas?

Ballard and Clanchy (1991) propose a continuum of attitudes to knowledge and


specify learning approaches and strategies that correspond to these
attitudes. Drawing mainly on anecdotal evidence, they suggest that their three
learning approaches, namely the "reproductive", "analytical" and "speculative"
approaches, are characteristic of certain stages of schooling (in Australia) or of
certain cultures (Ballard and Clanchy, 1991, p.11). In their consideration of
learning strategies, however, they have presented only a limited understanding of
the ways in which the strategies assist learning. For example, they see
memorisation as a way of retaining "unreconstructed" (p.11) knowledge. In
contrast, the work of Biggs (1996) demonstrates that memorisation serves the
purpose of retaining ideas so that they can be considered and understood.
• The present tense is used for: generalisation (in overviews, statements of
main points); a statement which is generally applicable or which seems
relevant; a statement made by you as writer; or to report the position of a
theorist/ researcher to which you feel some proximity, either in time or
allegiance (eg. Piaget (1969) outlines the stages..).
• The past tense is used to 'claim non-generality about past literature' (Ostler,
1981, cited in Swales, 1990, p.152); that is, it is used to report or describe
the content, findings or conclusions of past research. The specificity of the
study is thus emphasised.
• The present perfect is used to indicate that inquiry into the specified area
continues, to generalise about past literature, or to present a view using a
non-integral form of referencing (the name of the author does not appear in
the text of the sentence; it appears only in the subsequent parentheses).
• The future tense is often used in the methodology section in a proposal to
state intention. When you are describing what appears in your writing, use
the present tense, not the future (it is not your intention, since you've already
done it): eg, "The sections below describe the process of .", not, "the sections
below will describe the process of ."

Consider the excerpt from the previous section. What subtle difference in
message might you receive as a reader if it were written as follows?

Ballard and Clanchy (1991) proposed a continuum of attitudes to knowledge


and specified learning approaches and strategies that corresponded to
these attitudes. Drawing mainly on anecdotal evidence, they suggested that
their three learning approaches, namely the "reproductive", "analytical" and
"speculative" approaches, were characteristic of certain stages of schooling
(in Australia) or of certain cultures (Ballard and Clanchy, 1991, p.11). In their
consideration of learning strategies, however, they presented only a limited
understanding of the ways in which the strategies assist learning. For
example, they saw memorisation as a way of retaining "unreconstructed"
(p.11) knowledge. In contrast, the work of Biggs (1996) demonstrates that
memorisation serves the purpose of retaining ideas so that they can be
considered and understood.