Author Topic: Clever paraphrasing  (Read 4868 times)


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Clever paraphrasing
« on: February 12, 2014, 03:55:51 PM »
The following short manual will provide several hints useful to properly and effectively paraphrase.

1) Alternating Active and Passive Forms. The ability to alternate between active and passive structures is an extremely useful paraphrasing technique. There are, of course, situations in which the passive is preferred to the active:
-When the performer of the action is not known.
-When the performer of the action is not important.
-When the performer of the action is perfectly obvious.
-When the performer of the action refers to the writer

Consider the following examples:
a) No one knows the exact period when language was first spoken (The actual performer of the action is not known);
b) This sweater was made in England (The identity of the industrial worker who made the sweater is not important);
c) French is spoken in France (“By the French people” is obvious);
d) It can be concluded that further research is necessary (It is the writer who is drawing the conclusion: “I conclude that...”).

The conversion from Active to Passive and vice versa is possible when there is a direct object after the verb:
- Social motives play a very important role (Active) / A very important role is played by social motives (Passive);
- You can see that social motives are very important (Active) / It can be seen that social motives are very important (Passive).

No conversion is possible in the following cases:
a) Verbs WITHOUT Direct Object: This discussion will consist of three parts (Only Active);
b) Actions without known performers: These techniques were developed in 1958 (Only Passive).

2) Alternating Word Forms. An obvious way of expressing an author's thought in your own words is to change the form of one word, from a verb to a noun, adjective or adverb. However, it may be problematic due to the fact that certain words undergo a slight shift in meaning when they change forms. So you should be very attentive when you make any alterations.
- A manager's success is often due to perseverance.

- A manager often succeeds because of perseverance.
- Perseverance often leads to managerial success.
- A persevering manager is often successful.
- Successful management is often a result of perseverance.
- A manager who perseveres often succeeds.
- Perseverance often causes a manager to achieve success.
- The success of a manager often stems from perseverance.

3) Alternating Clause/Phrase Structures . This method of paraphrasing is to alter the structures which appear in the original text. As a result, the sentence can be either reduced or expanded.

Example of Reduction:
- Although neurons come in many different shapes and sizes, they are all specialized to receive and transmit information (Adverb clause);
- Despite their different shapes and sizes, neurons are all specialized to receive and transmit information (Adverb Phrase);
- The different shaped and sized neurons are all specialized to receive and transmit information (Noun Phrase).
« Last Edit: February 12, 2014, 03:58:47 PM by michael »