Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

What is paraphrasing and when do we do it on IELTS and in our everyday lives?

Paraphrasing is when you use different words and vocabulary to express an idea.

In our daily lives we might use paraphrasing to tell our friend about our weekend.

We might summarize the whole weekend into three sentences.

Maybe we saw a movie and we will paraphrase the story in a short way.

When we read we also need to paraphrase to tell people what we have read in the newspaper or in a magazine.

We also might summarize our favorite novel.

When you are in an academic class at your college or university you are going to need to take notes during the lecture. This is a form of paraphrasing.

You may also need to paraphrase a lecture for a friend who missed a class.

When we write papers at the college level we also paraphrase when we add outside research and citations to a paper.

When do we paraphrase on IELTS?

In IELTS Writing Task 1 and IELTS Writing Task 2 you have to paraphrase an idea, word or phrase in different ways.

If you use the word “school” in one paragraph then you need to use different words in the rest of the essay like “academic institution” or “university” or “college.”

How do we paraphrase on the IELTS Speaking test?

Part of getting a good vocabulary score is showing range and flexibility and that is how we can push up our entire speaking score. Try not to repeat the same word more than two or three times. Instead, try to say it in a different way.

You can also paraphrase what the examiner asks you on Speaking Part 1, 2, and 3 before you answer.

Why would you want to do this?

It would impress the examiner with your flexibility and it would give you more time to think and prepare your answer.

How can you practice paraphrasing for IELTS?

Read a newspaper and summarize it in your own words. Tell a friend about the article.

Create a culture of thinking.

Surround yourself with people who like to talk about what they read and see in the news.

Do you feel comfortable paraphrasing?

What questions do you have about this?

Let us know in the comments below.

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