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PART ONE Paraphrasing for Academic Writing Tuesday 17 February 2015 Sophia Butt.

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1 PART ONE Paraphrasing for Academic Writing Tuesday 17 February 2015 Sophia Butt

2 What is a paraphrase? [Adapted from The Writing Lab (2007)] Your own rendition of essential information and ideas expressed by someone else, presented in a new form A more detailed restatement than a summary & often focuses on a single idea A legitimate way (when accompanied by references) to use information from an external source Sophia Butt 2015

3 Warm-up 3-minute pair activity: Why paraphrase? It is preferable to quoting from an undistinguished source It curbs the temptation to quote too frequently It can help to expand the breadth or depth of writing It is a means of exemplification (This study shows that…/Research by X illustrates that…) It facilitates synthesis It allows writers to omit irrelevant details cont’d… Sophia Butt 2015

4 It is one way to support claims or to add credibility to writing by referring to an authority It is a useful way of introducing counter- arguments, or leading to a critique/point of (dis)agreement It enables writers to maintain a consistent tone It demonstrates understanding of the text(s) (as the mental process for successful paraphrasing requires a grasp of the full meaning of the original) Sophia Butt 2015

5 Paraphrase V Summary … Paraphrase: to express someone else's ideas using your own language Summary: to distill only the most essential points of a text into a condensed form Sophia Butt 2015

6 A ‘patchwork’ paraphrase… [Adapted from Oshima, A. & Hogue, A. (1999) Writing Academic English (3rd edition). New York: Addison Wesley Longman] ORIGINAL PASSAGE “Language is the main means of communication between peoples. But so many different languages have developed that language has often been a barrier rather than an aid to understanding among peoples. For many years people have dreamed of setting up an international, universal language which all people could speak and understand. The arguments in favour of a universal language are simple and obvious. If all peoples spoke the same tongue, cultural and economic ties might be much closer, and good will might increase between countries” (Kispert, 1984:30). Sophia Butt 2015

7 Exercise 1: Why is this paraphrase unacceptable? Language is the principal means of communication between peoples. However, because there are numerous languages, language itself has frequently been a barrier rather than an aid to understanding among the world population. For many years, people have envisioned a common universal language that everyone in the world could communicate in. The reasons for having a universal language are clearly understandable. If the same tongue were spoken by all countries, they would probably become closer culturally and economically. It would probably also create good will among nations. Sophia Butt 2015

8 How much has actually been paraphrased? Language is the main means of communication between peoples. Language is the principal means of communication between peoples. But so many different languages have developed that language has often been a barrier rather than an aid to understanding among peoples. However, because there are numerous languages, language itself has frequently been a barrier rather than an aid to understanding among the world’s population. Sophia Butt 2015

9 For many years people have dreamed of setting up an international, universal language which all people could speak and understand. For many years, people have envisioned a common universal language that everyone in the world could communicate in. The arguments in favour of a universal language are simple and obvious. The reasons for having a universal language are clearly understandable. If all peoples spoke the same tongue, cultural and economic ties might be much closer, and good will might increase between countries. If the same tongue were spoken by all countries, they would probably become closer culturally and economically. It would probably also create good will among nations. Sophia Butt 2015

10 Missing citation details More than 50% is the same as the original Many original grammatical structures have been retained Several sentences are almost identical; one or two changed words give an illusion of a paraphrase Overall, it is too close to original passage to be classed as a paraphrase The problems… Sophia Butt 2015

11 An acceptable paraphrase… [Adapted from Oshima, A. and Hogue, A. (1999) Writing Academic English (3rd edition). New York: Addison Wesley Longman] ORIGINAL PASSAGE “Language is the main means of communication between peoples. But so many different languages have developed that language has often been a barrier rather than an aid to understanding among peoples. For many years people have dreamed of setting up an international, universal language which all people could speak and understand. The arguments in favour of a universal language are simple and obvious. If all peoples spoke the same tongue, cultural and economic ties might be much closer, and good will might increase between countries” (Kispert, 1984:30). Sophia Butt 2015

12 Exercise 2: Why is this paraphrase acceptable? While humans interact through language, the latter can also be an obstacle to communication given the sheer volume of languages that exist across the globe. In the past, many people proposed the formulation of an international vernacular that speakers all over the world could understand. A global language could certainly build cultural and economic bonds between nations and may also help to create better feelings among countries (Kispert, 1984). Sophia Butt 2015

13 The reasons for the acceptability are: Citation details have been included Sentences have been restructured Different lexis has been employed Meaning/accuracy has been retained in the paraphrase Language is approximately 80% different to original Sophia Butt 2015

14 Paraphrasing Strategies [Adapted from Oshima, A. & Hogue, A. (1999) Writing Academic English (3rd edition). New York: Addison Wesley Longman] (Skim) Read the original passage several times Look up unfamiliar words; find synonyms Identify paragraph topics Create outline of text (e.g.: headings): Write one or two words per idea – not complete sentences Put the original text away Cont’d… Sophia Butt 2015

15 Use notes to rewrite passage from memory Paraphrase important points only; exclude unnecessary details or examples When completed - check paraphrase against original for accuracy & completeness; amend, and add missing information, where necessary Meaning of original retained? Remember: Original source must be referenced in your work Sophia Butt 2015

16 Paraphrasing Techniques - Handout Read through the handout on paraphrasing and summarising techniques… Q: Which of these is the most effective way to paraphrase? A: Using a combination of the techniques shown. Sophia Butt 2015

17 PART TWO The Characteristic Features of Report-Writing Paraphrasing Practice Sophia Butt

18 Reports/Theses: Main Features [Adapted from Hedges, P. D. (1999)] 1. Title Page 2. Abstract; Executive Summary; Synopsis; Problem Statement; Terms of Reference … What’s the difference between each of the above? 3. List of Contents/Tables/Illustrations (if applicable) 4. Glossary &/or notation employed 5. Introduction/Background/Case History 6. Main text [the detailed report, in sections] 7. Conclusions 8. Recommendations 9. Reference List 10. Appendices (if applicable) Sophia Butt 2015

19 Report-Writing: Some hints… Work from the General to Specific … Clearly state objectives (Who? What? Why?) Outline scope and limitations of the investigation Start main section with: history/facts/observations > then move to > theories/interpretations/deductions Provide relevant, concise, complete details Ensure information given is accurate, with valid reasoning based upon facts Present logical analysis and classification of material cont’d… Sophia Butt 2015

20 Employ figures, tables, drawings & sketches to add clarity to difficult descriptions (if applicable) Explicitly draw the attention of the reader to any illustrations Ensure text is main vehicle of information transfer Use clear presentation & structure – with internal headings, numbering & appropriate layout Ensure the report is intelligible, i.e.: easy to read, follow & understand Give recommendations/identify good practice Fulfil the purpose of the report Sophia Butt 2015

21 Headings Report Headings are an aid; they should: allow readers to locate information at a glance consist of words or phrases – not sentences be precise and concise be self-explanatory Sophia Butt 2015

22 Before writing a report, students should ask the following: What does the reader of the report already know about the subject? (to avoid repetition) What does the reader want to know? (to ensure the expectations of the reader are met) What do I want the reader to know about this subject? (to meet personal aims and objectives for the report) What action will the reader want to take as a result of reading the report? (to create a clear purpose for writing: i.e.: To inform? persuade? To provide an action plan…?) Sophia Butt 2015

23 Letter > Schematic Report Read the ‘letter report’ on the handout provided. Work with a partner to: 1. Decide on the section-headings for the transfer of the letter to a schematic report format. 2. Identify the informal/non-academic language in the letter. 3. Rewrite these words/phrases in academic register. Class Feedback… Sophia Butt 2015

24 Schematic Report - Shell Handout 2 provides a ‘shell’ for the schematic report format. Compare your section-headings with those given here. Work with a partner to complete the report. Pay attention to your style of writing & employ the paraphrasing techniques referred to in Part One. Class Feedback… Now compare your writing with that in the completed report…(Handout 3) Sophia Butt 2015

25 The Dos of Report Writing …begin by stating the purpose of your report …use simple, clear headings & sub-headings …write in the passive form (avoiding first person) …use a range of grammatical structures …succinctly summarise & paraphrase information …provide recommendations at end, if relevant …use footnotes for additional information, if needed …include tables &/or appendices, where necessary …acknowledge any sources cited in/directly & provide a corresponding Reference List Layout: Justify the text, paginate the report, leave spaces between paragraphs/sections Sophia Butt 2015

26 The Don’ts of Report Writing …repeat information …copy text …use exaggerated or emotive language …write in a discursive style …present report as one long text …write in multi-clause sentences …use excessive, subjective/personal language [NB: opinions can be indicated through use of modal verbs, expressions of probability/possibility, connectors, and any reporting verbs, where relevant] …be vague …make the report longer than is necessary… …questions? Sophia Butt 2015


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