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Answers for Paraphrasing and Summarizing Exercises

This resource was written by Tony Cimasko.
Last edited by Allen Brizee on November 5, 2008 .

Summary:

This resource contains the answers for the ESL exercises on paraphrasing and summarizing.

Paraphrasing and Summarizing

The popularity of Wikipedia makes it important that users learn to use the online collaborative encyclopedia as a starting point for their research rather than as the final word, says a Purdue University communications expert. "Students are addicted to Wikipedia, and teachers fight it with stern grading policies and restrictions on its use," says Sorin A. Matei, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication. "But Wikipedia is here to stay and, despite penalties, people are likely to continue using it."

Version 1:  The popularity of Wikipedia makes it important that users learn to use the online collaborative encyclopedia as a starting point for their research. "Students are addicted to Wikipedia, and teachers fight it with stern grading policies and restrictions on its use," says Sorin A. Matei, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication.

This version would be considered blatant plagiarism.  The text is excerpted almost word for word without using quotation marks appropriately, without giving credit to the original author.  Some words have been cut out, but the original author’s language is still quite obvious.

Version 2:  The popularity of Wikipedia makes it important that users learn to use the online collaborative encyclopedia as a starting point for their research. "Students are addicted to Wikipedia, and teachers fight it with stern grading policies and restrictions on its use," says Sorin A. Matei, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication (Morris).


Credit is given to the original author (Morris), but quotation marks are still not used, and the language still closely resembles the original writing.

Version 3:  Wikipedia is popular, which makes it vital that users learn to use the online collaborative encyclopedia as a beginning point for their research. "Students are addicted to Wikipedia,” says Sorin A. Matei, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication, “and teachers fight it with stern grading policies and restrictions on its use" (Morris).

The original author is given credit, and technically the passage is correct, but the writer suggests that Morris’ main point is teachers’ reactions.  In fact, Morris is emphasizing the importance of Wikipedia, and talks about teachers’ reactions as a secondary point.

Version 4:  “Wikipedia is popular, which makes it necessary to learn using the online collaborative encyclopedia as a beginning point for their research. ‘Students are addicted to Wikipedia,’ says Sorin A. Matei, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication, ‘and teachers fight it with stern grading policies and restrictions on its use’” (Morris).


The quotation is essentially accurate, quotation marks are used, and Morris is given credit.  The bigger problem is that the writer made no attempt to use his or her own language, to integrate the quotation into their own words.  The smaller problem is the lack of ellipses (. . .) to indicate where the writer took out part of the quotation.

Version 5:  Sorin A. Matei of Purdue University says that because students are "addicted to Wikipedia" and will continue to rely on it, it is important for teachers to help them to use Wikipedia as a place to begin research, rather than as a final source.  Matei also says that penalties are unlikely to be effective (Morris).


Version 5 is correct.
Here the student combined her own paraphrasing with a quotation of striking language of the original text. She made certain her words and those taken directly from the source fit together; she quoted accurately and cited her source.  Some of the information is consolidated, and the specific kinds of penalties given by teachers—a minor detail—are left out.

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