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Paraphrase and Summary Exercises

The exercises in this section provide opportunities for second language writers (ESL) of various proficiency levels to practice with paraphrase and summary writing.

Please use the navigation bar on the left or the links below to access the individual exercises.

Basic-level Paraphrase and Summary Writing


Paraphrasing refers to re-writing a given sentence using your own words. When we need to use a sentence in our writing that someone else wrote, we paraphrase it. That is, we use the same idea(s) in that sentence and write it differently. In addition to using different words, we use different grammar. The main purpose of paraphrasing has to do with being able to use someone else’s ideas while we write our own texts. Of course, it is required that any writer acknowledges the original source using the proper citation format.


Original sentence: 
PayLess is closed because of the bad weather conditions.
Inappropriate paraphrase: 
PayLess is closed because of the bad weather. 

This paraphrase has too many words, such as “PayLess is closed because of” are repeated. It is important to use different words and grammatical structure, while keeping the same meaning of the original sentence.

Appropriate paraphrase:
Since the weather is terrible, the grocery store is not open 

As can be seen in the above example, in addition to using different words, the grammatical structure of the sentence was changed by starting with the second part (dependent clause) of the original sentence.