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Research quest: Influential people in their historical context

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  1. Your task for week 1: Your draft
    Who should you choose?
  2. How to write your draft
  3. Your task for week 2 and 3: Asking the right questions
    Asking questions about history
  4. Research in categories
  5. Your task for week 4: Paraphrasing and restating a message
    How to paraphrase
  6. How to paraphrase - your research
  7. Your task for week 5: Plagiarism and Quoting
    Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
  8. An explanation on plagiarism
  9. How to quote
  10. How to quote - your research

For your research, you use a lot of articles from other sources. However, you are not to use the texts found word for word. So how do we do this?

Basically, there are two techniques that we can use to embed findings from other sources: Quotations and paraphrases, while paraphrasing being the technique mostly used. (A text full of quotations is often hard to read.) This is why in this lesson, we are going to learn how to paraphrase.

What to do when you paraphrase

When you paraphrase, you give your own perspective on the material of other people by selecting information and presenting them in a new form or a new context. It is different from a summary in that it focuses on certain parts of a text and examines them in much greater detail, rather than summarizing complete concepts on the whole.

Learning through paraphrasing

Furthermore, people who regularly paraphrase learn more than others: For a good paraphrasing we need to have understood the text first and then discover words to express what is written in another way. This is why the following steps are useful when paraphrasing:

  1. Read the text first and understand it well.
  2. Write down your paraphrase without looking at the original text too often.
  3. Reflect on how to use this information in your own research.
  4. Check on passages or words that you have directly taken from the text; and embed them in quotation marks.
  5. Write down the source of your paraphrase.

Paraphrasing exercise

Soon after motorized transport entered city streets, fatal crashes rose. Until hoofs left the streets permanently, there was a troublesome mix of modes with variable speeds, reliability and behaviour: Cars, were mechanically unsafe; horses, subject to fear, tantrums or sudden collapse; electric trams, to stalling; and pedestrians, to darting across streets at any convenient point.

Take this passage, and paraphrase it. Write your answer into the form below.

Paraphrasing exercise

  • Please enter your form here (9a, 10b, …)
  • Write down your paraphrase here!

As soon as you’ve finished this exercise, please move on to our next site.

Speaking Card Sets

B1 Level (GER: Form 10)