E - On Paraphrasing Background: The prefix "para-" means nearly, similar, beside. For example, parallel lines go in the same direction. To paraphrase a sentence is to use different words to express (phrase) the same idea. Two of the techniques used in paraphrasing a sentence are changing some of the words to their definitions or to synonyms. These techniques do not usually require changing the structure of the sentence, but they do require some understanding of the meaning of the sentence. Paraphrasing Exercise 1: Simple Sentences Some examples of paraphrasing with synonyms: 1. "My car needs gasoline." a. My automobile needs fuel. b. My wheels need gas. 2. "The U.S. government has an enormous debt." a. The federal government has an extremely large debt. b. The national government has a huge debt. Some examples of paraphrasing with definitions: 1. "A college student usually has homework to do." a. A person going to college typically has to study at home. b. People taking college courses usually have assignments to do 2. "Alcoholics drink more and enjoy it less than social drinkers." a. A person who is addicted to alcohol consumes more but gets less pleasure than a person who drinks just to be sociable. b. People who really need to drink have a high level of intake but a lower level of satisfaction than people who can take it or leave it. DIRECTIONS: Paraphrase the following sentences by replacing the CAPITALIZED words with a definition or synonym. (If necessary, you may rephrase.) 1. The way to a MALE'S heart is through his TUMMY. 2. A FLYING ANIMAL in the hand is AS VALUABLE AS two in the bush. 3. There's a FOOL WITH MONEY born every SIXTY SECONDS. 4. TO HELL with the torpedoes, full speed FORWARD. 5. A rolling ROCK COLLECTS no moss. A. A penny SAVED is a penny EARNED. B. Valuable GIFTS often come in SMALL packages. C. You can't teach an OLD dog new TRICKS. D. A BOY'S best friend is his DOG. E. A fool and his MONEY are soon PARTED. F. The EARLY bird GETS the worm. G. HASTE_makes WASTE. H. HONESTY is the best POLICY. I. You can't MAKE a silk purse OUT OF a cow's ear. J. Better LATE than NEVER. Think of other familiar sayings and paraphrase them in several ways. Paraphrasing Exercise 2: Complex Sentences - A Background: The simplest sentence is the SAAD sentence. Those letters stand for Simple, Active, Affirmative, and Declarative. An example of such a sentence is, "Juan is reading the book." An alternative to declarative is the question, "Is Juan reading the book?" An alternative to affirmative is the negative, "Juan is not reading the book." An alternative to active is the passive, "The book is being read by Juan." And the sentence is simple because it has a single subject/predicate/object. We speak to very young children using simple sentences. "Please bring me the book. The book is on the table. The book is green." However it is often more efficient to use a single, more complex sentence: "Please bring me the green book that is on the table." Although a few people seem to delight in using unnecessarily complex sentences, most educated people try to balance simplicity with efficiency. In any event, in order to understand a complex sentence, you have to extract the ideas and paraphrase them as simple sentences. DIRECTIONS: For each of the following complex sentences, extract three ideas and state them separately. Example: Although our human ability to communicate is genetically determined and hence is a part of our biological nature, speech devopment is importantly affected by the environment. a. The ability for human communication is biologically based. b. The ability for human communication is transmitted through genes. c. Environment also influences how human communication develops. 1. Learning to talk occurs in similar ways and on similar schedules for all normal children, with little effect of differences in training or practice. 2. Although a bad environment can retard language development, children can learn to speak in any environment where other people speak, but they need a supportive environment to learn to speak eloquently. 3. There is a limited number of possible sounds of speech (which are called phonemes, the building blocks of language) which can be combined in various way to make up words. 4. Nonverbal means of communication can be useful in expressing emotions and feelings, but they are narrower than the verbal system which can express abstract concepts and help in problem solving. 5. Human nonverbal communication is not unique and indeed is no better than that of other primates, but our verbal system sets us apart from other animals because it gives us the ability to express cognitive as well as emotional thoughts, and to share complex ideas with others. Paraphrasing Exercise 3: Complex Sentences - B One form of paraphrasing sentences is to use some different words and rearrange the order in which the parts of the sentence are given. The result is still a complex sentence, but it may be one that is easier to understand. Good writers often re-write the same sentence several different ways in order to find the particular version that seem to communicate the idea best. DIRECTIONS: Paraphrase the following statements in two different ways. You may find it helpful to imagine rephrasing the statements as if you were speaking to different audiences, such as another student, a parent, or a teacher. Two examples are provided: Example 1. "Even though many species of animals communicate, human verbal communication is by far the most complex system." a. While people are not the only animals who communicate, our system of communication is the most complex. b. Other animals besides humans communicate, but their systems of communication are less complex. Example 2. "By shifting the physical quality of one's voice, a person can express varied emotional states." a. A person can change the physical quality of his or her voice to express different emotions. b. To express different feelings, people may use different voice tone, volume, or emphasis. 1. "When speaking, a person combines sounds into complex structures, andeach different structure is a meaningful unit." 2. "Even dogs can express emotions, as when they growl at a postman or bark to be let in or out of the house." 3. "One of the complicated ways animals describe their environment is the dance done by bees to tell other bees where there is nectar." 4. "Many bird species sing long sequences of different songs in a way that is analogous to humans combining words into sentences." 5. "Other animals can express emotions, describe the environment, or combine sounds into strings, but only humans can do all of these." 6. "It is possible to teach a chimpanzee to use sign language, but no chimpanzee has proven able to construct a new sentence in the way that humans do routinely." 7. "Nevertheless, there are still many mysteries of communication among animals, including the 'songs' of whales and dolphins." Do you think that any of your paraphrases are "better" sentences than the original? Can you think of a still better way to express the same idea? Paraphrasing Exercise 4: Paragraphs - A Background: Just as a complex sentence can be paraphrased by extracting the ideas and expressing them as separate simple sentences, a paragraph can be paraphrased by extracting each idea in each of the sentences. The difference between this form of paraphrasing a paragraph and paraphrasing a sentence is that some of the ideas may be repeated or clarified in parts of different sentences. However, a perfect paragraph has a topic sentence (the main idea of the paragraph), supporting sentences and a summary or transition sentence. Insofar as possible, the perfect paraphrase highlights these points. DIRECTIONS: Paraphrase the following paragraphs by stating each idea in a separate sentence. Example: "Natural languages follow various rules and it is reasonably clear that humans inherit an innate cognitive capacity to learn these rules. As a result of normal maturation, this capacity of language acquisition reaches a stage of 'readiness' before the age of two, and continues on through the childhood years until puberty. The actual nature of this universal readiness for language is still unknown. Some scientists think that humans are preprogrammed with the basic rules of language, but others believe that humans are innately prepared to learn these rules." (1) It is likely that the capacity to learn language rules is innate. (2) Readiness to learn language depends upon maturation. (3) The period of language readiness is from age 2 to about 14. (4) No one knows for sure what the nature of this readiness is. (5) It could be that language rules are instinctive. (6) Or it could be that humans are predisposed to learn a language. 1. "Verbal communication begins as a one-word utterance that seems to serve as a complete sentence. That is to say, one word is sufficient to express the child's idea. Indeed, most parents can readily translate a baby's one-word utterance into an adult sentence." 2. "In language development, we see a progression from nothing at birth to one-word utterances at one year, to actual grammatical sentences at three years. It is not clear why children change toward more and more complex grammatical structures nor do we know how the child 'knows' what changes to make. What is clear is that no special training is needed to enable a child increasingly to approximate adult language." 3. "There are some 'language universals' such as the distinction between nouns and verbs. Even if these universals are innate, the child must learn the specific way they appear in the particular language that the child is acquiring. For example, some languages put adjectives after the noun while others put adjectives before the noun. One theory is that every normal child has an innate grammar that maps onto the sentences the child hears. Paraphrasing Exercise 5: Paragraphs - B Background. The most critical paraphrasing skill in college is usually described as "putting the main idea into your own words." The very best evidence that you really understand some material is if you can identify the important parts of the material and summarize them in a few original sentences. You may use some of the same words, if they are especially appropriate, but your summary should not be a direct quote. An especially valuable skill is successive paraphrasing of a paragraph (or other large unit). By paraphrasing your paraphrase, you focus in on the core of the main idea. Once you pack a lot of knowledge into a short summary, you can later unpack it whenever the topic comes up. DIRECTIONS: First, summarize each paragraph in one or two sentences. Then, summarize your summary. Example: "What do people gain from language development? Verbal communication offers many advantages: greater ability to describe one's experiences, greater ability for abstract thought, greater ability to express complex ideas to others. Combined with memory, verbal communication provides the basis for the accumulation of knowledge. In sum, our ability to cope with large amounts of information is dependent on our possession of verbal language system." Language development enables a person to handle a lot of information efficiently. This includes describing experiences, expressing ideas, and even thinking. . Language helps organize knowledge. 1. "Human language is dependent on a single structure in the brain; if this structure is destroyed through injury or stroke, language is lost. During early childhood, brain processes develop very much in parallel with language acquisition. Accordingly, most scientists believe that language results from biological maturation as well as environmental influences." 2. "It is clear that a child must learn to speak. This apparently happens through experimentation. All normal infants innately produce many sounds such as crying, cooing, and gurgling. As the child gets accustomedto sound-making, babbling becomes a frequent form of practice. The child at an early age produces all the sounds in all the languages in the world, some of which may be lost because they are not in the language the child will learn. Increasingly, the child imitates sounds that are heard during normal speech of older children and adults." 3. "Of course, intelligible speech is more than making sounds, and the child must somehow learn the communication code of his or her society. Some scientists contend that language is acquired in the same way that any other behavior is learned: Specific utterances by the child are rewarded or not according to how closely they fit with adult rules. Others contend that the rules of language are much to complex to be learned piece-meal in this fashion and that the human infant is innately equipped for language.