Thursday, November 20, 2008

Topic: Paraphrasing, the Bridge Between Reading and Writing

10-second review: Has paraphrasing become a lost art? It’s a rewriting of what someone else has written.

Title: “A Dramatistic Approach to Understanding and Teaching the Paraphrase.” Phillip Arrington. College Composition and Communication (May 1988), 185-107. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Summary: The bridge to connecting reading and writing is the paraphrase, and paraphrasing needs to be taught and practiced throughout the course. Usually taught with the research paper to prevent students from tediously copying long portions of text, with an emphasis on synthesizing the paraphrase within the research paper. From another point of view, paraphrasing is a technique that helps passive readers become active readers.

Comment. What I have just written is a summary, not a paraphrase, and not a complete summary because I have summarized only selected ideas from the article.

The paraphrase as a technique to change passive readers to active readers is an interesting thought. Asking students to paraphrase key sentences or paragraphs in what they are reading would do it. Shakespeare would be a good place to start. The need to practice paraphrasing throughout the course is a new idea for me. Need to work out with the students what exactly is a paraphrase
. RayS.

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