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Paraphrasing tips for best results in Task 1 and 2 IELTS Writing Essay

Understand and master simple, effective paraphrasing techniques

Season 1, episode 7
9 min / Published

Your ability to use paraphrasing correctly during your IELTS Writing tasks is the first step to impressing your examiner and getting your essay started on the right foot! Our five simple guidelines are easy to understand and even easier to incorporate!

Show notes

The last day of 2021 is upon us and I'm sure we're all super glad, relieved and thankful that we're all still standing. This the seventh edition of my podcast and today I decided to keep it brief and simple.


So without further ado, welcome to my podcast, IELTS Writing Coach!



Today we look at paraphrasing in IELTS Writing and get you on the right track to mastering this very important aspect of your essay. But before we get into it, let's tackle why paraphrasing is necessary while crafting your ielts writing essay.


The ability to paraphrase in IELTS Writing is crucial for mainly two reasons...

Firstly, it shows that you have interpreted the question and then are capable of putting it into your own words.

This is non-negotiable and will always stand you n good stead with examiners.

Then of course, paraphrasing is also use to avoid reiteration of the same words so that it prevents you from losing marks in the IELTS Exam.

When it comes to writing task 1 and 2 paraphrasing is an essential skill, but most students incorrectly simply copy the question right into their writing and this results in a lower score.


Today we're going to discuss the top 5 paraphrasing techniques


1. The most common technique and maybe the most important is to find synonyms for the key words in the question

For this technique take note of the most important nouns and verbs in the question and see which synonyms might be able to replace them


let's take a look at an examples:

The diagram below shows the process by which bricks are manufactured for the building industry


In this case you'll need to find some words you can change in order to paraphrase effectively


For example:

The diagram illustrates the way bricks are made for the building industry


In the second sentence you'll notice that we found three synonyms for some of the major words in the question and this helps us paraphrase effectively, but more importantly it helps us get a higher score on our writing exam


2. Another popular way to paraphrase is by simply changing the form of the words and the questions. Now you may need a good understanding of word families in order to do this effectively. A common way to do this might be to change nouns to verbs, verbs to nouns or even adjectives to their nouns


Time for another example:

The line graph below shows the consumption of four kinds of meat in a European country from 1979 - 2004


Now in our paraphrased example we read:


The line graph below shows how one European country consumed four kinds of meat from 1979 to 2004


Here you can see that in order to paraphrase effectively we change the noun “consumption” to its verb form consumed


3. Thirdly, we often we can change the grammar structures in the question to paraphrase more effectively one way to do this is to simply change the active to the passive voice.


Take a look at the following example:


Real estate developers invested over 40 million usd into the development of a new senior living community.


now let's paraphrase:


40 Million usd was invested in the development of a new senior living community


Here you see we changed invested to was invested (active to passive)


Once again this is one more way to help us paraphrase more effectively


4. All this talk about synonyms, changing grammar structures or changing seems really complicated, so why don't we look a much simpler way to paraphrase... just change the word order in the sentence.


Let's take a look at the example:


The line graph below shows the consumption of four kinds of meat in a European country from 1979 to 2004


So now we paraphrase by simply changing the position of the words in the sentence...


Paraphrased in this way the order now is:


The line graph below shows how four different kinds of meat were consumed over a 25-year period in one European country


As you can see not only did we change the order of the words which had a dramatic effect on how the question was read but we also changed the main verb from the active to the passive.


This leads us to our final tip... Actually a rule-of-thumb or suggestion actually...


Typically relying on only one technique to do your paraphrasing is doable but can often be a little bit stressful difficult and not very effective


For the best results we recommend using two or three different techniques at the simultaneously - for example combining synonyms with changing the word order or the grammar structures can have a dramatic effect on your paraphrasing skills


To wrap up let's touch on the the top five paraphrasing techniques we can use:

1. Make use of synonyms

2. You can change the word form (verb to noun, noun to adjective)

3. The grammar structures can be changed from active to passive

4. We can look to change the order of the words and;

5. Remember for best results it's always recommended to use two to three different techniques at the same time


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IELTS Exam Coach
A podcast by IELTS Exam Coach
Ace your IELTS Exam with simple, effective tips & tricks!
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