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Unformatted text preview: Table Of Contents I. Paraphrasing II. Summary III. Basic Study Techniques
Teach a Friend
Location and Time Management
Useful software and workbooks Copyright © 2006 ESL Pro Systems, Ltd. All rights reserved.
Visit us online at www.esl-pro.com. I. Paraphrasing
Two of the English language skills that prospective TOEFL® iBT Test examinees
need not only for the test, but also for success in a North American university,
are summarizing and paraphrasing. There are numerous methods for interpreting
and criticizing texts. Two methods that can help you to understand an author's
meaning are paraphrasing and summarizing. Both can be essential to the
research progress, as well, since research requires you to represent accurately
what others have had to say. It's worth remembering that when you do either in a
term paper-paraphrase or summarize-you must cite your source. This, of course,
is not necessary on the TOEFL® iBT Test.
In paraphrase, we restate a text or passage, giving the meaning in another
form. In a way, we attempt to adapt ourselves to the author by selecting words
and phrases from our own vocabulary that can accommodate the meaning we
perceive in his or her words and phrases. It includes matching our own words
and phrases with what we think are the meanings in the author's words and
phrases. It is an open-ended, trial-and-error process, subject to ongoing
As an example, not of the actual trial-and-error matching process, but of the
result of that process, consider the following paraphrase of the first paragraph in
the Declaration of Independence:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to
dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to
assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which
the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the
opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel
them to the separation.
When some people think they must break away from others, and assume the
independent and equal status that all people deserve, they ought to explain their
reasons for doing so.
Note that a paraphrase conveys the same ideas, but may not at all convey the
full effect or flavor of the original. The above paraphrase, for example, conveys
nothing of the grand tone produced by 'When in the course of human events" or
"to assume among the powers of the earth" of "the Laws of Nature and of
Nature's God." Still, paraphrasing is worthwhile, for in finding different words that
will accommodate the author's meaning, we have in a sense made his meaning
our own and thus come to understand him.
Copyright © 2006 ESL Pro Systems, Ltd. All rights reserved.
Visit us online at www.esl-pro.com. II. Summary
The second technique is summary. A summary gives a shortened form of a work,
retaining the general sense and unity of the original. As a process it too is most
likely an open-ended, trial-and-error matching activity subject to ongoing
correction. Both paraphrase and summary are probably reciprocal, i.e.,
paraphrase helps one to summarize, and summary helps one to paraphrase.
One difference between summary and paraphrase is in their respective lengths;
a paraphrase might well be as long as (or longer than) the original, whereas a
summary is shorter. A summary of the passage paraphrased above might read:
If they wish to be respected, people must not dissolve their ties with others
without giving reasons.
Or, even shorter:
The relations of civilized people are not altered except for cause.
Another difference between paraphrase and summary is that generally,
paraphrasing is for shorter texts whereas summarizing is for longer texts.
Reducing a long text to half but without omitting its step-by-step development
combines both paraphrase and summary. A mere summary, on the other hand,
would omit the step-by-step progression and reduce the whole text to its thesis
and major supporting points in relatively fewer words. The value of summarizing
is that the process of sifting and sorting to discover controlling ideas produces
another level of understanding.
Summary may take various forms. The summary presented above concerns the
author's explicit meaning. Another variation might refer to the author's implicit
meaning. To use the Declaration paragraph again:
The Declaration begins by implying that the colonists are a civilized people who
have achieved such stature as warrants separate nationhood.
Still other variations:
The Declaration begins by identifying three purposes of the "declaration": to
dissolve a relationship, to assume independent status, and to justify these two
The Declaration opens with the usual defense of revolution.
Copyright © 2006 ESL Pro Systems, Ltd. All rights reserved.
Visit us online at www.esl-pro.com. With this last example, we are leaving the area of an author's intended meaning
and getting into a summary of one of the other meanings a text may have beyond
its author's intended meaning—in the above case, the summary says we can
understand the text as a typical example of a whole class of revolutionary
An even clearer example of this kind of summary would be:
The Declaration takes the high moral stance typically adopted by the have-nots
when they are about to take from the haves.
This summary interprets the Declaration writers as using moral statements to
justify economic motives. At this point some might say that we have indeed left
the realm of interpretation altogether and entered the domain of criticism. But to
illustrate how criticism might still be different from the last two summaries,
consider the next two statements, which are offered as examples of criticism (i.e.,
passing judgment about a thing's value or worth):
The Declaration is one of the most stirring manifestoes ever composed.
The Declaration changed the course of human affairs the world over, and for the
"Critical" statements, then, are those intended to pass judgment about the value
or lack of value of something. In the last two statements, "most stirring" and "for
the better" are more obviously intended as value judgments.
To sum up, interpretation is the art of understanding a text. Paraphrase and
summary are two techniques that help us interpret. Paraphrase restates an
author's meaning in different words. Summary gives a shortened version of the
author's meaning, or one of the many other private or public meanings the text
may have. Each technique sheds light on the other, and both increase our
understanding. Beyond interpretation, criticism is a value judgment that often
attempts to explain why what we have understood or interpreted is worth the
effort. Copyright © 2006 ESL Pro Systems, Ltd. All rights reserved.
Visit us online at www.esl-pro.com. III. Basic Study Techniques
Students who are able to regulate the study process often experience increased
interest in learning, increased feelings of competency, and increased optimism
about their ability to be successful. By experimenting with a variety of different
study techniques, you can find methods that are suitable for you, and can ensure
you get the most out of your time. RCRC
The first study strategy that we will discuss is RCRC. Many people find
acronyms, a strategy where each letter represents a word, useful as they are
easy to remember and quite straightforward. This study technique is useful for
memorizing information, as it is repetitive, but it requires more participation than
just reading information over and over. Read
Simply Read aloud the passage that you need to memorize, then Cover it with
your hand. Recite the passage that you have just read without looking at the
paper. Then, Check to see if you were correct. Repeat this process until you feel
comfortable with the information. By continuing to use this technique, even for
information you have already memorized, you will retain the information, and be
able to quickly remember it when needed, like during an exam. Flash Cards
Flash cards remain one of the most effective, yet underrated study techniques.
To make flash cards, follow these simple steps:
1. Buy or make cue cards.
2. Write a question/word that you need to memorize on the front of the card,
and the answer or definition on the back.
3. Read the questions out loud, and if you were able to answer correctly,
move on to the next card. Make a pile of the cards you answered
incorrectly or guessed on, and review them as needed after you have
gone through all of the cue cards. Copyright © 2006 ESL Pro Systems, Ltd. All rights reserved.
Visit us online at www.esl-pro.com. Teach a friend
One of the best ways to learn something is to teach it to another person. You
must have a clear understanding of a subject before you can explain it in detail to
someone else. Your student might also have questions that can show you a
different angle or approach to learning the material. Once you are both
comfortable with the subject, you can test each others knowledge. Location and Time Management
Location is not so much of a study technique, but is a large factor in your ability
to retain knowledge and stay focused making studying both easier and faster.
Start by finding a location that is comfortable and does not contain anything that
could be a potential distraction such as T.V., radio, pets, phones, friends, or
anything that prevents you from concentrating on the task at hand. Make sure
that your location is well lit and you have time set aside to study so you won’t be
interrupted. Try to plan your study periods ahead of time, but make sure they fit
you’re schedule. For example, if you are not a morning person, this would not be
a good time to try and learn and retain information.
Time management is very important when it comes to studying. By studying for
a short period of time several times a day, you can stay focused and learn
material faster than you would by studying for a long period once a day. If you
study for maybe 3 or more periods of 10 – 30 minutes a day, you will be more
likely to remember information because you are constantly being reminded
throughout the day. On this note, another good memorization technique is to
quickly review the material you covered in the last study period or material from
the previous day, before you begin with new material. And last but not least, stay
positive! If you get stuck on a certain subject, move on and come back to it later.
You will not remember any information if you were frustrated while you were
studying. You will just remember being frustrated, and that is not useful to
anyone! Copyright © 2006 ESL Pro Systems, Ltd. All rights reserved.
Visit us online at www.esl-pro.com. PACER
PACER, is not a studying technique, but a step-by-step guide to help guide you
through a test so you can get the highest score possible. Preview
When you receive the test, Preview the whole exam before you begin. Make
sure that everything is there; all pages, questions, etc. Arrange
Next, you must Arrange the time you have been given. If your test is worth 50
marks, 15 for multiple choice and 35 for an essay and you have an hour to
complete it, make sure that you spend the bulk of your time on the essay. By
arranging your time so that you have 10-15 minutes on the multiple choice
questions and 45-50 minutes on the essay, you will have more time for the essay,
which means you won’t have to rush through the most difficult part of the exam. Clues
An important thing to do in a test is to look for clues to answers for previous
questions in the test. These will not be obvious, or even on purpose, but
occasionally the test makers put the answer to a previous question in the text of
another question. Easy questions first
Do the easy questions first! Too many people become stuck on a difficult
question, and waste all of their time on it when they could have answered several
other questions and received a higher score. If you answer the questions that
you are sure about first, you can maximize your points by getting as many as you
can before you run out of time. Another good reason for this is it boosts your
confidence so you will be more likely to attempt questions you would have
otherwise not been able to answer. Review!
No matter how good the test feels, ALWAYS review! Every point counts towards
your score, and if you miss a question or found that you wrote an incorrect
answer, it can be the difference between a pass and a fail. You should also never
leave a question blank. Always take a guess. If it is a multiple choice question,
you can usually determine one or two answers that are definitely incorrect and
then you have a 25-50% chance of choosing the correct answer which is a much
higher percentage than zero, which is what you will receive if you leave it blank. Copyright © 2006 ESL Pro Systems, Ltd. All rights reserved.
Visit us online at www.esl-pro.com. Some more great software and workbooks to help you prepare for the TOEFL®
Preparing for the TOEFL® iBT Test:
Provides study tips and important information to help you get the
highest possible score on the TOEFL® iBT Test. TOEFL® iBT Test Software:
Grand Slam Study Pack for the TOEFL® iBT Test:
This package provides two computer-based practice tests,
three workbooks for enhancing English listening, writing, and
reading skills, our popular pronunciation software, and a
bonus workbook with lots of great study and test-taking tips.
Note Taking Study Guide for the TOEFL® iBT Test:
Effective notes can be the difference between correctly
answering a question or not. This study guide includes an
overview of note taking methods and practice activities based
on realistic TOEFL® iBT Test Listening, Writing, and
Speaking section lectures that will help you excel in a real test.
Writing Lab for the TOEFL® iBT Test:
There are two parts to the Writing section of the TOEFL® iBT
Test: the integrated writing task, and the independent writing
task. You will require strong note-taking, listening, summarizing,
editing, and essay writing skills. The more familiar you are with
these activities, the higher your score will be!
Learning English Advanced Study Skills:
This workbook has both academic and conversational
listening passages, giving you an ideal balance of practice to
help you improve your overall listening ability. Included are
practice questions with solutions that will help you to
understand the main idea of what is said as well as specific details. Check back regularly for more free e-books to keep practicing.
Good luck on your exam! Copyright © 2006 ESL Pro Systems, Ltd. All rights reserved.
Visit us online at www.esl-pro.com. ...
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This note was uploaded on 06/04/2010 for the course TOEFL IBT Toefl IBT taught by Professor Thomson during the Summer '09 term at Troy.
- Summer '09