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Paraphrasing Help

  1. Sep 11, 2008 #1
    I know this isn't the homework section, but the homework section only allows science-related questions for homework. This is as well out of the "science realm," but it doesn't seem like "General Discussion" to ask about Paraphrasing.

    Well, my question is how to paraphrase a piece of writing that is in the first person. I checked out this useful website, but I don't think they gave a first person document as an example.

    Would "I had trouble asking for directions in Mexico because of my lack of knowledge in Spanish," be paraphrased something like "Without necessary language skills in Spanish, the traveler was not able to ask for directions in Mexico," or "Since I did not know any Spanish, I found myself troubled while asking for directions in Mexico?"
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 11, 2008 #2

    Moonbear

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    Either one is paraphrasing. It depends on whether you're paraphrasing the words spoken by someone else (your first example) or something you said earlier and are paraphrasing to repeat to someone else (your second example).
     
  4. Sep 11, 2008 #3
    Oh, so I guess the first example would be my answer (I need to paraphrase a certain part of Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes). Thanks Moonbear!
     
  5. Sep 11, 2008 #4
    This is why PF is so cool. Need legal advice? try PF. Need help with your garden? try PF. Have a itch you can't quite reach? try PF
     
  6. Sep 11, 2008 #5
    To paraphrase just means to say the same thing in different words. Obviously, any change of words is going to entail some change of meaning. There will always be gray areas.

    The original: Yes.

    Candidate A; No.

    Candidate B: Affirmative.

    Candidate A is not a paraphrase because it doesn't say the same thing. Candidate B is a paraphrase.

    The original: I had trouble asking for directions in Mexico because of my lack of knowledge in Spanish.

    Candidate A: Without necessary language skills in Spanish, the traveler was not able to ask for directions in Mexico.

    Candidate B: Since I did not know any Spanish, I found myself troubled while asking for directions in Mexico.

    Candidate A is not a paraphrase because it doesn't say the same thing. Candidate B is a paraphrase.
     
  7. Sep 11, 2008 #6
    thanks for paraphrasing Moonbear's original answer.
    though I disagree with your conclusion.
     
  8. Sep 11, 2008 #7
    Isn't paraphrasing basically chewing the words and spitting them back out?

    I still feel compelled to follow Moonbear's answer.

    "Different words" can mean a lot of things, as well as one simple answer.
     
  9. Sep 11, 2008 #8
    yes. go with moonbear. i don't know how hard your teacher grades, but if it isn't a quote it's paraphrasing.
     
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