IELTS Task Two: Paraphrasing the question 

Many students are taught that the task question should always be paraphrased in IELTS. This is true. However, students tend to go overboard with unnecessary or inappropriate synonyms when attempting this. Look at the following example:


These days more fathers stay at home and take care of their children while mothers go out to work. What could be the reasons for this? Do you think it is a positive or negative development?


Student paraphrase

These days the male parent likes to stay at the house and look after the kids while the mothers go out for their employment.  


The student is actually replacing key words, like “home” and “children” that should not be tampered with. It is best not to use the word “kids” in the introduction of a formal essay, as it is a fairly informal word. There are better ways to paraphrase. Consider the following:

a) Change the less significant words (for example: these days.)

b) Change “fathers” to “men” and mothers to “women” 

c) Add a phrase of your own (e.g.  It is a growing trend…)

d) Change a whole phrase (e.g. mothers go out to work/mothers are the breadwinners)

Then you end up with this:

It is a growing trend, nowadays, that more men are staying home to look after their children while women are the breadwinners of the family.


More on paraphrasing tomorrow…

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