Period: Paraphrasing Exercises

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Paraphrasing Exercises

The following exercises will help you practice your paraphrasing skills, so you don’t plagiarize by accident.

1. Read the original source. Then look at the two paraphrases that follow. Which one is an acceptable paraphrase? Which one is an unacceptable paraphrase? Why or why not?

Source: Williams, Joyce. Lizzie Borden: A Case Book of Family and Crime in the 1890s. Bloomington, IN: T.I.S. Publications Division, 1980: 1.

From the source:

The rise of industry, the growth of cities, and the expansion of the population were the three great developments of late nineteenth century American history. As new, larger, steam-powered factories became a feature of the American landscape in the East, they transformed farm hands into industrial laborers, and provided jobs for a rising tide of immigrants. With industry came urbanization the growth of large cities (like Fall River, Massachusetts, where the Bordens lived) which became the centers of production as well as of commerce and trade.

Student #1’s paper:

The increase of industry, the growth of cities, and the explosion of the population were three large factors of nineteenth century America. As steam-driven companies became more visible in the eastern part of the country, they changed farm hands into factory workers and provided jobs for the large wave of immigrants. With industry came the growth of large cities like Fall River where the Bordens lived which turned into centers of commerce and trade as well as production.

Student #2’s paper:

Fall River, where the Borden family lived, was typical of northeastern industrial cities of the nineteenth century. Steam-powered production had shifted labor from agriculture to manufacturing, and as immigrants arrived in the US, they found work in these new factories. As a result, populations grew, and large urban areas arose. Fall River was one of these manufacturing and commercial centers (Williams 1).


2. Decide if this student plagiarized. If so, redo it so that the student doesn’t plagiarize.

Source: Addonizio, Kim and Cheryl Dumesnil. Introduction. Dorothy Parker’s Elbow: Tattoos on Writers, Writers on Tattoos. New York: Warner Books, 2002: pg 10-12.

From the source:

Clearly, tattooing has emerged from the underbelly to the surface of the American landscape. And as the popularity of tattoos has expanded, so has the art itself. No longer restricted to Bettie Page look-alikes,’ muddy blue anchors, and ribbon-wrapped hearts reading Mom, today’s tattoo images make bold statements of personality, as individualized and varied as any art form (Addonizio 10).

From the student’s paper:

It’s a fact that tattoos have arisen from the underbelly to the top of the American landscape. Tattooing has experienced a growing popularity, and so has the art itself. It is no longer limited to sailor-style ships and blue anchors, or biker-type hearts reading “Mom.” Today’s images include bold statements of individualized personality as diverse as any art form (Addonizio 10).


  1. Paraphrase the following quote.

Source: O'Hanlon, Charlene. “Eat Breakfast, Drink Milk, Play Xbox.” T.H.E. Journal 34:4 (April 2007): 34-6.

The state started with a clinical, at-home study of 50 children--all of whom had a body mass index above the 85th percentile, which is the threshold for being considered overweight. The initial results of the study were overwhelming. Pre- and post-testing showed, among other things, better arterial response to increased blood flow, an increase in aerobic capacity, and no weight gain. In addition, all the participants were more willing to try new activities and invite friends over to play, and were more confident in participating in physical education classes. After seeing the data, West Virginia's department of education got involved and decided to implement a pilot program on 20 middle school campuses in the fall of 2004 to gauge DDR's acceptance within the general student population.



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