Paraphrasing as an Inherently Interpretive Act

22 May 2020 - 22 May 2020

Presenter(s): Silvia Rossi

Session recording: View recording

Slides from the session: Click this link to download the slides from this session


Description: Paraphrasing is a challenging skill for most higher education students to master, and although explicit paraphrasing instruction and multiple opportunities for feedback are exactly what students need in order to progress, they are relatively rare in undergraduate courses. Learning Developers are in a unique position to provide students with robust instruction and practice in this complex skill.

Paraphrasing instruction sometimes takes a somewhat mechanistic, decontextualised approach, and practice activities can deprive students of the opportunity to grapple with important questions that are integral to authentic academic writing–questions pertaining to the interpretation of source material and the responsible representation of the original author’s position. Relatively simple adjustments can be made to practice activities to add context and thereby help students recognize the interpretive agency inherent in the act of paraphrasing.


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