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Insider’s Guide to Studying Tip 4: Paraphrasing

A student writing an essay in the library

Students of all ages can hone their study skills with these tips that teachers wished they knew when they were students.

Tip 4: Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing. It means: summarize, re-word, interpret, translate, and/or restate. It’s a key study skill.

When it comes to studying, paraphrasing is the opposite of memorizing. That’s because it helps students make sense of the material. It helps students to understand, which, when it comes to learning and studying is crucial!

Scenario: it’s study time. The books are cracked open, and you’ve got a pen and paper ready to go. You’re in the process of making study notes. You’ve created some mnemonic devices to remember lists and you’re in the process of creating a Fake Test.

But how do you turn the act of making study notes into actual studying? That’s where paraphrasing comes in.

It’s a simple five-step process:

  1. Grab your textbook or notebook and Read a passage.
  2. Cover the passage with a book or a piece of paper.
  3. Recite what you’ve just read using your own words (paraphrase)—don’t look! No cheating!
  4. Check. Re-read and check that what you’re reciting is accurate.
  5. Repeat. Keep reading, reciting, and checking until you’ve got it 100% right.

Bonus Tip:

If you’re having trouble putting it in your own words, imagine that somebody is asking you this question “what does that mean?” Try to answer that question in your own words. You can also try using, “in other words” before you paraphrase.

Tip 3: The Fake Test
Tip 2: Mnemonic devices
Tip 1: Review with a Pen and Paper

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