In Task 2 of the IELTS exam you need to read and understand the essay topic and then paraphrase. This indicates to the examiner that you understand the topic and have a flexible vocabulary knowledge that allows to re-word the topic. Furthermore, this will help you formulate your ideas in your own words and ensure that you don’t repeat phrases and vocabulary.
In order to be able to successfully paraphrase you need to do the following three things:
- Find suitable synonyms
- Transform the verbs
- Re-structure the sentence
Unemployment is the one of the most serious problems facing developed nations today. What are the advantages and disadvantages of reducing the working week to thirty-five hours.
First, identify the key nouns and adjectives and provide suitable synonyms. For example,
unemployment = lack of jobs
serious problems = grave issues
developed nations = industrialised countries
advantages and/or disadvantages = pros and/or cons
working week = days of the week that one works at their job
Secondly, identify key verbs and select new verbs or synonyms OR transform the verb. For example
Facing – confronting, being faced with
Reducing – lessening, making the work-week shorter
Thirdly, restructuring the sentences. For example,
Let’s examine the pros and/or cons of…
Let’s look at the pros and/or cons of…
So, how would the original topic look paraphrased using these steps?
Lack of jobs is indeed a grave issue confronting industrialised countries at this time. Let’s examine the pros and/or cons of lessening the days or hours per week that one works at their job from 40 hours to thirty-five hours.
Give it a try. The more you practice the better you will become at paraphrasing.