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3 ways to paraphrase

Paraphrasing a question shows the examiner that you have understood it and that you have a good range of vocabulary. It also helps you to think about the question more clearly and produce a great answer!




In IELTS writing task 1 you are required to write a report on a chart, diagram, or map you have been presented with. The first sentence of this answer will be a rephrasing of the question.


Below are some suggestions on how this can be done looking at the example of a bar chart. After reading these examples you should be able to paraphrase the below sentence:


The bar chart below shows can be written in a number of different ways, here are just some examples:

  • This chart illustrates...

  • Shown in this chart are...

  • This bar chart represents...

  • The data given in this chart gives a picture of...

  • This graph shows...

the hours per week that teenagers spend can be rephrased as:

  • the amount of time young people spent...

  • the distribution of time that is spent by teenagers...

  • the way 13 to 18 year olds occupied their free time over a week...

  • how teenagers spent their time over a week...

  • the weekly preferences of young people in how they spent their time...


doing certain activities can be rewritten as:

  • undertaking different pastimes...

  • taking part in various free time activities....

  • actively participating in a number of pursuits...

  • pursuing various activities...

  • investing their time in...


Now we have five different ways to say each part of the statement, which gives us not only a large number of options to rephrase it, but also a range of vocabulary that we can use when describing the chart in the body paragraphs of the report for IELTS writing task 1.


Using the phrases we have identified above here are some possible ways to rewrite the sentence:

"This bar chart shows the hours per week that teenagers spent doing certain activities in Chester from 2002 to 2007."


"This graph shows the various ways 13 to 18 year olds occupied their free time over a week undertaking different pastimes in Chester from 2002 to 2007."


"This bar chart represents the amount of time that young people spent undertaking different pastimes over a 6 year period in Chester."


Why don't you give it a try?

The next time you see a question written down think of all of the different ways it could be asked. Not only will this help with IELTS academic writing task 1, but it will also help you to broaden your vocabulary in general.



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