In this video, Eliot Friesen who is an IELTS expert at Magoosh, talks about paraphrasing for the IELTS Writing Task 1.
As he explains at the beginning of the video, paraphrasing is one of the most difficult and most important skills that you need to be able to do well for the Writing section of the exam. More specifically, there are two things that you need to keep in mind for your response during this section.
The first point is that you need to focus on the vocabulary words and change them. So what is the best way to do that?
When it comes to this aspect of paraphrasing, Eliot recommends simply looking at the nouns in the sentence and thinking of some alternative words to replace them. The next thing he recommends is doing some consolidation or summary. Try to capture the idea behind the sentences in your own words.
Check out: How Is IELTS Writing Task 1 Marked? (Video)
The second part of paraphrasing that you might not have practised much is changing the sentence structure. Finding synonyms for specific words will not be enough if you wish to perform well in this task. In fact, the top scorers on the IELTS Writing section actually take sentences and change their structure. This is harder because it requires some advanced grammar and, of course, this is what the IELTS test wants to see you do – put concepts into your own words. Although it is not easy, there are some tips you can try.
For example, you can find a noun that seems to be a main concept and try to move it to the beginning of the sentence alongside the subject. If you manage to do that, you will also have to move around other concepts in the sentence so that it makes sense after restructuring it.
Another technique you can try is to focus on the verbs. If you change a verb, very often it will require you to change the structure of the sentence as well. It is not easy to do, but, if you are strategic about it, your paraphrasing technique will improve a lot.