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English for Academic Studies (Workshop) Session 10: Paraphrasing Skills

Semester 1, 2009/10 © PolyU HKCC

Session 10: Paraphrasing Skills (Key)

The exercises in this worksheet are based on the following selection:

While people enjoy the fun of Halloween, little do they know about its origin.
The festival has its roots in Celtic festival of Samhain, during which people celebrate the
beginning of the darker half of the year. The festival is also closely related to the death
since the ancient Celts believed the boundary between this world and the Otherworld
became thinnest on Samhain. To protect themselves from the wandering evil spirits, the
Celts would put on masks and costumes so as to frighten the harmful spirits away. In a
way, Halloween resembles the Hungry Ghost Festival in traditional Chinese culture that
the Chinese maintain that the gate of hell will be loosened in the seventh month of the
year and the spirits, both good and bad, will pass through to the human world.

Part A: Diagnostic Test

Exercise A1: Read the above selection and circle the letter of the title that best
describes the selection.

A. Halloween and Celtic tradition


B. The Origin of Halloween
C. Similarity between Halloween and the Hungry Ghost Festival

Exercise A2: Paraphrase one by one the first three sentences in the paragraph.

1. While people enjoy the fun of Halloween, little do they know about its origin.

Most people do not know where Halloween comes from, although they may celebrate the
festival. (Answer may vary.)

2. The festival has its roots in Celtic festival of Samhain, during which people celebrate
the beginning of the darker half of the year.

Halloween evolved from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, which signals the
beginning of the darker half of the year. (Answer may vary.)

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English for Academic Studies (Workshop) Session 10: Paraphrasing Skills
Semester 1, 2009/10 © PolyU HKCC

3. The festival is also closely related to the death since the ancient Celts believed the
boundary between this world and the Otherworld became thinnest on Samhain.

In the past, people considered that the evening before All Saints’ Day (November 1) was
particularly dangerous since spirits could enter freely the human world. (Answer may
vary.)

Part B: Paraphrasing Skills – Review

When preparing a paraphrase, you should follow the subsequent steps:

Step 1: Take a few minutes to preview the work.


Step 2: Read the work through the first time. Mark areas (ideas) that seem important.
Step 3: Re-read the important areas (ideas).
Step 4: Take notes on the material. Substitute synonyms into the original work and alter
the sentence structure.
Step 5: Draft a paraphrase. Make sure the paraphrase retains all the ideas of the original
work but is phrased differently from it.

Part C: Concepts Boosting Exercises

Exercise C1: Replace the underline words with synonyms. Put your answers in the
space between the lines.

1. To protect themselves from the wandering evil spirits, the Celts would put on masks
and costumes so as to frighten the harmful spirits away.

Put on: wear


Frighten away: chase away

2. In a way, Halloween resembles the Hungry Ghost Festival in traditional Chinese


culture that the Chinese maintain that the gate of hell will be let loose in the seventh
month of the year and the spirits, both good and bad, will pass through to the human
world.

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English for Academic Studies (Workshop) Session 10: Paraphrasing Skills
Semester 1, 2009/10 © PolyU HKCC

Resemble: is similar to
Pass through: enter

Exercise C2: Paraphrase the last two sentences of the selection.

To ward off harmful spirits, ancient Celts would wear masks and costumes to chase the
spirits away. Halloween is thus similar to the Hungry Ghost Festival over this aspect.
According to the Chinese tradition, amid the seventh month of Lunar New Year, it is
believed that the gate of hell is opened and spirits can enter the human world.

(Answer may vary.)