Synthesizing Text

In some circumstances, it’s important to be able to synthesize text. So, what we’re going to do is we’re going to read this story, and then we’re going to work on synthesizing or paraphrasing it.

So, we’ll get to that in a minute, but first, let’s read this story.

The next lesson: Text Evidence, both lessons are included in Practice Tests.

The following transcript is provided for your convenience.
Emmanuel went swimming in the lake by his house, where the water reached a depth of twenty feet in the middle. He did not venture out more than six feet into the water, however.”

So, now, we want to paraphrase this, which means “stating the author’s ideas in the reader’s own words“.

So, what we’re doing here is kind of like a summary, and, in fact, you may have already thought, “Oh, that’s how it’s just like summarizing it.”

But, it’s a little bit different, because a summary typically involves including the main points of a longer text, such as a novel or a full story. Well, this is not a full story, and it’s definitely not a novel. It’s just a couple sentences.

So, when you paraphrase, you’re taking a couple sentences or an entire paragraph, and you’re including the main point of the text being reviewed because that’s what the reader needs to know about the text.

So, in this example up here, the reader needs to know that Emmanuel went swimming in the lake, but not more than six feet out. Those are the important points. It’s not really important if the reader understands that the water reaches a depth of twenty feet. So, we want to focus on the main points here to kind of summarize it, but in other words, just take a couple sentences, and state it in our own words.

And so, in this case, a good paraphrase would be:

Emmanuel went swimming six feet out in the lake by his house.”

So, that’s a paraphrase of this up here. We’re just taking the main points, taking those points, and expressing them in our own words. And so, this right here incorporates the main points that the audience needs to know.

Practice tests help you remember. Take this mini-test to solidify your memory.
Mini-test: Synthesizing Text 

1. Synthesizing text is also called …
2. When you synthesize a text, you …


The next lesson: Text Evidence, both lessons are included in Practice Tests.