Combining strategies (1)

Choosing the best paraphrase

Read the three original texts and the set of four (A-D) paraphrases following each text. Then write in the blank space the phrase that best describes each paraphrase from the options given.      

(Texts and paraphrases adapted from Oshima, A. and Hogue, A. (2006) Writing academic English. (4th ed.) NY: Pearson Education.)

Original Text 1 (Citation details:from an article in Space Science magazine, October 15, 2003 issue. Title of article: "Manned Mars flight: Impossible dream?" by Patrick Clinton, a NASA physician.)    

 Living aboard a space station in orbit around Earth for months at a time poses problems for astronauts' bodies as well as their minds.

Four paraphrases:  Write the correct phrase in the blank for each paraphrase from the options below:

Best paraphrase      Too similar      No citation       Different meaning

A. An article in Space Science magazine reports that astronauts who live aboard space stations for long periods of time may experience physical as well as mental problems. No citation

B. An article in Space Science magazine reports that lengthy space station duty may lead to physical and mental problems for astronauts (Clinton, 2003). Best paraphrase

C. An article in Space Science reports that living in a space station orbiting Earth for a long time can cause difficulties for astronauts' bodies and minds (Clinton, 2003). Too similar

D. An article in Space Science report that astronauts will become physically sick and have mental problems if they visit a space station (Clinton, 2003). Different meaning

 Original text 2 (same article, Clinton, 2003)

The major problem is maintaining astronauts' physical health. Medical treatment may be days or even weeks away, as there may not be a doctor on board. Illnesses such as appendicitis or ulcers, routinely treated on Earth, could be fatal in space because of the delay in getting to a doctor.

Four paraphrases: Read each paraphrase and evaluate it by writing the correct phrase in the blank space.

Best paraphrase      Too similar      No citation       Different meaning 

A. NASA physician Patrick Clinton (2003) states that one big problem is keeping astronauts in good physical health. Medical treatment might take days or weeks to get because there may not be a doctor on the spaceship. Ordinary illnesses such as appendicitis and ulcers could be deadly because it would take too long to get to a doctor on Earth.  Too similar

B. NASA physician Patrick Clinton (2003) states that the physical health of astronauts is a serious problem. Spaceships do not usually have medical doctors among the crew, so astronauts who get appendicitis or ulcers on a long space journey will die. Different meaning

C. NASA physician Patrick Clinton (2003) states that keeping the astronauts physically healthy is a significant problem. If the crew does not include a doctor, the delay in getting treatment for an ordinary illness, such as appendicitis or ulcers, could mean death.  Best paraphrase

D. NASA physician Patrick Clinton states that one problem is astronauts' physical health. With no doctor on board, common illnesses like appendicitis and ulcers could be fatal to astronauts because it would take too long to get them back to Earth. No citation

Original text 3 (same article, p. 17)

Another health problem is the potential for bone deterioration. In a weightless space, the body makes less calcium. Astronauts must exercise at least three hours a day to prevent bone loss.

Paraphrases of Original Text 3: Write the correct phrase in the blank for each paraphrase from the options below:

Best paraphrase      Too similar      No citation       Different meaning 

A. Another problem is the possibility of bone loss, according to NASA physician, Patrick Clinton (2003). In weightless space, the body makes less calcium. Astronauts have to exercise a minimum of three hours a day to avoid losing bone. Too similar

B. According to NASA physician, Patrick Clinton (2003), weight can be a problem. Astronauts must take extra calcium and exercise at least three hours a day to keep from gaining weight and to prevent bone damage. Different meaning

C. According to NASA physician, Patrick Clinton, astronauts could suffer bone loss. Being weightless causes the body to lose calcium, which is important for strength, so exercising at least three hours daily is essential to keep their bones strong. No citation

D. According to NASA physician, Patrick Clinton (2003), astronauts also face possible bone loss. Because weightlessness causes the body to lose calcium, exercising at least three hours every day is necessary to keep their bones strong. Best paraphrase