Preparation time: 15 minutes. Pair work
Preparation time: 15 minutes.
Pair activity


  1. Choose a key paragraph or section from an essential reading
  2. Print out copies and get students to read in class
  3. In pairs they have to summarise and paraphrase the main idea with the text. It is helpful to give them an appropriate word-count to do this
  4. They then swap their written paragraph with another pair to see how they paraphrased the text and noting if they think there is any evidence of copying words used in the original text

What the activity achieves

  • Develop paraphrasing skills
  • Develop writing skills
  • Allows for peer-review and in-class feedback


  • Instead of writing down the summary of the text, they have to vocalise their summary.
  • The students could be given more than one text that deals with the same idea. They would first summarise each text separately, then they need to write a paragraph that compares the ideas of the two different thinkers.