Rephrasing the Question

Rephrasing the Question

Author: Sydney Bauer
This lesson explains how to rephrase the question when answering reading comprehension questions.
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Introduction to Psychology

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The questions that appear on a test or homework assignment can be hard to understand because of the way they are phrased, which can make it difficult to answer them correctly. One of the best ways to make sure you understand what a question is asking is to rephrase it as a statement in your own words.


When rephrasing a question make sure that the new phrasing makes sense to you, helps you to better understand the question, and maintains the meaning of the original question. (You don’t want the question from the test to get lost in translation!)


Let’s look at some examples!

  • Original Question: Which of the following factors did not make etiquette an important part of knightly interactions?
    • Rephrased: One of the following details didn’t make etiquette important to how knights interacted with each other.
    • Rephrased: Three (or four) of the following details made it so that etiquette was important to how knights interacted with each other. (then identify which detail is left, the one that wasn’t important.)


  • Original Question: What was the first thing Alice felt she needed to do upon arriving in the Looking-Glass World?
    • Rephrased: As soon as she passed through the looking glass, Alice went outside and thought she needed to _________________.


  • Original Question: What did the narrator mean when he said “Giovanni knew not what to dread; still less what to hope; yet hope and dread kept a continual warfare in his heart”?
    • Rephrased: Giovanni didn’t know what to be afraid of or what to hope for, and the narrator is trying to tell me something by pointing it out. The narrator is trying to say that _____________.