4 Simple Strategies to Avoid Lifting

Comprehension: 4 Simple Strategies to Avoid Lifting

I hope everyone had a good Labour Day break even though we are in the thick of examinations! The issue of lifting has always been a tricky one with some schools and teachers being stricter than others with regards to this practice. In fact, an immediate zero mark can be awarded if an answer has been lifted! Although we often tell children to avoid lifting, what exactly can they do to prevent themselves from making committing this costly error? Read on to find out how we use these 4 Simple Strategies to Avoid Lifting!

Firstly, what does it mean by lifting? All answers MUST come from the comprehension passage just that you are not encouraged to copy from the beginning of a sentence to the end (the capital letter of the sentence all the way to the full stop.) This is strongly discouraged as it seems to suggest a lack of the child’s understanding of the question since the answer is copied from head to tail, including irrelevant bits of information sometimes, for the question.

A precise answer with accurate details is what a student should be striving for and this is the main reason why teachers may discourage students from copying a sentence entirely. Oftentimes, when students copy an entire sentence, they may miss out on considerations such as:

  • “Which details do I really need to answer the question?”
  • “Is my answer clear enough since the sentence from the passage used “it” and “she”? Do I need to state who or what they are?”

In this post, we will outline 4 things that a child can and should do to avoid copying an answer from the beginning to the end. We will use a question based on the paragraph below to demonstrate how the 4 steps can be applied to the sentence where the answer is found.

4 Simple Strategies to Avoid Lifting

Q: Why did everyone freeze in dismay?

Before we go on to the steps to avoid lifting, let us recapitulate on how to look for the answer. The important words in the questions are “why” (telling us reason is needed) and “freeze in dismay”. Locating these key phrases in the paragraph will enable us to find the answer and most children should be able to pick out this sentence as the answer:

4 Simple Strategies to Avoid Lifting

If a child is to write that exact sentence,
Q: Why did everyone freeze in dismay?

A: Everyone froze in dismay as the whole family knew all along that Uncle Tommy was not a person to be trifled with.
it will be considered lifting and a zero mark will be awarded.

Do bear in mind that it is essential for the original meaning of the sentence to not be lost! If the original meaning is changed, the answer will not longer be accurate.

With that being said, here are 4 ways to avoid lifting:

1. Remove unnecessary details

Although repeating the question (Why did everyone freeze in dismay? –> Everyone froze in dismay as…) helps to answer the question very clearly, there are times when it is fine to not repeat the question. This is one such situation. Hence, children can answer directly without having to repeat “Everyone froze in dismay”. However, do take note that to answer the question directly, the Subject in the answer (Doer/described) should be the same as that in the question. In this question, “Everyone” is the subject. Hence, omitting “Everyone froze in dismay as”, the answer can be

A: Everyone (omitted – froze in dismay as) knew all along that Uncle Tommy was not a person to be trifled with.

Another piece of information that is unnecessary will be the phrase “all along”. This phrase tells us “when” the family knew about Uncle Tommy’s temperament but is not crucial in answering the “why” in the question. Hence, it is possible to omit this piece of information. The kind of unnecessary details that can be omitted is different for each question but some common details include phrases that describe the degree, time or manner (e.g. very, extremely, as usual, In the blink of an eye etc.). The key thing is to answer straight to the point. In this example, it will be acceptable to write:

A: Everyone froze in dismay as the whole family knew (omitted – all along) that Uncle Tommy was not a person to be trifled with.


2. Replace the nouns with a pronoun (he, she, it etc.)

The replacing of a noun with a pronoun is one of the easiest way to avoid lifting. The noun can refer to the subject or the object (receiver) in the answer.

A: Everyone froze in dismay as they(the whole family) knew all along that Uncle Tommy was not a person to be trifled with.

However, do take note that the answer should not become unclear (who is doing this? who are you referring to?) after you replaced the noun.

Q: Why was Emily angry with Mary?

Emily was angry with Mary for not keeping her promise.

She was angry with Mary for not keeping her promise.

She was angry with her for not keeping her promise.

By replacing all the nouns with pronouns, the answer can become vague and confusing. Hence, it is vital for children to remember to mention the names of the subject and object clearly first before replacing any nouns that come later in the sentence with any pronouns.


The next two strategies are slightly more advanced as it will require children to have a relatively rich vocabulary and the ability to manipulate a sentence. Hence, I would advise all children to always try the previous two strategies first before considering the two below.


3. Replace a word with another that is similar in meaning

Another possible strategy is to replace a word e.g. adjective or verb with another word or phrase that has a similar meaning. The rules when replacing a word are:

1. The tenses must be the same. (smiled –> gave a smile)

2. The word must be similar in meaning and used appropriately in the sentence.

e.g. Rebecca was relieved once she saw the dolphins.

Rebecca was overjoyed once she saw the dolphins.

The meanings of overjoyed and relieved are not exactly the same. In this case, it may be a better idea to replace “Rebecca” with “she” than to replace the adjective, “relieved”.

This strategy works well for certain answers but not all the time. For instance, applying this to our example above may not be a best fit too as it can alter the meaning of the answer.

A: Everyone froze in dismay as the whole family knew all along that Uncle Tommy was not a person to be disrespected (trifled with).


4. Rearrange the sentence structure

For this last strategy, children are required to rearrange the structure of the original sentence. These can be done in various ways. Assuming that a child is keen on copying the entire sentence for our original question, what he or she can do will be:

Q: Why did everyone freeze in dismay?

Original sentence: Everyone froze in dismay as the whole family knew all along that Uncle Tommy was not a person to be trifled with.

A: Everyone knew all along that Uncle Tommy was not a person to be trifled with and hence, they froze in dismay. 

However, as mentioned in our very first tip, it is not necessary to repeat the question. Therefore, the above answer does not need “and hence, they froze in dismay.”

Another way that a sentence can be rearranged will be when the sentence has a subordinate clause (a clause, typically introduced by a conjunction like “when”, “although” etc. that forms part of a sentence and cannot stand by itself.)

For example:

When Emily found out that Mary had not kept her secret (subordinate clause), she confronted Mary.

Emily confronted Mary when she found out that Mary had not kept her secret. (subordinate clause)


I hope that the above are useful in helping your children to prevent making the mistake of lifting as they try to keep every hard-earned mark in the comprehension section.

Remember, the original meaning of the answer must still be preserved and check TAPS after writing the answers. All the best for the SA1!

Have something to share? Drop us a comment below!

Leave a Reply

Share

Other related posts

Primary English | Creative Writing: Figurative Language in Songs
4 Fun & Interactive Classroom Display Tools!
Reading | Video: A Totto-ly Delightful Read!
Continuous Writing | 4 Tips to Address the Topic
Primary 4 Marching Onto Primary 5: Changes You Need to Know for English
Holiday + Learning = Fun!
Free News Sources for Kids
Authentic Learning Activity | Editor on the Move!
5 Graphic Novels To Check Out This Holiday
Understanding IF Conditionals!
The First Write Recipe Workshop at Greenridge Primary School!
I Love Reading | 3 Tips for Reluctant Readers
Steps to Score Well in Situational Writing for PSLE English
5 Commonly Confused Pairs (or is it Pears?)
Teachers Who Love English, We Want You!
Paper 2: Don’t Lose the Marks Everyone is Getting!
PSLE English Specialist Teacher Wanted!
App-y Tuesday: Prep Your Prepositions with These Apps!
As a follow up to my previous post on prepositions, I thought I would share with you three apps which you can download if you’re looking for an effective and fun way to learn prepositions.
Tricky Prepositions to Clarify Before Your Exam
More importantly, your knowledge of prepositions can be tested in numerous sections in Paper 2 - Grammar MCQ, Vocabulary MCQ, Grammar Cloze, Comprehension Cloze and Editing. That’s more than half of the components in Paper 2!
Learning Idioms: Have The Upper Hand With These 3 Tips
Authentic Learning | A New Way to Read the News
Post Exam | 3 Important Things to Do After Receiving Your Exam Script
Comprehension | What Do I Need to Highlight?
How to Execute Direct and Indirect Speech Transformation Confidently! | PowerPoint Slides
5 Tips To Help You In Your Primary English Exam Revision
Bingo Revision 4 Ways!
In this post, I am going to show you how the modest game of Bingo can be used as a fun revision tool.
Insert Exciting Dialogue Tags to Your Primary School Composition!
To start off with, let me share with you the power of using dialogue. Dialogue is an essential part of the story.
Continuous Writing: 3 Specific Things to Check For!
Between Two Commas: How to Deal with Extra Information
Activities for the Holidays!
Let’s Go On A Learning Journey | Two Awesome Places To Visit During the December Holidays!
Five Essentials to Score for Formal Situational Writing
7 Essay Types at the O Level
Perfecting the Paragraph: Know When To Start A New Paragraph
We all know that to write a good story, we need to have a clear structure. But how do we structure our stories? If your answer is, “by having paragraphs”, then you are very nearly correct.
How to Pronounce the /th/ Sound?
In this post, I would like to help you to start mastering the /th/ sound with 2 simple steps.
Fans of Fiction: 3 Websites to Check Out This Holiday
NYT Copy-Edit This: Free Editing Resource
3 Ways to Build A Confident Child With Your Choice of Words!
Writing a Composition | 3 Ways to Write A Good Line of Dialogue
Vocabulary | 5 Common Homophone Mistakes
Grammar | “I” vs “Me” (Subjective VS Objective Pronoun)
4 Examination Components That Test You on Irregular Verbs
Visual Text Comprehension | 4 Types of Non-Linguistic Features You Need to Know
Tackling 3 Important Question Types in Comprehension: True/False, Referencing and Sequencing
A Lil’ Grit Goes A Long Way
Look Back in a Flash! 3 Ways to Craft Effective Flashbacks
Previous
Next

Like what you are reading?

Subscribe now to receive news and tips hot off the press!

Primary School English Tuition| Lil' but Mighty English