Fill in an outline



I have to rewrite the following sentence in my own words, and I'm not sure about its meaning.

"In parallel writing, students can read a simple model paragraph or two, fill in an outline that allows students to write on a parallel topic, then produce the one or two paragraphs."

Does this mean that students have to find a way to connect their own ideas with what they've read?

Thanks in advance for your help. :)
  • Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It looks like gibberish to me. No wonder they need someone to rewrite it. Whatever your answer, it can't be worse than the original.

    Dawnstar - could you tell us where you found this question?
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Dawnstar, were you given this sentence with no context? if you have the context for your sentences, you must provide it - otherwise we cannot understand and you will not get a good answer.

    The source seems to be this:
    Theory and Practise of Writing : an Applied Linguistics Perspective by W. Grabe
    It can be found in Google Books but I couldn't post a link.

    The sentence refers to a guided writing assignment and it doesn't seem to be gibberish.


    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    The title of the section (11.4.4) in the book is "Controlled, guided, parallel and free writing".

    "Fill in an outline" is vague, but the teachers who use these methods will know what is meant. I don't know how much scope students are given to use their own ideas. There is a model for them to study, then they are told to follow the outline they are given, on a parallel topic. They then write one or two paragraphs that parallel the model.

    Does this mean that students have to find a way to connect their own ideas with what they've read?
    It doesn't say so in that passage. As far as I can see, the parallel topic is given to the student.
    I couldn't find any examples online of how this parallel writing is done in practice.

    From Techniques in Using Controlled Writing "Parallel Writing: Students read and study a passage and then write their own on a similar theme - use as a guide the vocabulary, sentence structure, cohesive device and the organisation of the model passage. Thus parallel writing can best be described as rewriting with different basic information, which is again provided."
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