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A novel scheme called the selective mapping of partial tones (SMOPT) is addressed for the reduction of the peak-to-average power ratio (PAPR) in orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) systems. The SMOPT first produces a set of modified OFDM symbols with reduced PAPRs by adding a set of mapping symbols designed on peak reduction tones (PRT) to the original OFDM symbol. The SMOPT then selects the symbol with the lowest PAPR for transmission among the modified OFDM symbols. When simulated under the IEEE 802.11a wireless local area network and ETSl EN 300 401 digital audio broadcasting physical layer models, the SMOPT is observed to have lower sensitivity to PRT positions, lower complexity, and more design flexibility than the tone reservation scheme.