Basic Guide: How to Paraphrase and Summarize Effectively

Knowing how to paraphrase and summarize effectively without plagiarism is…

Knowing how to paraphrase and summarize effectively without plagiarism is not an easy task. If you want your work to flow more smoothly, try paraphrasing and summarizing rather than quoting.

You can change the tone and length of the paper by summarizing or paraphrasing an author’s words.

This article discusses the difference between providing a summary and paraphrasing and gives steps for paraphrasing and summarizing any material effectively.

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What Do We Mean by Paraphrase and Summarize?

When you paraphrase an author’s words, you use your own words to reiterate their write-up. Paraphrasing allows you to gain new insight into a particular topic than the original author. This is because paraphrasing involves re-wording the original piece for an increased effect to a tailored audience. 

Paraphrasing is used in education and science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM, to ensure understanding and give the message more meaning.

In summarizing the topic, you want to be brief and concise. And it’s still important to use the original author’s words throughout your summary. 

Summarizing involves taking the critical points of the topic or review. You clarify these points by writing your own words. Summarizing with an abstract will keep the written work short and condensed. You may also include the main idea of the topic. 

Key Differences Between Paraphrasing and Summarizing

Both paraphrasing and summarizing serve different purposes, so it is necessary to know when to apply each. You may prefer one over the other depending on your work’s length, tone, and argument.

Paraphrasing

To paraphrase is to restate a written or spoken word in one’s terms. Putting it in your own words can help you get your point across more clearly. You can paraphrase it to tailor it to your audience and increase its effect.

You can use paraphrased content to back up your claims. Paraphrasing is also helpful while writing a report, speech, or presentation. Avoid using lengthy direct quotes, and keep your writing uniform when paraphrasing.

You can utilize paraphrased content to isolate a key idea from a lengthy conversation while retaining the original meaning and (rough) length.

Summarization

On the other hand, a summary is a condensed version of an entire debate or argument. You may describe a whole research paper in a single paragraph or a series of bullet points in your own words and style.

When the source material is lengthy or when the author wants to highlight certain aspects, a summary is sometimes used. Summaries eliminate unnecessary information and simplify intricate arguments, syntax, and vocabulary by omitting irrelevant details and instances.

By effectively summarizing and paraphrasing, you can save time, improve comprehension, and add authority and credibility to your writing. When the overall meaning of a message is more important than its particular language, both methods come in handy.

Basic Guide: How to Paraphrase and Summarize

A paraphrase is a short or long restatement of a passage in your own words. Follow these steps to paraphrase correctly.

  • You should read the original text several times to fully grasp its significance.
  • Put the original away and jot down your paraphrase on a note card.
  • Write a few sentences below your paraphrase to remind you how you intend to use the information.
  •  Compare your revised version to the source document to ensure that you have captured the original work’s essence in the new version.
  • Make sure to put terms taken directly from another source inside quote marks.
  • If you decide to use the information in your paper, cite your source by writing the author’s name and the page number.

How to Summarize Effectively

To summarize effectively, you need to plan and organize your analysis. Here are vital steps to follow:

  • You should read the original text several times to fully grasp its significance.
  • Learn to spot the central idea. Try asking yourself, “What is the author trying to get across?” to help you focus.
  • Stay original! Jot down a couple of phrases that capture the gist of the material on a note card or in a notes document.
  • Below your summary, jot down a few phrases to remind you how you plan to use this information.
  • Compare your revised version to the source document to ensure that you have captured the original work’s essence in the new version.
  • Make sure to put terms taken directly from another source inside quote marks.
  • If you decide to use the information in your paper, cite your source by writing the author’s name and page number.

Wrapping Up

Learning how to paraphrase and summarize involves knowing how to spot the core ideas of a passage. 

A paraphrase is a restated version of the original text for increased emphasis and effect. A summary is a condensed account of the original text that distills the main ideas in a way that clarifies or emphasizes them.

Basic Guide: How to Paraphrase and Summarize Effectively

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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