Summarizing an Article Without Plagiarizing: Effective Guide

Plagiarism is a serious academic offense. A common problem for students is how to summarize an article without plagiarizing.

Methods of Summarizing an Article

Summarizing is essentially condensing a piece of writing into a sizeable form. It can also include thoughts from the article, or you can focus on organically describing the significant points of the article. It’s important not to plagiarize. Writing a summary without plagiarizing and without sounding unoriginal can be challenging.

You can use the following methods to summarize an article effectively.

1. Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing is a method of summarization that uses the idea of the source article with a few changes. It is best to be familiar with the article, its content, tone, length, and other essential aspects.

In your summary, the content of the paraphrase must be more specific and concise than the original article. The paraphrased summary should use a more straightforward language, and focus on key points and ideas.

It would be best if you didn’t use the exact words of the author so that your content isn’t labeled as plagiarized piece.

2. Quotations and citations.

Quoting an author allows you to convey the article’s message without having to summarize large amounts of information, which can be very tedious.

It is often an excellent way to emphasize something specific in the article. As long as you credit the author and cite the original article, your piece is safe from being labeled as plagiarized work.

How To Summarize An Article Without Plagiarizing? 3 Effective Steps

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Plagiarism can be a hot-button issue if you are working on a school project or professional content. So, how do you successfully summarize an article without plagiarizing? This guide provides three practical stages to help you create an original summary.

Stage 1: Preparation

Ensure that you correctly understand the text you intend to summarize. You can do so by reading it a few times over.

Try to figure out the central message of the original content. You should also note down or highlight essential phrases you would like to use in your writing.

Stage 1: Writing

After you’ve thoroughly gone through the reference article, it is essential to write in your voice and insert your thoughts. Make sure to stick to the overall idea and avoid using sentences from the article.

For some, plagiarism is a possibility when the author’s voice is still used. Remember to use simple vocabulary and change the structure of sentences. When you need to quote an author’s statement directly, use citations, so your content doesn’t pass off as a plagiarized piece.

Stage 3: Review

Review your work to ensure you haven’t copied a sentence or phrase from another writer’s content.

Ensure that proper citations have been provided for all quotations used. Check your content with an online plagiarism checker to ensure it is an original piece and devoid of plagiarism.

To Wrap Up

Summarizing is about making a critical and concise statement about a piece of work. When summarizing what you’ve read, it’s essential to take different perspectives and use your own words to avoid copycatting the speaker’s words.

By using your words and thoughts, you’ll create an original and compelling summary. This way, the question of how to summarize an article without plagiarizing will be out of context.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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