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What is the difference between paraphrasing and summarizing? How do you know when to use each properly in an academic paper?
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Updated 10/20/2011 7:36:39 PM
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Paraphrasing is re-writing another writer’s words or ideas in your own words without altering the meaning. The paraphrase is about the same length as the original since the purpose is to rephrase without leaving out anything, and not to shorten. Summarizing, on the other hand, is putting down the main ideas of someone else’s work in your own words. A summary is always shorter than the original since the idea is to include only the main points of the original work and to leave out the irrelevant. A summary is usually about one-third the size of the original. Now when should you paraphrase and when should you summarize? Paraphrase when: • You want to use another writer’s words without plagiarizing • You want to use another writer’s words without the use of quotes • The ideas of the other writer are more important than his/her style • You think that the words of the other writer are too difficult for your readers Summarize when: • You want to identify only the main ideas of the writer • You want to give an overview of the topic (from several sources) • You want to simplify a complex argument • You want to condense the matter to suit your requirement
Added 10/20/2011 7:36:39 PM
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