A summary is a brief restatement, in your own words, of the content of a passage. You should focus on the central idea of the passage. Summarize when you want to present the main points of a lengthy passage or when you want to condense peripheral points necessary to your discussion. A summary should be brief, complete, and objective. In order to summarize information, you must first be able to understand it. This requires careful critical reading. Read the passage completely the first time to gain an overall understanding of the piece, begin making margin notes that identify important points, shifts in thoughts, . also want to consider at this point what the significance of the whole piece is, what the parts of the essay that fit into the whole are, and how the points are organized to support the whole. A paraphrase is very similar to a summary in that you use your own words to communicate to your reader what the original passage has stated; however, an important difference between the two is that the paraphrase is approximately the same length as the original rather that one quarter of its length, as a summary is. In a paraphrase, instead of only restating the writer's main points, you will follow the progression of the writer's ideas sentence by sentence. In other words, each sentence in the paraphrase corresponds to a sentence in the original, the main difference being, of course, you have replaced the language of the original with your own language. Paraphrasing is used most effectively when you want to present material written in language that is abstract, archaic or highly technical, and you feel your audience will better understand the material in your words. A quotation records the exact language in a source. we should use quotations sparingly, because every quotation contains the voice of the writer who composed the text. Using too many quotes obliterates your voice and is a clear indication that you have not...
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