PARAPHRASE AND SUMMARY
When should I paraphrase, and when should I summarize?
To paraphrase means to express someone else's ideas in your own language. To summarize means to distill only the most essential points of someone else's work.
Paraphrase and summary are indispensable tools in essay writing because they allow you to include other people's ideas without cluttering up your essay with quotations. They help you take greater control of your essay. Consider relying on either tool when an idea from one of your sources is important to your essay but the wording is not. You should be guided in your choice of which tool to use by considerations of space. But above all, think about how much of the detail from your source is relevant to your argument. If all your reader needs to know is the bare bones, then summarize.
Ultimately, be sure not to rely too heavily on either paraphrase or summary. Your ideas are what matter most. Allow yourself the space to develop those ideas.
HOW DO I PARAPHASE?
Whenever you paraphrase, remember these two points:
1. You must provide a reference.
2. The paraphrase must be entirely in your own words. You must do more than merely substitute phrases here and there. You must also completely alter the sentence structure.
It can be difficult to find new words for an idea that is already well expressed. The following strategy will make the job of paraphrasing a lot easier:
1. When you are at the note-taking stage, and you come across a passage that may be useful for your essay, do not copy the passage verbatim unless you think you will want to quote it.
2. If you think you will want to paraphrase the passage, make a note only of the author's basic point. You don't even need to use full sentences.
3. In your note, you should already be translating the language of the original into your own words. What matters is that you capture the original idea.
4. Make... [continues]
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