Paraphrasing Matters

Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing


Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing

Posted by Mathew Steven in How to do it?, Writing Tips 09 Jul 2022

The purpose of this article is to help you become familiar with the uses and distinctions between quotes, paraphrases, and summaries. It compares and contrasts the three terms, gives some tips, and includes a short excerpt that you can use to practice these skills.

Quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing are all different ways to include other people’s evidence and ideas in your content. Using evidence from a reliable source to support your thesis is an important part of academic writing. Citing the source of any quotes, paraphrases or summaries is an important step in avoiding plagiarism.


These three ways are used to incorporate the work of other writers into your own writing differ depending on how close your source writing is.

Quotation marks must be identical to the original, using a narrow segment of the source. They must correspond to the text of the source document and must be attributed to the original author.

Paraphrasing means putting a passage of the source material in your own word. The paraphrase must also be assigned to the original source. The paraphrased material is often shorter than the original passage, taking a slightly larger segment from the source and condensing it slightly.

Summarizing involves putting the main ideas into your own word, including only the main point (s). Again, it is necessary to attribute the summarized ideas to the original source. In addition, abstracts are significantly shorter than the original and provide an overview of the source material.

Should I quote, paraphrase or summarize?

Quotations are common at the lower levels of academic writing, but at the faculty level, direct quotations should be made in moderation, and only when the paraphrase does not substantiate the meaning of the original author. It is not uncommon to have only 1 or 2 (or even zero) direct quotes in an academic paper, and the paraphrased information is used instead.

Here are some common examples of cases where you could quote instead of paraphrase:

  • using accurate statistics or numerical data
  • writing about literature and providing textual evidence of poetry, story, etc.
  • including the decision or reasoning of a judge in a court case
  • by definition

* Overexcitation is a common problem in academic writing, and as you progress in your studies, you will need to paraphrase rather than quote.

Paraphrasing is the most common thing to do in academic writing. Paraphrasing is preferred to quotes (except for the specific examples provided above) because it shows that you understand the outside material you are using and gives you more control over your research paper, allowing you to explain expert opinions, research studies, or other evidence for Your reader related topic and your thesis Paraphrasing will also give you a lower Turnitin score than quoting as it incorporates your own scholarly voice.

Summarizing is reserved when you need to provide the reader with a broad outline or an overview of a topic, theory, practice, or literary or film work. A short summary can be included in an introductory paragraph or in the first paragraph of the body, which can focus on presenting an overview of the topic. Most paragraphs will include paraphrases and/or quotes rather than a summary.


Practice summarizing the essay found here, using paraphrases and quotes as you go. It may be helpful to follow these steps:

  • Read the complete text, noting the key points and main ideas.
  • Summarize in your own exact words what the main idea of ​​the essay is.
  • Paraphrase the important points that appear in the essay.
  • Consider any words, phrases, or short passages that you think should be quoted directly.

There are several ways to incorporate quotes into your text. Often a short quote works well when incorporated into a sentence. Longer quotes can stand alone. Remember that meetings should be done in moderation; make sure you have a good reason to include a direct quote when you decide to do so. You’ll find guidelines for citing original sources and punctuating citations on our documentation guide pages.

Tips to help you express words of others on your own!

In paraphrasing, you keep the same meaning as the original text but you restore the meaning in a way that makes sense to you. Paraphrasing should be the primary means of presenting information from a source.

To Paraphrase:

  • DO NOT USE paraphrasing tool or software: it does not create precise paraphrases and can create meaningless communication.
  • Alaway take help from a professional paraphrasing website  such as Paraphrasing Matters instead of using paraphrasing tools free or online paraphrasing bots.
  • Read the text carefully. Make sure you completely understand the text.
  • Put the original text aside and paraphrase it in your own exact wording. Given each point of the original text; consider how would you rephrase it if you are explaining it to one of your colleagues.
  • Don’t just replace every third or fourth word in the original passage. It is a form of plagiarism and an incorrect way to rewrite your content. 
  • Check your paraphrase. Does it reflect the original text, but is it in your own word and style? Did you include all the essential information?
  • Include a text citation in the expected formatting style (APA, MLA, etc.)
  • Explain why paraphrased information is important. To do this, ask yourself the following questions:
  • What am I trying to show or prove with this information?
  • Why is what I say important? What does it mean?
  • How does this information add to what I am trying to demonstrate in this paragraph?

In summarizing content, you express the main general idea in your own words but omit specific examples and details. A summary should only provide general information and is not commonly used to present evidence in support of your argument.

When summarizing:

  • Start by reading the text and highlight the main points as you read.
  • Reread the text and write down the main points, omitting examples, evidence, etc.
  • Without text, rewrite the notes in your own words. Repeat the main idea at the beginning of your summary as well as all the main points. Include the conclusion or final conclusions of the paper.
  • Include a text citation in the expected formatting style (APA, MLA, etc.)

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