Paraphrasing and Summarizing in Academic Writing

Paraphrasing and Summarizing in Academic Writing

Plato views art (and therefore writing) as imitative in nature. Reading on all scales also requires thorough research for writers of all kinds. There is often a bleak likelihood that a concept you find new has already been thoroughly explored; nevertheless, this also implies that it is now important to investigate and study from multiple perspectives.

Inspired by another’s thought, it opens up a world of ideas, and thus many avenues to integrate and assimilate them in prose, namely to paraphrase, outline and quote. Nevertheless, pure incorporation does not carry the writing to existence, which allows it available to readers. The synthesis of different ideas also has to reflect the authors ‘ interpretation and examination of them.

These terms can be defined as:

  • Summarizing: Summarizing is defined as bringing in a great deal of information and having a condensed version that covers the main points. The definition of summing up is composing a description of three to four sentences that draws upon a lengthy book’s main points.
  • Paraphrasing: A rewording of a text or passage which gives its meaning in a different form, as for clarity.
  • Quoting: To repeat (passage, paragraph, etc.) as definitive, illustrative, etc., from a text, voice etc.

To recap, paraphrasing and summarizing also render larger portions of the main text, whereas quotes are brief fragments of a source. Paraphrasing also means expressing the ideas presented from a particular part of a source (mostly a passage) in a concise manner, while summarizing requires picking a larger section of a source (e.g., a chapter in a book or a whole play) and explaining the key points. Given the subtle variations of portrayal, these three methods have to be credited to the source to prevent plagiarism when used.


Quotations are concise representations of a document which can either be spoken or published. Quotes imbue the authoritative tone of the prose, and can give precise, consistent details. But quote should be used sparingly to help and not to overtake one’s prose.

  • Ensure quotes are given directly inside quotation marks, and are properly quoted.
  • A Long quote can be programmed as a three-line blockquote or more (often more impacting).
  • Generally, short quotes flow better when put within a paragraph.


Paraphrasing is the way a text is translated by manipulating the other words and phrases of a source while ensuring that the paraphrase is a proper understanding of the original. Directly interpreting complex concepts and clarifying the information contained in graphs, figures, and tables may be beneficial.

  • While aligning the explanation with your own style (i.e. use synonyms of certain words and phrases), ensure that the speaker’s context is not changed as this may represent an incorrect interpretation of the source’s ideas.
  • Use quotation marks when you want to retain the key concepts or phrases.
  • Using paraphrasing as a choice for the appropriate use of direct quotes in your prose.
  • Paraphrasing tool can be used to paraphrase the original source.


In addition, the inclusion of a context definition requires the removal of superfluous details and the preservation of only the central sense of the ideas expressed.

  • Keep in mind key points when transferring a source file.
  • Provide a coherent vision, without digressions, for a descriptive and detailed description of source.
  • Provide relevant examples from one source to substantiate the claim being made.

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