Paraphrasing Vs Summarizing -5 Differences between Paraphrasing and Summarizing

Paraphrasing Vs Summarizing -Differences between Paraphrasing and Summarizing

What is Paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing, in a nutshell, is the process whereby a writer takes a particular piece of information from another writer or scholar, changes or alters the words relating to that particular information and acknowledges the writer or initial owner of the information.

Put in much simpler words, paraphrasing can also be regarded as the process of taking the idea(s) or information of another person and describing it in words or sentences which are suitable to you – the writer and borrower of the information.

Normally, when paraphrasing takes place, the information usually becomes more concise and understandable for the writer and the prospective reader(s) of that particular academic piece in which the information was placed. In other words, paraphrased sentences are usually shorter than the original sentence and, it is usually accompanied by a citation or reference to the initial owner of the information.

Why is paraphrasing important?

The art of paraphrasing ought to be adopted by all writers regardless of the type of writing which is done by the writer, this is due to a number of reasons, which include:

  • Paraphrasing allows the writer to modify information in a manner which is suitable for the writer and the possible reader(s) of the piece being constructed. Thus enhancing understanding for both parties.
  • It tells the reader(s) who may be lecturers or examiners of some sort that you – as the writer – have properly read a particular piece and understood its main or core points.
  • Paraphrasing allows the reader to make use of any form of in-text citation, this could be a direct quote, an indirect quote and/or particular comments.
  • Paraphrasing enhances the use of citations and references thus reducing the rate of plagiarism to a minimum.

How does paraphrasing work?

Despite its high level of importance in all spheres of writing, one does not need to study and memorize different rules in order to provide properly paraphrased sentences. This simply implies that paraphrasing is super easy and accessible to all writers, all the writer needs to do is pay attention and make use of cool paraphrasing tips. Hence, in order to come up with a properly paraphrased sentence or paragraph, the writer ought to apply the following tips:

  • Read and understand the information which was stipulated by the previous scholar.
  • Note the key point(s) in that particular information.
  • Provide synonyms for the words which are not key or core in the information. Similarly, the writer, after taking note of the structure of the information, can either switch the structure of the sentence to an active or passive voice and,
  • Provide a citation for the reformed or paraphrased information.

What is summarizing?

Summarizing can be regarded as an important writing technique in the field of academic writing and beyond which requires the elimination of irrelevant points in the sentence. Hence, in others, summarizing can simply be regarded as the brief description of an entire paper or piece of information. Just like in the case of paraphrasing, summarizing is employed by a writer to identify and aptly explain the brief points in a paper or a written piece.

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Why is summarizing important?

Summarizing is a very vital tool in writing which ought to be adopted by all writers, this is so because of a number of reasons namely:

  • It makes students identify and properly utilize the key or core points in a write-up.
  • It makes students take up a large piece of information and reduce it to a much smaller version after identifying the key areas in that particular written piece.
  • It adds credibility to the written piece and, it provides the key points identified from different perspectives or views.

How does summarizing work?

Paraphrasing is oddly very similar to paraphrasing, however, regardless of these close similarities, both elements are important attributes which can be adopted in a few simple steps. Hence, in the case of summarization, it is vital for the writer to:

  • Identify the core points in the information provided and,
  • Provide a simpler, shorter and more standardized version of that particular information. In this case, however, the information will strictly revolve around the key points or core areas of the information only.

What is the difference between summarizing and paraphrasing?

As fore mentioned in the article, both paraphrasing and summarizing are core writing techniques which are closely similar. Nonetheless, both terms differ in basic areas such as:

  • A paraphrased sentence may be as lengthy as the previous information – that is, where it was gotten from – although it may be filled with synonyms or words closely related to that of the original sentence. Whereas, a summarized sentence, on the other hand, ought to always be much shorter, in length, than the original piece of information or where it was originally gotten from.
  • In most cases, paraphrasing is carried out by the writer in order to provide a more simplified version of the initial information. Whereas, most writers employ the art of summarizing only when they wish to state the key points stipulated in the original information or piece and, without any form of information to back it up.
  • Paraphrasing is also employed by writers in the bid to understand and break down a difficult or heavily ambiguous text. However, summarizing, on the other hand, is employed in the bid to provide a concise version of a detailed or lengthy piece which could be difficult or very easy to understand.
  • When summarizing a sentence or a paragraph, the writer can be selective enough to pick out only the points which are considered as most ideal or important. However, when it comes to paraphrasing, the writer is not given the opportunity to sieve out many words.
  • Lastly, summaries are often adopted by writers in the bid to provide a brief overview of a particular piece, this means that it could either be situated at the beginning or end of yet another written piece(except in the case of article reviews). However, a paraphrased sentence, on the other hand, can be employed in virtually all phases of another written piece.


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