Paraphrasing and Summarizing by vbf10787

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									      ENGLISH LANGUAGE SUPPORT | DEPARTMENT OF STUDENT SERVICES | RYERSON UNIVERSITY           1



                     PARAPHRASING AND SUMMARIZING


What is paraphrasing? Why is            Using one’s own words to convey someone else’s
it done?                                 ideas.
                                        Enables the writer to present only the relevant
                                         information and to tie it logically to the context.


What is summarizing? Why is             Using one’s own words to give the thesis and main
it done?                                 supporting points of a text.
                                        Enables a reader to see at a glance the main points and
                                         to judge whether more detailed study of a text is
                                         required.


When do you quote? When do              Quote when the original words are famous or express
you paraphrase? When do you              the idea in the best possible way.
summarize?                              Quote famous authorities.
                                        Paraphrase when you want to answer a specific
                                         question, using information from a reference source.
                                        Summarize when the main points of an entire text are
                                         needed.


What are some helpful                   Be careful with synonyms. For example, the underlined
techniques for paraphrasing?             words in the following sentence:

                                         “The ability to manage stress is one of the most
                                         important skills required of modern people.”

                                         can be replaced with synonyms to give:

                                          The capacity to control stress is one of the most
                                         crucial abilities needed by modern people.

                                         However, the thesaurus also gives other synonyms for
                                     those words, leading to nonsense such as:

                                         The endowment to rule stress is one of the most
                                         momentous dexterities coerced by modern people.

                                         If you look up an unfamiliar synonym, be sure to
                                         check it in a good learner’s dictionary before using it.
      ENGLISH LANGUAGE SUPPORT | DEPARTMENT OF STUDENT SERVICES | RYERSON UNIVERSITY                      2


                                         pack or unpack noun phrases. For example, change:

                                          agricultural subsidies

                                          to:

                                          subsidies for agriculture

                                          or change:

                                          size of the screen

                                          to:

                                          screen size

                                         change nouns and adjectives to verbs and verbs to
                                          nouns or adjectives. For example, change:
                                          To maintain your pet’s health, you cannot dispense
                                          with good medical care.
                                          to:
                                          Good medical care is indispensable for the
                                          maintenance of your pet’s health.


What are the main steps in               Read and study the original;
summarizing?                             make an outline of main points;
                                         remove the original
                                         and write the summary from the outline.


What should be omitted when              examples,
you summarize?                           statistics,
                                         quotations,
                                         anecdotal information,
                                         secondary facts.


How long should a summary                It depends on the nature of the material. Usually
be?                                       between about 15% and 25% of the original length.

                                 (Try the summarizing exercise in the handout entitled “Making a summary.”)

								
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