Summarizing, Paraphrasing, and Quoting:
Differentiating between the three
Importance of paraphrasing, summarizing, and quoting
They provide support to your writing, making your claim stronger.
They provide several points of view on a subject.
They expand the depth of your writing.
Legally using summaries, paraphrases, and quotes from sources by using Parenthetical Citations.
A parenthetical citation is a listing of the author’s last name and the page number from a print
source that you used in your essay. This information is enclosed in parentheses immediately
after the information used.
Its purpose is to let readers know that an idea does not belong to the writer of the essay.
Example: “English is great” (Williams 25).
Summarizing can be defined as a condensed (shorter) version of a source that tells only the main
ideas presented by the original writer. This is done in the essay writer’s own words.
Example of a summary
In an effort to complete the very important task of building a house quickly, one pig built his
house from straw and another from sticks. When the dangerous wolf with storm-like breath
came, both these houses were blown away. These two pigs were forced to go to live with the
third pig who built his house out of brick. When the wolf came again, he was not successful
in blowing this house down because it was built to last (Williams 25).
Points to remember about summarizing
Your own commentary or interpretation is not included.
Be brief and use your own words at all times. Summaries are significantly shorter than the
When summarizing, read the source to get the author’s main idea (s), put the source away,
and then summarize it.
Use a parenthetical citation when you summarize.
Paraphrasing can be defined as the use of one’s own words to relay all information from a
Points to remember when paraphrasing
Paraphrases contain more detail than a summary.
Paraphrases are similar in length to the original source.
Paraphrases present the author’s argument and logic, but in different words and sentence
If your paraphrase resembles the original too closely, it is regarded as plagiarism.
Your comments and interpretation are not needed when paraphrasing.
Use a parenthetical citation when paraphrasing.
If you use unusual expressions or words from the original source, enclose them in quotation
Quotations can be defined as word-for-word repeating of a source. These may also be referred to
as direct quotes.
Example: “Math is difficult” (Williams 13).
Points to remember when quoting
Repeat words and punctuation exactly as they appear in the original.
Enclose quotation in quotation marks.
Use quotations sparingly, only when the author has said something in a particularly clever or
Use parenthetical citations when quoting.
What to cite:
All facts, statistics, and pieces of information unless they are common knowledge and are
accessible in many sources. When in doubt, cite it!!!!
Exact words from your source, enclosed in quotation marks.
Somebody else’s ideas and opinions, even if you restate them in your own words in a
summary or a paraphrase.
What is the difference between a paraphrase and a summary?
Of the three: summary, paraphrase and quotation, which ones need a parenthetical citation?
How often should you use quotations?
When should you use a quotation?
What does a summary include?
What does a paraphrase include?
What kind of information do you not have to document even if you did find it in a source?