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Plagiarism & Writing with Sources: Paraphrasing & Sumarizing

Paraphrasing and summarizing are very similar. Both involve taking ideas, words or phrases from a source and crafting them into new sentences. Whether paraphrasing or summarizing, you must always give credit to the original author. 

Why Paraphrase?

Paraphrasing is expressing an author's ideas in your own words, by changing both the language and the sentence structure.

Paraphrasing is not easy. It is especially impossible to paraphrase something you do not really understand. If you don't understand it, you will be overly dependent on the words of your source. REMEMBER - when you paraphrase, you must cite the source. Even if you have not used the same words, you have borrowed ideas.

Why Summarize?

Summarizing also involves putting the author's ideas into your own words, but summaries omit much of the detail. A summary allows you to condense a significant amount of information into one or two sentences, using your own words. REMEMBER - when you summarize, you must cite the source. Even if you have not used the same words, you have borrowed ideas.

Check-In: Paraphrasing & Summarizing

Be the editor!

Read the following passage about lucid dreaming from Scientific American and see if you can identify good paraphrasing and summarizing.

ORIGINAL TEXT: If you're just trying to dream about an issue or you want to dream of a person who's deceased or you haven't seen in a long time, you'd use very similar bedtime incubation suggestions as you would for problem solving: a concise verbal statement of what you want to dream about or a visual image of it to look at. Very often it's a person someone wants to dream of, and just a simple photo is an ideal trigger. If you used to have flying dreams and you haven't had one in a long time and you miss them, find a photo of a human flying.

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  • Last Updated: Jun 5, 2019 3:49 PM
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