Summarizing, Paraphrasing, Quoting: What's the difference

Summarizing, Paraphrasing, Quoting: What's the difference


Summarizing entails placing the core concepts into your sentences, with only the primary point included. It is essential to relate summarized ideas to their actual source once more. Summaries are much shorter than the original and provide a high-level insight into the actual material.

A summary is a synopsis of a message’s key aspects and core themes. Instead of concentrating on one component, summarizing involves all of the writer’s central points. Summaries can be used to display all of the core concepts on a subject matter in your own words. Typically, instances and specifics are not contained. Summarizing is ideal for obtaining notes in the classroom and taking notes on readings. A summary is a condensed version of the main text. It should be accompanied by the writer’s surname and the publication date. Summarizing is beneficial when you want to give a synopsis of a source, hypothesis, structure, methodology, or technique to prove your point. Composing a great summary necessitates not only reading but also making notes since it entails minimizing complicated ideas. Summaries are much shorter than the actual material and provide an extensive outline of the source content as a whole. The summary should be referenced both in-text and in your reference section.

When should you summarize

  • You can provide background knowledge or an analysis of a subject matter.
  • You would like to define information about a topic that comes from various sources.
  • You want to identify the main points of a particular source.

How to summarize

  • Determine the subject. Examine the pictures, introductions, abstracts, and inferences to assist you to learn the message’s overall themes. Define the particular subject sentence of every paragraph to enable you to establish an outline of the primary points if the text is divided into paragraphs.
  • Read the words completely, making sure you grasp the material, and jot down notes or showcase the major points as you go. Excessive instances and details should be avoided. Organize your notes in a structured manner, starting with the basic theme and moving on to the significant points.
  • Your summary could end by returning to the main theme. Reveal the facts in full statements in your own words.
  • Optimize paragraphs as much as possible by removing all unneeded terms and expressions.

Tips for summarizing

Some quick tips for summarizing;

  • Review the actual text thoroughly
  • Consider making a list of the main points
  • Prevent copying entire paragraphs from the source into your documents and instead paraphrase notes.
  • Make links between concepts and make a list of any questions raised.
  • When referencing, keep track of bibliographic data and page numbers so you can quickly look them up and give correct info.
  • Examine and arrange your notes.
  • Lastly, make a report based on your notes, rearranging the structure as needed.
  • Ensure that your overview aptly describes and reflects the main points of the source text.
  • Keep in mind to credit the source of the data by quoting and referencing it correctly.


A quotation is an accurate version of another author’s phrases; it can be as simple as a phrase or a lengthy passage. Quotations are surrounded by inverted commas and referenced. Quotations of 40 phrases or more must be indented and in block format. Quotes can be used to assist, enhance, or include evidence of views expressed, or to establish a specific writer’s stance on a subject matter. You must show that you recognize reading and that you can incorporate the quotation into your writing. Quotes must be incorporated into your writing, linking your document to the quotation’s point. Utilize transitional words and expressions to establish this link and demonstrate the importance or validity of the quote. Quoting is relevant when the precise quote of the actual source is vital like, a passage from a piece of literature, a pioneering text, or an interview manuscript, or when the actual quote is so short and well-presented that its paraphrasing is not easy. If you are worried that conveying the authentic material in distinct words will misrepresent the actual intent, citing can be a viable solution.

When to use quotations

  • You would like to back up your point with the power of a writer’s words.
  • You want to argue with a writer’s viewpoint.
  • You would like to emphasize especially elegant or impactful words or passages.
  • You are opposing and correlating various perspectives.
  • You should make a note of the valuable research that came before yours.

Tips for quoting

Here are some tips for quoting;

  • When employing quotations, never suppose that your audience is aware of the source; state clearly what argument you are making.
  • You may have to add page numbers and place the quote within inverted commas based on the source of knowledge and the referencing style.
  • When citing, provide a quote to admit the source of the data.


Paraphrasing is the process of reiterating content using specific phrases and wording so that it differs from the actual source while retaining the initial meaning. Paraphrasing is beneficial when you want to utilize data from a given portion of a source but the precise wording isn’t essential to prove your point. Paraphrasing differs from summarizing as it generally refers to relatively short sections of writing and concentrates on a single idea or point. To introduce another writer’s ideas in your own words, utilize paraphrasing. Paraphrasing reveals that you comprehend the content and can express the thoughts of another author while incorporating these insights adequately into the main topics of your paper. A paraphrase will have a distinct sentence framework and may be shorter or longer than the original. It must be accompanied by the writer’s surname and the publication date.

When to use paraphrasing

  • Check that you comprehend the content.
  • Determine the key facts and terminology.
  • Cover the actual document in your phrases and either describe the concept aloud, compose keywords, or take notes. Verify that you have added all of the crucial details and data.
  • Draft the concept in your words in a proper sentence or paragraphs. Maintain a basic style.
  • Cite the writer’s name and publication date.

Tips for paraphrasing

Here are some quick tips for rephrasing;

  • Put the text into your words. One method is to question yourself what the paragraph is implying and then repeat it aloud to yourself when making notes.
  • Employ various words and sentences framework than in the original document, but ensure that the true intent is not altered or misstated.
  • Ensure to credit the source of the data with proper citation.


When writing research, you will be synthesizing data from multiple sources. You can often quote the actual source, and other times you will summarize it.

In all such cases, you must cite your sources!

  • When quoting original content, utilize the writer’s precise phrases and suggest this with inverted commas.
  • You paraphrase original content by putting it in your own words. It does not imply replacing a few phrases with synonyms, but rather incorporating the context of the initial passage into your writing.
  • When you summarize a source, you consolidate the concepts in the actual source considerably— without incorporating your viewpoint or analysis.

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