Summary vs Paraphrase
Academic writing requires special skills to be able to include the thoughts or remarks of others in one’s writing in many different ways. If you intend to be a scholar in humanities, you are required to rely on quotes, paraphrases, and summaries a lot to prove a point of view or to counter a point of view. However, without knowing the subtle differences between these skills, it is difficult to produce a compelling piece of writing, isn’t it? Researchers often remain confused between summary and paraphrase because of some overlapping and similarities. This article intends to highlight the differences to enable the reader to be able to better use these skills in one’s writing.
When writing a research paper, most of the writing is in your own words. However, there are times when you are required to integrate thoughts of others in a bid to support your point of view. You can choose to quote an author verbatim within inverted commas, or you can choose to condense the source material into a few lines to highlight the main points of the other expert. When wording is not that important, but it is important to convey the idea, summary becomes a great tool to incorporate the viewpoint of another writer in your writing. When you think that it is not necessary to present the whole text but sufficient to present the main ideas and that too in your own words, summary is the best way to boost your point of view. Put the main points in your own words while attributing the credit to the original author.
A summary is always smaller than the source and intends to present a broad gist or essence to the audience.
Paraphrasing is a tool that allows a writer to make use of the words of another author in such a manner that the text is changed, but the meaning that is intended to be conveyed remains the same. There is a little bit of condensation and the focus is mainly on presenting the main points to the audience. The credit of the text is still given to the original author. While paraphrasing, it is necessary to keep your focus on presenting the ideas of the author in your own words by changing the structure of the sentences. Capturing the essence is the main idea behind paraphrasing and it does not matter if there is any change in the word count or the number of sentences.
What is the difference between Summarizing and Paraphrasing?
• Paraphrasing requires you to present the idea of another author in your own words
• Summary is a condensed version of the main ideas of the author in your own words.
• Shortening the original text is at the focus of the writer when summarizing while the only focus in paraphrasing is on restructuring the sentences retaining the same idea
• Paraphrase is of the same length as the original while summary is considerably shorter than the original