A Detailed Guide About Paraphrasing and Summarising You Must Know

Integrating a relevant piece of information into your scholarly writing is a challenging task. The two major ways of doing so are paraphrasing and summarising. Both these ways are different from each other and have different ways of incorporating information into the scholarly document. It is important to remember that all the sources that you use, either using a paraphrasing or summarising technique, should back up the main argument. They must not state an argument in themselves.

As you are here reading this post, it means you do not have an idea about paraphrasing and summarising. Also, you are here to learn how to paraphrase and summarise a piece of information correctly to incorporate it into your writing. Well, you have come to the right place. In today’s article, we will discuss both of these ways in detail. However, first of all, let’s define both of them.

What does it mean by paraphrasing?

The technique of paraphrasing involves taking a paragraph from the source paper and putting it into your scholarly text. The key thing here is that the paragraph taken is not placed as it is, but it is paraphrased. It means you have to grab the overall concept of the paragraph and write it in your own words and then incorporate it into your writing. The paraphrased paragraph is usually shorter in length than the original paragraph.

What does it mean by summarising?

Paraphrasing and summarising seem like same, but they are not. Summarising is more focused on the ideas and concepts discussed in the original paper instead of the words used. When summarising, you take a broader view of the original paper and present the main ideas in your own words. Summarising is not about discussing the original paper paragraph by paragraph. Instead, when summarising, you take the major sections of the source material into account and discuss their ideas in your document.

Steps involved in paraphrasing a source material

From the discussion above, you have got a good idea of what paraphrasing is. However, you still do not know how to paraphrase original writing or source material. Therefore, it is now time to discuss this and a brief description of the major steps involved is as follows:

  •           Read the paragraph. The first and most important step is to read the target paragraph that you want to paraphrase. Reading allows you to have a deeper understanding of the meaning of the paragraph, which is necessary for paraphrasing.
  •     Remove unnecessary text. A paraphrased paragraph is always shorter than the original one. Therefore, you must not aim for word-by-word changing. Instead, remove the unnecessary text, grab the overall idea, and start writing it in your own words.
  •      Use signal phrases. Signal phrases are used to distinguish between your material and the material that you have taken from another source. For example, “scientists believe that ..” Therefore, always use the signal phrase when paraphrasing.
  •      Retain key terms. There is no need to change the key terms of the paragraph. You must retain them as they are the essence of the whole paragraph. However, if you do not know how to paraphrase by retaining them, take some help from assignment writing services working online.

Key steps involved in summarising a source material

As discussed earlier, summarising is the second way to incorporate source material into your document. To summarise the source material effectively, there are some steps that you need to follow. A brief description of all those steps is as follows:

  •           Read the text. The first step is the same in paraphrasing and summarising. As the writer, you need to read the source material thoroughly and completely understand it. This extensive reading exposes you to the main ideas discussed in the source writing.
  •            Find the main ideas. The second step in summarising a text is to look for the main ideas present in it. The main ideas may be found in the abstract of the original paper or in the topic sentences of the paragraphs. Wherever they are, just find them.
  •            Note the main ideas. After their identification, you must note down the main ideas in your notebook. This will allow you to keep track of all the ideas found. Otherwise, you may forget some main and critical ideas discussed.
  •            Write the summary. Lastly, it is time to kick off the writing process of the summary. Start with the most critical idea discussed and keep on adding the ideas until they are finished. There is no need to make separate paragraphs for the summary. A summary itself is one to two paragraphs.


Paraphrasing and summarising are two widely used ways to incorporate a piece of information in a scholarly text. The former technique is based on the rewriting and rewording of the paragraphs. On the other hand, the latter is about the summarisation of the key ideas. The key steps discussed above will help you a lot in paraphrasing and summarising. So, read them carefully and perform these techniques accordingly. 

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