Quoting, Summarizing and Paraphrasing

Quoting, summarizing and paraphrasing are important writing skills. In this post, we’ll share when to use each of them and what to remember.

Quoting Summarizing and Paraphrasing

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What Is Quoting, Summarizing and Paraphrasing?

  • Quoting: It is copying or repeating the same group of words from a speech or text. Usually, it comes with an indication that the writer isn’t the original speaker or author.
  • Summarizing: It is giving a brief statement of the main ideas or points of something.
  • Paraphrasing: It is to express the meaning of a speaker or writer or that of something spoken or written with different words in order to achieve better clarity.

Guidelines for Paraphrasing, Quoting and Summarizing

  • Summarize if it is long.
  • Avoid excessive quoting!
  • summarize or paraphrase in the experimental social sciences and sciences.
  • Quote only when the exact words are important in the qualitative social sciences and humanities.

Paraphrase When

  • You are looking to express the author’s idea but it does not have to be the author’s language
  • You want to integrate information from charts, graphs and tables

Quote When

  • The quoted words are your primary evidence
  • A secondary source supports your claim and is written by an important authority

Summarize When

  • You want an overview of a source’s main ideas or points
  • You want an authority on the topic to support your ideas

Note: Always refer to the source of your quotation, paraphrase and summary in any text you are writing. If you don’t, you may be in trouble for plagiarism. This is a no-no in writing and you should avoid committing it by learning how to paraphrase, quote or summarize.

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