Summarizing captures the big picture and lets your reader know generally what a source said.
You can paraphrase more specific ideas or points made by an author, but using your own words instead of theirs.
Summarized and paraphrased materials do need citations, just like quotes. After all, you’re referencing someone else’s ideas – and it’s the thought that counts when it comes to plagiarism.
Strategies for writing in your own words include:
- taking notes while reading without using the same words or phrases as the original author,
- writing without looking back at the original source,
- and comparing your writing to the original source once you have a draft.
For more information about the difference between quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing, check out the Purdue OWL guide.
Driscoll, D.L & Brizee, A. (2013, February 15). Quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing. Retrieved from https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/563/1/