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Paraphrasing and summarising


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Academic Integrity


Paraphrasing and Summarising

Paraphrasing and Summarising


This section will help you get on top of paraphrasing by examining what, why and how to paraphrase.

Getting on top of it

  • What?
  • Why?
  • How?

Paraphrasing and Summarising


Paraphrasing is not producing a direct copy of other persons’ ideas or work.

Paraphrasing is re-writing another person’s words so that the original meaning of their idea is maintained, but the structure and words you use are quite different to theirs.

Paraphrasing is not this:











This is more like it:

Paraphrasing and Summarising


When you paraphrase, the words and structures you use should sound like something you would normally say or write. Therefore, paraphrasing is…

  • Presenting the ideas and information of others in your own voice
  • Not necessarily presenting the original text in an elaborate way, but in a way that flows with your expression
  • If you want to write very closely to the original text, then you may need to consider whether it’s worthy of a direct quote – or if you have to work more at expressing it in your own voice.

Paraphrasing and Summarising


Paraphrasing occurs while appropriating information from the texts that you read, processing and filtering that information through your own perspective, and then incorporating that information into your own writing.

The Writing from sources component of the Understanding section of this program explains this in further detail.

Writing from sources

























Click on the Writing from Sources link in the right-hand menu.

Academic Integrity


So how do you paraphrase? The activity provided here examines unacceptable and acceptable forms of paraphrasing.

Click on the Activity 1 link on the right-hand side of this screen to begin the activity.

Paraphrasing and Summarising


When paraphrasing make sure you do not just swap a few words or sentences here and there. The whole structure of the passage you are paraphrasing needs to change.

Paraphrasing is NOT…

  • Just changing words from the original
  • Keeping identical sentence structure
  • Transferring ideas sentence per sentence.

Paraphrasing and Summarising


Always keep in mind what you are paraphrasing and why.

How does the point relate to your assignment as a whole? Always thinking about this will help you decide what to paraphrase, what to quote directly and what to leave out.

  • What you choose to paraphrase from the original is CLOSELY related to your assignment argument
  • Remember WHY you are taking these ideas and information from the original text – to support your main idea – your argument.

Paraphrasing and Summarising


Why not just use direct quotations? Paraphrasing is more difficult, so why bother to do it? Research has demonstrated that students overuse quotations in their research papers. Learning to paraphrase will demonstrate that you have absorbed the ideas of others, but have also thought carefully about what they mean.

“Students frequently overuse direct quotation in taking notes, and as a result they overuse quotations in the final [research] paper. Probably only about 10% of your final manuscript should appear as directly quoted matter. Therefore, you should strive to limit the amount of exact transcribing of source materials while taking notes.”

(Source: Lester, James D. Writing Research Papers. 2nd ed. (1976): 46-47 in http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/619/01/ )

Paraphrasing and Summarising


Paraphrasing is not summarising.

Summarising is when you give an overview of the author’s key ideas as a whole, or provide an overview of a topic.

A summary is usually shorter than the original piece of writing. It might state the ideas of a paragraph in one simple sentence.

A summary tells you about the whole passage.

For example:

Original:

    Students frequently overuse direct quotation in taking notes, and as a result they overuse quotations in the final [research] paper. Probably only about 10% of your final manuscript should appear as directly quoted matter. Therefore, you should strive to limit the amount of exact transcribing of source materials while taking notes.

Summary:

    Students should take just a few notes in direct quotation from sources to help minimize the amount of quoted material in a research paper (Lester 1976, 46-47).

(Source: Lester, James D. Writing Research Papers. 2nd ed. (1976): 46-47 http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/619/01/ )

Paraphrasing and Summarising


When you paraphrase you need to think about another person’s words and how and why they relate to your thesis statement. If you paraphrase well, you will not only demonstrate that you have understood the original content to your lecturer or professor, you will also be demonstrating that you know how it relates to your ideas.

  • You might be excited to find evidence to support your argument – the Thesis Statement
  • Your lecturer, however, is excited to see that you have understood the evidence you use to support your viewpoint.
  • Good paraphrasing shows this understanding!

Paraphrasing and Summarising


When to quote rather than paraphrase

Sometimes it is better to quote directly rather than paraphrase. Quoting is useful when you feel the author’s exact words really support your argument. Or if you feel their words make a point in a particularly striking or memorable way. But remember that if you overuse quotations from a source, that author’s words will lose their power.

Quoting directly can be used when:

  • You want to add the power of an author’s words to support your argument
  • You want to disagree with an author’s argument
  • You are comparing and contrasting specific points of view
  • You want to highlight particularly powerful or effective phrases.

Paraphrasing and Summarising


When to paraphrase (most of the time!)

Try to paraphrase much more frequently than quoting directly from a source. This will build up your thinking and processing of the topic, as you will not just be copying words down automatically.

Paraphrase when:

  • You want to use your own “voice” to present information
  • You want to incorporate the author’s ideas into your own writing
  • You want to avoid over-quotation!

Don’t forget to always reference your work – both within the essay or paper and at the end of it in the form of a bibliography.

Academic Integrity


Activity Two Practise distinguishing between quotes, paraphrases and summaries.

It is important that you can easily distinguish between a quotation, a paraphrase and a summary.

To practise that skill, click on the Activity 2 link on the right-hand side of the screen.

Linking paraphrases, quotations and summaries to your own ideas.


This next section will examine how you link paraphrases, quotations and summaries to your own ideas smoothly and effectively in your writing.

Paraphrase

Quotations

Summaries

How do you link the ideas of others to your words?


Once you have completed your quotation, summary or paraphrase, how do you link the ideas of others to your ideas?

There are two ways in which to do this. They are called the authorial prominent link and the information prominent link.

Authorial prominent












Information prominent

Authorial prominent


As the name implies, the author stands out!

Use the authorial prominent style to link your ideas to another person’s when the author is a leader in your field, saying something quite different to other people on the subject or offering a contrasting view to others.

When using the authorial prominent linking style place the author’s name near the beginning of your sentence. Make sure you reference their work correctly as well.

In this example, the date of the relevant work is placed after each name, though referencing styles may differ according to the system you are using.

Although Parsons (1981) strongly promotes methods of classroom discipline, Johnson (2008) gives clear evidence that “constructively managed controversy” has a positive effect on the learning that takes place in the classroom.

When: Choose this style for a particular reason:

  • When the author is seminal or famous– if this author says it, it must be good!
  • This author is saying something quite different from most others
  • You want to contrast differing viewpoints of authors.

Information prominent


Use the information prominent style most of the time in your writing. It is particularly useful when you are using more than one source of evidence.

When using this style, put the quote or paraphrase first and then place the author’s name at the end of the sentence.

Don’t forget to include page numbers when you quote and when you paraphrase.

When: Try to write MOST of your citations in this style Use this style if using more than one source of evidence

How: Put the quote or paraphrase first and place the author’s name at the end of the sentence:

For example:

    Stereotyping can lead to patronising, sexist labelling (Kaye 1994; Williams 2009).

    (note: For some referencing styles, you need to put the page number, if available, for paraphrase– not just for quotations: check your referencing style guide for this.)

Making connections


There are many different ways to make connections between your idea and the ideas of others.

These include:

  • stating the view of another, by using words like ‘According to…’
  • Talking about the view of another when there is a bit of confusion about that view: ‘Smith’s claim seems…
  • Agreeing with the view of another by saying ‘As (the author) says…’
  • Disagreeing with the view of another. To do this you can use words like ‘In contrast to…’
  • stating the view of another, by using words like ‘According to…’
  • Drawing a conclusion using the work of another. Here you mention their work: ‘From Carlson’s conclusion…’ and then add ‘it can be argued…’
  • Point out assumptions by beginning sentences like this: ‘The assumption on which this depends…’
  • And finally, to state your own position by saying things like: ‘The perspective presented here is…’

(note: you must always put the year of publication in brackets next to the author’s name)

How writers include citations


Look at your literature readings to see how other writers include citations in their work.

Examine this extract.

Extract:

    The key to success with diverse students is finding ways to provide them with the amounts and forms of instruction that they need in order to succeed in mastering the curriculum. Shepard (1991) articulated a theoretical perspective for planning appropriate instruction for diverse student populations: recognise that intelligence and reasoning are developed ability and learning-to-learn strategies are largely context specific, and that learning is a constructive process.

(Adapted from Good & Brophy 2000, Looking in Classrooms. 337).

Choosing verb tense when connecting ideas


Choosing the correct verb tense for words linking your ideas to others’ is also important.

Most of the time, you should use the present tense for any verbs that link your work. The present tense makes your argument stronger and more direct, as seen in these examples.

Examples:

    Multicultural experiences, although initially challenging, enrich lifelong learning (Gregson, 2010).

    Patterson (1971) demonstrates that rote learning has a crucial role when combined with other forms of learning.

Choosing the past tense


There are some situations where you should choose the past tense for any linking verbs.

These include situations where you are writing about something that happened in the past, where you disagree with the author, or where an author’s view is unusual or not commonly held.

For example:

    Although Ausubel (1964) stated that learning via memorisation is an exercise that brings about little learning, Patterson (1971) claims that rote learning has a crucial role when combined with other forms of learning.

Other useful sites


Finally, when working on your paraphrasing, quoting and summarising skills, you may also find these websites handy.

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Text Version  Text version

This section will help you to get on top of paraphrasing by examining what, why and how to paraphrase.

What is paraphrasing?

paraphrasing-01

Paraphrasing is not producing a direct copy of another persons’ ideas or work.

paraphrasing-02

Paraphrasing is re-writing another person’s words so that the original meaning of their idea is maintained, but the structure and words you use are quite different to theirs.

Paraphrasing is?

When you paraphrase, the words and structures you use should sound like something you would normally say or write.

Therefore, paraphrasing is…

  • Presenting the ideas and information of others in your own voice.
  • Not necessarily presenting the original text in an elaborate way, but in a way that flows with your expression.
  • If you want to write very closely to the original text, then you may need to consider whether it’sworthy of a direct quote – or if you have to work more at expressing it in your own voice.

 


PDF Version  PDF version

Follow the link to view the ‘Paraphrasing and summarising’ pdf version.

 

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