Paraphrase, summarise and quote well

Paraphrasing, summarising and quoting are three essential academic skills which will help you to integrate information from other sources into your writing to support your arguments and justify your claims.

Knowing how to paraphrase, summarise and quote is also important in order to avoid plagiarism, add credibility to your work and maintain your academic integrity.

  • Paraphrasing involves restating information by using different words and phrasing so that it is different from the original source, but retains the original meaning.
    • Paraphrasing is useful when you’d like to use information from a specific part of a source, but the exact wording is not necessary to make your point.
  • Summarising involves reducing complex or lengthy information to its key points or main message.
    • Summarising is useful when you’d like to provide an overview of a source, theory, framework, process or method to support your point. Because it involves reducing complex information, writing a good summary requires not only reading but also making notes.
  • Quoting involves using the exact words of another writer in your work by putting them inside “quotation marks”.
    • Quoting is useful when the exact wording of the source is important (e.g. a passage from a literary work, groundbreaking text or an interview transcript) or when the original text is so concise and well-expressed that it is difficult to paraphrase it. Quoting can also be a good option if you are concerned that expressing the original content in different words could distort the original meaning.