Paraphrasing and summarizing are pretty similar because both involve taking ideas, words, or phrases from an existing source and crafting them into new sentences. But there is a slight difference between them. And if you want to know that difference, this guide will be ideal for you.
Here, we’ll discuss the differences between paraphrasing and summarizing with their definitions and examples. But besides the key concepts, we’ll also share the method of paraphrasing and summarizing the text. So, without any further delay, let’s begin.
What Is Paraphrasing?
Paraphrasing refers to expressing someone else’s ideas in your words. The statement of the paraphrased information should be in your words. To rephrase sentences, you can’t copy word-to-word information from any other author.
However, during paraphrasing, if you want to include some famous sayings from the original text, you will have to enclose that information in double quotes and cite its reference.
While paraphrasing something, you can replace some words with their synonyms and change the placement of words and sentences. But you can’t change the context of the information.
How to Paraphrase the Material?
Now, let’s discuss a few tips that will help you paraphrase any material.
1. Understand the Concept of the Source Text
When it comes to paraphrasing, the first step is to understand the concept and meaning of the original text. Doing this will help you paraphrase the material better. So, read the original text carefully to understand the author’s purpose and concept of the source material.
2. The Actual Paraphrasing Phase
After understanding the author’s intention and the actual concept of the source material, you can move to the rewording phase. So, during rewording, you can try the following techniques.
- You can change the structure of sentences. For instance, if the source material contains active voices, you can convert those active voices to passive voices during paraphrasing.
Figure 1: This picture demonstrates the example of converting an active sentence to a passive voice sentence
- Similarly, if the original text contains conditional sentences, you can try reverse conditional sentences during paraphrasing.
Figure 2: This picture demonstrates the example of converting a conditional sentence into an inverted conditional sentence
- Besides changing the sentence structure, you can replace a few words with synonyms. However, if you have trouble finding an appropriate synonym, you can take assistance from a thesaurus.
- You can’t become the author of some information by paraphrasing it. So, it is essential to mention the source of the original data to avoid the claims of plagiarism.
3. Approach Each Paragraph Individually
You can’t paraphrase an entire document in one go. Therefore, we recommend approaching one paragraph at once during paraphrasing.
During paraphrasing a paragraph, you can try a different initial point for the paragraph. However, you should check the context of the information during paraphrasing because if you modify the context, it will ruin the entire essence of paraphrasing.
4. Compare the Original and Paraphrased Version
Once you have rewritten the text, your next task is to check the quality of the paraphrased information. So, you can try the four-finger test to compare the rephrased text with the original version.
During the comparison, if you find more than five exact words in the paraphrased and original versions, you will have to rephrase the text again.
5. Try AI Paraphrasers
Sometimes, it becomes challenging to reword on your own. So, if you are in such a situation, you can rephrase text using AI paraphrasing tools.
The modern-day best paraphrasing tools work on advanced AI technologies, such as Natural Language Processing (NLP) and GPT-3 training model. The GPT-3 training model helps such tools produce human-level paraphrasing, whereas the NLP technique ensures that the paraphrased version doesn’t shift from the original meaning.
Thus, if you face writer’s block and can’t paraphrase the material, you can take assistance from AI paraphrase generators.
A Few Tips for Trying AI Paraphrasers:
- Most paraphrasing tools work on multiple AI rephrasing modes. So, before finalizing the output of one mode, you should check the result of other modes.
- Since algorithms work at the backend of paraphrasing tools, you should always proofread their output.
- Like manual paraphrasing, you should paraphrase one paragraph in one go while paraphrasing the material through AI paraphrasers.
Example of Paraphrased Text
Now, let’s implement the above-discussed strategies in a sample paragraph and paraphrase it.
Figure 3: This picture demonstrates the example of paraphrasing the text
What Is Summarizing?
Summarizing refers to simplifying any lengthy or complex text. So, you can’t copy the exact wording from the original information while writing a summary. Instead, a conclusion provides a condensed version of the actual information or the author’s key points. Therefore, a summary should be powerful enough to convey the idea of lengthy information in a precise and to-the-point manner.
The length of a summary depends on the text’s complexity and the level of detail you want to provide to your readers. So, a summary can be as short as a few sentences. But a general rule of thumb is to keep the summary more concise than the original text.
How to Summarize the Material?
Now, let’s discuss a few tips that will help you conclude any material within a few sentences or paragraphs.
1. Understand the Theme of the Original Text
Like paraphrasing, the first step in summarizing the text is understanding the original text. So, you should read the original text carefully to understand what the author is trying to convey. This phase is crucial because a summary’s quality depends on your understanding of the source text.
2. Identify the Main Points in the Source Text
Once you have understood the author’s intention and the actual concept of the source material, your next task is to identify the main points of the source text. That’s because a summary aims to explain lengthy text concisely. So, this step is crucial when summarizing something because it helps in extracting the key talking points from the source text.
3. The Actual Summary Writing Phase
After understanding the original text’s meaning and identifying the main points, you can move to the actual summary writing phase. So, consider the following points while writing a summary.
- You should only include essential points while writing a summary.
- The content of a summary should be powerful enough to convey the message of a complete topic in a few words. This way, readers who haven’t read the original text will also understand the subject without reading the original material.
- Since a summary is a combination of essential information, you can’t include numbers, statistics, and examples while writing a summary.
- You can’t even include the first person’s perspective while summarizing the text.
- You can also take help from paraphrasing techniques while writing a summary.
- Like paraphrasing, citing the sources of the original information is essential after summarizing. Doing so will help you avoid the claims of accidental plagiarism.
4. Compare the Summarized and Original Versions
Once you have followed the above-discussed tips to write a summary, your next task is to check its quality. For that, you can compare the summarized version of the text with the original version.
During the comparison, you should examine if the original text is twice the size of your summary. However, if that’s not the case, you should reduce the number of words in the summarized version. But you should not exclude the critical points while reducing the number of words.
5. Try the Best Summary Generators
Like paraphrasing, technology also helps in creating summaries. So, if you want the assistance of technology in writing a summary, you can try a summary generator.
Most AI summary generators work by detecting the importance of sentences. Such tools assign a score to each sentence according to its importance. This way, summary generators can focus on sentences with high scores while generating a summary.
Some Tips for Trying the AI Summary Generators:
- Like AI paraphrasers, algorithms work at the backend of AI text summarizers. So, such tools can’t be creative like humans. That is why we recommend proofreading their output.
- Some summary generators allow you to control the length of the summary. So, we recommend trying different variations of the summary’s length and then choosing the final output.
Example of Summarized Text
Now, let’s see an example of summarized text, which contains the implementation of the above-discussed text summarizing techniques.
Figure 4: This picture demonstrates the example of summarizing the lengthy text
Paraphrasing is a bit different from summarizing. When summarizing, you acknowledge that your source material has much more to say than what you have written. On the other hand, during paraphrasing, you express that your source has the same message as what you have written.
But the aforementioned difference is just the tip of the iceberg. So, suppose you want to know the differences between paraphrasing and summarizing and the tips to paraphrase and summarize the material successfully. In that case, we recommend reading the above discussion.