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APA Micro-course

Questions to Consider:

  • Why (and when) is it advantageous to paraphrase an information source, rather than quote it directly?
  • How is summarizing different from paraphrasing?
  • How does a good note-taking habit help me paraphrase and summarize sources?

Paraphrasing and summarizing are writing techniques used to more seamlessly integrate sources into your paper by restating information in your own words. Using these techniques is essential to effective research writing and to avoid over reliance on direct quotes.

The most effective way to create paraphrases and summaries of source information is to take notes on your sources as you read them. If you note important ideas from the source in your own words, those notes can form the basis for paraphrases or summaries later, when writing your paper (this is also a much more effective way to learn material).

Paraphrasing involves taking a source passage

Summarizing is restating (again, in your own words) the main ideas of a longer text (such as an article, book chapter or a whole book). The summary will be significantly shorter than the original because it focuses on the most important point or points