Summarizing and Paraphrasing Definitions



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Summarizing and Paraphrasing

Definitions

Summary: A summary is a condensed version of a text that is more quickly digested, but still presents the passage’s important details. A summary should be as short as possible (but still in a complete sentence of course).

Paraphrase: Paraphrasing involves restating someone else’s words in your own way. It is essential, in paraphrasing, to still communicate the central idea of the text. Unlike summarizing, paraphrasing is not concerned with length.

So, what’s the difference?

A summary is short and a paraphrase is longer. Both are restating something in a different way.

Practice!

Directions: Read the following passage. First summarize the passage in 1-2 sentences. Just focus on the main points. Then, using the same text, paraphrase it. Remember, to keep the meaning the same while using your own words.

1. Of the more than 1000 bicycling deaths each year, three-fourths are caused by head injuries. Half of those killed are school-age children. One study concluded that wearing a bike helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 85 percent. In an accident, a bike helmet absorbs the shock and cushions the head. From "Bike Helmets: Unused Lifesavers," Consumer Reports (May 1990): 348.

Summary: There are a number of fatal bicycle deaths every year which can be prevented by wearing helmets.

Paraphrase: The use of a helmet is the key to reducing bicycling fatalities, which are due to head injuries 75% of the time. By cushioning the head upon impact, a helmet can reduce accidental injury by as much as 85%, saving the lives of hundreds of victims annually, half of whom are school children ("Bike Helmets" 348).

More Practice! Directions: Read the next chapter in A Monster Calls to yourself. Then, write a summary of the chapter on the back of this paper just 1-2 sentences. Just focus on the main points.

Summary of Chapter: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.

Key

Summary: There are a number of fatal bicycle deaths every year which can be prevented by wearing helmets.

Paraphrase: The use of a helmet is the key to reducing bicycling fatalities, which are due to head injuries 75% of the time. By cushioning the head upon impact, a helmet can reduce accidental injury by as much as 85%, saving the lives of hundreds of victims annually, half of whom are school children ("Bike Helmets" 348).
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