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Description: Understanding the significance of paraphrasing and summarizing is important. This is basically being about to put content you have read elsewhere into your own words. This is not copying something word for word, but it shows you understand the overall message of the content while using your own words to describe it. Many writing assignments have students doing this without realizing it. When you fail to use your own words you can get in trouble for plagiarism. There are a few things you can do to make this process easier for you; it is a matter of how you look at it. Make Sure You Understand What Paraphrasing and Summarizing Means Paraphrasing and summarizing are basically the same thing but it depends on how you look at them. Overall, you are putting something in your own words based on what you know without changing the meaning. When you paraphrase you provide a summary of something you read but word it differently. Summarizing is providing a brief explanation of a something to let others know the overall meaning in condensed form. Read Over Content a Few Times Before Attempting to Put In Your Own Words While conducting research you may come across content you want to include in your paper. You do not want to copy the content word-for-word in most cases, but you summarize or paraphrase the content. Meaning, you will rewrite the content while providing brief details to ensure you cover the original meaning of the content in your own words. To provide a thorough summary behind the meaning of the content you should read it over more than once before you attempt to put it in your own words. This helps in determining the best words to use when you rewrite the content. Seek Writing Examples of How to Rewrite and Summarize Text Another way that can help you understand how to paraphrase and summarize includes reading published content and other forms of writing. Think about content that is commonly paraphrased or summarized. These aspects are done on a daily basis with news and media releases. For example, you may have heard about an event that happened on national news. But, notice how more than one media outlet will pick up the same story but reword the content to make it unique for their audience. Essays and research studies on controversial topics is another example.
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