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Paraphrasing and summarizing are two writing techniques used to modify original information. People found it simple to make their work more easy and informative. 

But improper usage results in cheating and violation of copyrights. Keep reading if you want to get proper knowledge of these two concepts. 

Ultimately, you will better understand the difference between paraphrasing and summarizing.

Definition of Paraphrasing

"Paraphrasing is a skill of rearranging the sentence and explaining it in your own words". This technique simplifies complex information and restates it in clear words. 

Definition of Summarizing

"Summarizing is an art of rewriting someone's ideas into a short and concise pattern". Despite copying long sentences, summarizing can convey information in a short form. Using this technique highlights the main idea and key points more effectively.

Key Differences between paraphrasing and summarizing

Paraphrasing and summarizing are good when you appropriately restate the information. Both techniques are quite similar but have some key differences between them:

  • Purpose
  • Content length
  • Approach
  • Citations

1. Purpose

  • Paraphrasing is to convey the information of someone's other source in your own words.
  • Summarizing is explaining the main idea of someone's other source in a short version.

2. Content length

  • Paraphrasing gives a similar content length, just like the original source. 
  • Whereas the summarizing is significantly shorter in length than the actual information.

3. Approach

  • An approach to paraphrasing involves rewording original information without changing the exact meaning. It refers to the expression of ideas in different ways.
  • Summarizing approach is to delete unnecessary material from the actual information. It refers to keeping the information concise.

4. Citations

  • When you paraphrase someone's information, in-citation is necessary. It is good to credit the original author by mentioning the name, source and publication date.
  • Citation is also crucial in the summarizing process. Keep it to ensure the source by giving its name, publication date or amount of information.

P.S. Citation is a specific reference of a writer after copying their information. It varies according to the need of the document. Just in case of assignments and research projects. You can follow different methods of citation. Such as:

  • In-text citation
  • Footnotes 
  • Endnotes

When to Use Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing is a helpful skill to use in different contexts. Appropriate use of this technique will maintain academic and professional integrity. Otherwise, if you misuse this term, it results in bad consequences.

Many students and professionals wonder when to use paraphrasing or rephrasing? When you research to paraphrase something, think about what the writer intends to convey. 

Take the writer's concept, read it carefully and restate it in your own words. After using the information, give the main author a resourceful credit and reference. Using paraphrasing tool is also the best practice for various purposes and is legit.

For example, you rephrase something to explain your document that fits your work. It is not only rephrasing the sentence; it is restating the main concept. 

Explain the information in your own words and reference a quotation at the end of the document. It gives the same level of detail as the original one and needs proper credit. Using your own words to explain the data and make your content unique.

When to Use Summarizing

Summarizing means to compress the long sentence information into a short paragraph. It is also common among students and professionals to convey an important message. 

This technique removes unwanted sentences and presents important information quickly. Summarizing refers to writing short sentences that the reader can understand easily.

For example, when preparing a presentation, summarizing helps you explain the topic's crux. Keep it simple that your fellows can understand the main points and information.

Summarizing might be helpful in various situations. Such as:

  • Studying
  • Writing
  • Reading

1. Studying

When you study a large piece of information, summarizing makes it easier to understand.

2. Writing

Summarizing extract the important information from the source, when your start writing something.

3. Reading

When you start reading, summarizing will help you to remember the key information.


Paraphrasing and summarizing are the same techniques but have different styles of conduct. Paraphrasing means rearrange the sentence structure by using similar words and synonyms. 

On the other hand, summing up the important key points and leaving out long sentences is summarizing. These techniques benefit you in genuine writing, presentations and concluding final thoughts. 

These skills are easy to adopt, but improper usage causes bad consequences. When using paraphrasing and summarizing, particular differences need proper attention. 

Some of them are:

  • Purpose
  • Content length
  • Approach
  • Citation

It's important to follow the above mentioned key differences of using paraphrasing and summarizing. Eventually, it results in preventing your content from plagiarism.