How to Write a Summary by Paraphrasing Source Material


When you paraphrase material from a source, you restate the information from an entire sentence or passage in your own words, using your own original sentence structure. A paraphrased source differs from a summarized source in that you focus on restating the ideas, not condensing them.

It is important to check your paraphrase against the source material to make sure it is both accurate and original. Inexperienced writers sometimes use the thesaurus method of paraphrasing—that is, they simply rewrite the source material, replacing most of the words with synonyms. This constitutes a misuse of sources. A true paraphrase restates ideas using the writer’s own language and style.

Review the videos below about developing paraphrasing skills with writing:

Instruction on how to paraphrase:

How to avoid plagiarism when paraphrasing a text:


Example Paraphrase Writing Format

In the essay Santa Ana, author Joan Didion’s main point is (state main point). According to Didion …PARAPHRASE 1…. Didion also CLAIMS… PARAPHRASE 2…. Finally, she CLAIMS …PARAPHRASE 3…. Write a last sentence that “wraps” up your summary; often a simple rephrasing of the main point.