This series is published in the tuesday issues of Deccan Chronicle .
Why and When should we paraphrase and when should we summarise? To most of us there is very little difference between the two.However, to paraphrase means to express someone else’s ideas in your own language and to summarise means to write down the essence of someone else’s work.
Let us look at a few examples.
- If your reader has to know the skeleton of the story or a passage, you would summarise.
- Second provide a reference and if you find difficulty in putting some parts of the original into your own words provide a reference by saying: “According to author xyz….. (you can quote here). Always make a gist of the passage in your own words and then expand your notes in your paraphrasing.
- Check the original to ensure that you have got down things accurately and that you have used your own words.
Summaries are different from paraphrases as they are not pointby-point translations.When you summarise a passage, you have to clearly understand its meaning and then capture the essence of it in your own words.Summary will therefore be shorter than your paraphrase.
Whatever method you choose to use — be sure it is in your own words.