Writing Tip #19: Summing it up
A great way to practice paraphrasing is to summarize. If you are writing a college paper and need to include the particulars of a study, article, or book, you will need to be able to summarize.
Summarizing is simple. Read the text and then put it into your own words. If you are summarizing a lengthy study and you do not have time to read the entire text, some tricks exist to speed up the process.
- Read the Introduction carefully so that you can become familiar with the study and why it was conducted.
- Read briskly through the midsection of the study, which usually includes the literature review, methodology, and analysis.
- Toward the end of the paper will be the conclusions. This section will be of particular interest to you because it contains a synopsis of what the researcher(s) found and what conclusions were drawn from the study.
Summarize as you are reading. You can rewrite the summary after you finish. Think of it as the retelling of a story. But, unlike the retelling of what happened at the party on Saturday night, this story must be accurate, with no embellishments. Don’t forget to cite so that you don't plagiarize!