Summary vs. Paraphrase: What's the Difference?
A "Summary" condenses the main points of a text, while a "Paraphrase" rewords the text without shortening its original length.
A "Summary" is a brief statement or account of the main points of a text, capturing the essence without going into all details. Conversely, a "Paraphrase" is a restatement of a text, where the words change but the meaning remains the same.
While both "Summary" and "Paraphrase" involve transforming a text into one's own words, their purposes differ. A "Summary" condenses content to convey only the crucial points, whereas a "Paraphrase" may maintain the same length but alters the phrasing.
In academic writing, when students are asked to provide a "Summary", they're expected to extract the central ideas without copying the original text. On the other hand, when asked to "Paraphrase", they're expected to rephrase without changing the original meaning.
"Summary" and "Paraphrase" are tools that aid comprehension and avoid plagiarism. A "Summary" allows readers to understand the gist of a long text quickly, while a "Paraphrase" helps clarify complex statements or terms in more familiar language.
Often in research, a "Summary" is useful for providing an overview of a study's findings, while a "Paraphrase" can be used to reword a quote or statement from a source, ensuring the writer's work remains original while still referencing the source material.
To condense main points
To reword without changing meaning
Shorter than the original text
Usually the same length as the original text
Captures essence without all details
Alters phrasing but retains original meaning
Provides an overview of findings
Rewords quotes or statements from a source
In Academic Writing
Extract central ideas without copying
Rephrase content without changing its essence
Summary and Paraphrase Definitions
A condensed version highlighting the main points.
The book's summary provided a quick overview of the plot.
A rendition of content with the same meaning but different phrasing.
To avoid plagiarism, she used a paraphrase of the source material.
An abstract that distills the primary concepts.
I read the article's summary to understand its focus.
A restatement of a text or passage in different words.
He provided a paraphrase of the original quote for clarity.
A concise version without unnecessary details.
The executive summary outlined the project's goals.
A rewording to achieve better clarity or a different perspective.
The teacher asked the student to paraphrase the sentence.
A shortened form representing the gist.
His summary of the event captured its essence.
A reformulation keeping the essence intact.
The poem's paraphrase captured its sentiment in simpler terms.
A brief account of the main ideas without detail.
She gave a summary of the lecture's key takeaways.
A restatement of a text or passage in another form or other words, often to clarify meaning.
A brief statement mentioning the main points of something
A summary of our findings.
The restatement of texts in other words as a studying or teaching device.
Prose that provides information in a condensed format, as by mentioning only the most significant details of a narrative
The novelist did not like writing dialogue and preferred to write stories in summary.
The adaptation or alteration of a text or quotation to serve a different purpose from that of the original.
Presenting the substance in a condensed form; concise
A summary review.
To restate using different words, especially to clarify.
Performed speedily and without ceremony
A summary rejection.
To adapt or alter (a text or quotation) to serve a different purpose from that of the original
"It's tempting to paraphrase an environmental slogan and say, 'Think globally, pray locally'" (Christian Science Monitor).
Concise, brief or presented in a condensed form
A summary review is in the appendix.
To compose a paraphrase.
Performed speedily and without formal ceremony.
They used summary executions to break the resistance of the people.
A restatement of a text in different words, often to clarify meaning.
(legal) Performed by skipping the procedures of a standard and fair trial.
Summary justice is bad justice.
(Scotland) One of a certain number of Scripture passages turned into verse for use in the service of praise.
An abstract or a condensed presentation of the substance of a body of material.
Make a summary of the events
(ambitransitive) To restate something as, or to compose a paraphrase.
Formed into a sum; summed up; reduced into a narrow compass, or into few words; short; brief; concise; compendious; as, a summary statement of facts.
A restatement of a text, passage, or work, expressing the meaning of the original in another form, generally for the sake of its clearer and fuller exposition; a setting forth the signification of a text in other and ampler terms; a free translation or rendering; - opposed to metaphrase.
In paraphrase, or translation with latitude, the author's words are not so strictly followed as his sense.
Excellent paraphrases of the Psalms of David.
His sermons a living paraphrase upon his practice.
The Targums are also called the Chaldaic or Aramaic Paraphrases.
Hence, rapidly performed; quickly executed; as, a summary process; to take summary vengeance.
To express, interpret, or translate with latitude; to give the meaning of a passage in other language.
We are put to construe and paraphrase our own words.
A general or comprehensive statement; an abridged account; an abstract, abridgment, or compendium, containing the sum or substance of a fuller account.
To make a paraphrase.
A briefstatement that presents the main points in a concise form;
He gave a summary of the conclusions
Rewording for the purpose of clarification
Performed speedily and without formality;
A summary execution
Express the same message in different words
Briefly giving the gist of something;
A short and compendious book
A compact style is brief and pithy
A summary formulation of a wide-ranging subject
A rephrase without changing the original intent.
The document included a paraphrase of the legal jargon.
Should a Summary include every detail from the original?
No, only the crucial points.
What's the primary goal of a Summary?
To condense the main points of a text.
How does a Paraphrase differ in length from the original text?
It usually maintains the original length.
When should I choose to Paraphrase rather than Summarize?
When you want to reword without omitting any part of the original content.
Can a Summary be subjective?
Generally, it should be objective, focusing on the text's main points.
Is Paraphrasing always longer than Summarizing?
Not necessarily; paraphrasing maintains content, while summarizing shortens it.
Is a Paraphrase just a direct synonym replacement?
No, it involves rephrasing while keeping the original meaning intact.
Can both Summary and Paraphrase help in avoiding plagiarism?
Yes, when original content is transformed into one's own words.
Do both Summary and Paraphrase require citation in academic writing?
Yes, both should reference the original source to avoid plagiarism.
Why is Paraphrasing useful in research?
It allows representation of source material in a fresh way, while still giving credit.
Written bySawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited bySumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.