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IN PROG Mini-module: Quick Guide to Summarising and Paraphrasing

How to Paraphrase - Step-by-step Page 3 of 6

What are the steps in writing a paraphrase or summary? Watch the video to see one good way to do them.


Now see if you can remember the steps

The most important thing is to understand the source. If you understand it, you can close the book and you will often find that you can summarise/paraphrase in your own words without trying. Here are the steps again:

  1. Read and (try to) understand the passage.  Check the definitions of unfamiliar words. 
  2. Take very brief notes – use key words only – for each point
  3. Hide the original text and write your paraphrase just using your understanding and notes
  4. Compare your paraphrase with the original to make sure the text is not too similar.

What if you are still too close to the source? If you want to see examples of some techniques for changing the wording of texts, see our HowTo Guide: Writing in your own Words. [PDF]