All genres of writing, especially research papers and dissertations, require us to use several secondary sources as reference. It is extremely inconvenient and impossible to use the entire source in our writings. Therefore we use several methods by which we can incorporate elements of the source into our writings without using the entire material. The most commonly used methods of doing so are summarizing, paraphrasing and quoting.
Summarizing is the act of identifying the prominent points in a certain piece of text and rewriting it on your own. A summary is generally much shorter than the original and is a very effective way of giving the reader the gist of a piece of text without having to read it completely. Below are certain tips which will help you write a proper summary when asked to.
Paraphrasing involves reading a piece of text and rewriting it in your own words. In this method, writers are expected to understand the text at depth; there is a greater level of detail in paraphrases than in a summary. Typically, you don't paraphrase long paragraphs or sections; it is used only if the text is short. Paraphrasing allows the depth of thought and contemplation over certain ideas, and ensures that the gist of the text is conveyed effectively to the readers. Certain tips to paraphrasing are given below.
When the text or a part of it is reproduced in its original form, it is called quoting. This method is used when it is imperative that the readers know exactly what the author has to say about a certain topic. It ensures that there is no deviation in meaning from the original. Since the author's exact words are reproduced, it also eliminates the possibility of misinterpretation. The tips given below ensure proper quoting.
Summary, paraphrase or quotes can be used in a scholarly piece of writing based on what you want to convey and how you want it conveyed. These methods ensure that the message of the original text is conveyed to the readers while maintaining clarity and appropriate length. It also helps avoid inadvertent plagiarism by allowing you to give the authors due credit.
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