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ENGL 98 - Ogo: Annotated Bibliography Assignment: Tips on Paraphrasing & Summarizing

Guidelines for writing an academic summary

An academic summary is concise and true to the piece.   Think of it as "getting rid of smaller details and leaving only the primary points."  Put all or most of the summary in your own words (paraphrase).  In the first sentence, mention the title of the text, the name of the author, and the author’s thesis.  Use the third-person point of view and the present tense.  Be consecutive paragraph by paragraph.

An acronym that will help you remember the qualities of a good summary is CABIN.

C - Comprehensive.  It covers all the high points.

A – Accurate.

B – Brief.

I – Independent.  There is enough information that the summary can stand on its own.

N - Neutral.  It is informative; it does not express your opinion.


Help with Paraphrasing: RE-Write it in Your Own Words

Paraphrasing is one way to use a text in your own writing without directly quoting source material. Anytime you are taking information from a source that is not your own, you need to specify where you got that information.  

A paraphrase is... 

  • Your own rendition of essential information and ideas expressed by someone else, presented in a new form.
  • One legitimate way (when accompanied by accurate documentation) to borrow from a source.
  • A more detailed restatement than a summary, which focuses concisely on a single main idea.

The above information is taken from the handout from the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University where you can find additional help on paraphrasing and summarizing articles     

The URL for the Purdue Online Writing Lab is: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/563/02/  

For additional help in becoming more comfortable with the uses and distinctions among quotations, paraphrases, and summaries, go to the handout from the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/563/01/

This page was borrowed from Leslie Hassett's LibGuide for Business 101