Summarizing vs Paraphrasing

The English language is something that has been spread all around the world. In recent times the internet has popularized and made it available to almost everyone. With the English language comes its many rules and regulations that are also followed in other languages but are not known by everyone. Paraphrasing and summarizing are two unique parts of the language that have been in circulation ever since the first ever written text was created.  With the help of the English language, it has become much simpler for people to understand aspects of both these language tools, i.e. Paraphrasing and Summary.

Related topic: How to Paraphrase a Paragraph: Strategies & skills


To paraphrase means to express the meaning of a phrase or sentence using different words, especially to achieve greater clarity whereas to summarize factors to make a brief statement or account of the main points of a written or oral account.

The basic definitions of both the language tools tell us that they are inherently quite different even though they might seem the same on the surface. To get better at both paraphrasing as well as summarizing you first need to understand what are the fundamental differences between them.

This would help you to understand better the quality of the work that you are doing or receiving. This way you can also stop confusing yourself while working a paraphrase or summary.

There are individual key differences between a paraphrase and a summary. Knowing these small discrepancies between the two can allow you to be proficient in the language.

Paraphrasing Involves you putting a phrase or paragraph from the source material into your own words and this is exactly what our rewrite tool does. The paraphrase should always be attributed to the source this is primarily done so that the paraphrase does not lose the meaning it was intended to have initially. A paraphrase mostly tries to keep the original content as well as its context and present it more straightforwardly. Sometimes paraphrases can also be used to condense the source material. Every line of the text is given equal importance while paraphrasing.

SUMMARIZING Involves the writer presenting the ideas that are obtained through a conversation or a written material. What this means is that only the basic, as well as the most necessary information, is presented in a summary.  Summaries are always shorter than the original source material. They try to present all the important points in the most concise manner possible. A summary is usually selective, and the summarizer can omit ideas that are not relevant to the context of the entire text.

Related article: Summarizing and Paraphrasing Examples


The language tools of paraphrasing and summarizing are quite similar actions with just a borderline of difference to them. The difference between the two lies in the main objective that the acts hold. The main concern of summarizing is to make sure that you can get enough information about a text in fewer words. On the other hand paraphrasing is not at all concerned with the length of a text; instead, it is the conveyance of the written or oral accord in your own words. Paraphrase comes from the Greek word paraphrasis which literally translates to “to tell in other words”.

Let’s better understand this with the help of an example sentence –

ORIGINAL PASSAGE – Robert’s got a bad habit of smoking cigarettes. He finishes a pack almost every day.

SUMMARY – Robert smokes a pack a day.

PARAPHRASE – Robert has got a smoking problem and being a chain smoker he can finish a pack each day.


In conclusion, paraphrasing is concerned with the restatement of the original text whereas a summary is to present the crucial points in a concise manner.

How is paraphrasing different from summarizing

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