Academy Resource Center
Restating in your own words a passage written by someone other than yourself.
Paraphrased versions of a passage include all the details of the original text.
Restating in your own words only the main idea(s) of a passage written by someone other than yourself. The details are left out of the summary.
When Europeans reached present-day Latin America they found three important civilizations: Mayan, Aztec, and Incan. That we should still call the native peoples of this hemisphere “Indians” perpetuates the error of sixteenth-century Spaniards who wanted to believe they had reached the spice-rich Indies.
(Thomas E. Skidmore, Peter H. Smith. Modern Latin America Fourth Edition, Oxford University Press, 1997.)
European explorers who mistakenly thought they had reached India, encountered the Mayas, the Aztecs, and the Incas, three major native cultures of modern-day Latin America. They erroneously called these people “Indians,” a misnomer that persists even today.
Referring to the native groups of modern-day Latin America as “Indians” is a misnomer that has persisted since sixteenth-century European explorers erroneously gave them that name.
What purposes do paraphrasing and summarizing serve?:
• Add credibility to your argument
• Can help describe opposing points of view
• Provide a way to include information without quoting too much
• Provide important information from an undistinguished passage
• Provide brief background information
Does the author paraphrased or summarized have to be attributed?:
YES, otherwise is it plagiarism!
This can be accomplished by including the source in the paraphrase or summary:
According to Skidmore and Smith, ….
Attribution can also be given after the paraphrase or summary:
European explorers…. (Skidmore, Smith 13)