Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing

This handout is intended to help you become more comfortable with the uses of and distinctions among quotations, paraphrases, and summaries. This handout compares and contrasts the three terms, gives some pointers, and includes a short excerpt that you can use to practice these skills. Explains the difference among quoting, paraphrasing, and summarzing, explains why and how to use each, and provides practice in summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CLE 3005.6.1
Comprehend and summarize the main ideas of complex informational texts and determine the essential elements that elaborate them.
GLE 0007.INQ.1
Observe the world of familiar objects using the senses and tools.
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
Learning objectives: 

Quotations, paraphrases, and summaries serve many purposes. You might use them to:

  • Provide support for claims or add credibility to your writing
  • Refer to work that leads up to the work you are now doing
  • Give examples of several points of view on a subject
  • Call attention to a position that you wish to agree or disagree with
  • Highlight a particularly striking phrase, sentence, or passage by quoting the original
  • Distance yourself from the original by quoting it in order to cue readers that the words are not your own
  • Expand the breadth or depth of your writing

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: