Knowing how to summarise without plagiarizing is essential if you’ve got a paper to write. Whether you’re working on a blog post or an academic paper, copying and pasting from the Internet is a good idea – but only if you’re skilled at both paraphrasing and summarizing and can therefore avoid stealing someone else’s words.
Tips for How to Summarise without Plagiarizing
If you’re not sure how to summarise without plagiarizing, here are a few of our top tips.
1. Familiarise yourself with the text
Before you begin writing, it’s important that you familiarise yourself with the text in question so that you thoroughly understand it. Understanding the text’s message is essential if you’re going to turn it into your own words.
2. Write the introduction
Begin by writing the introductory part of your paper. You can either claim that the opinion is your own, or you can make it known that you are using a referenced material.
If you choose to voice your own opinion, write down an intro in the form of a statement while expressing your viewpoint with consistency and clarity.
If you choose to reference someone else, make it clear that your take on things was inspired by someone else.
3. Write your summary without looking at the original text
It’s very important that you write the summary without looking at the original text. Working like this will reduce the likelihood of plagiarism in your text.
If you are struggling to remember something, bring up the text and quickly read through it before hiding it away again.
What Is Paraphrasing and Summarising?
Let’s start with paraphrasing:
There is a lot of talk about plagiarism in 2016, and it’s hardly surprising: We pretty much all have access to the Internet, and therefore it’s all too easy to load up a web page whenever we’re in need of some fresh content, before copying and pasting the text and claiming it as our own.
Of course, we make a few tweaks to the text first, and this is essentially what paraphrasing is: You take an original text, change the words up, but retain the core meaning. It saves you a heck of a lot of time and hassle.
Summarising is something else that students in particular should be familiar with. A summary is basically a condensed version of a text which emphasises the main points in your own words.
If, for example, you want to summarise a chapter, you might stick to a single page. If you need to summarise a paragraph, you might stick to just a few lines.
Paraphrasing and summarising are two techniques that help you to avoid plagiarism. But neither are especially easy. So what do you do?
Guidelines to Avoid Plagiarism
To sum up, here some guidelines to avoid plagiarism:
- Try not to paraphrase sentence by sentence
- Always include citations
- Use quotations if you know that you cannot avoid plagiarism
- Always make sure that you understand the text intimately
- Run your paper through a plagiarism checker
- Compare your text with the original