Content writing

What's The Difference Between Paraphrasing and Summarizing?

Last updated:
June 19, 2024

Have you ever read an article and struggled to understand the key ideas? Or maybe you've tried explaining a complex topic to someone else and realized you weren't quite sure of the main points yourself. Paraphrasing and summarizing are useful skills that can help. In this article, we'll explore some strategies and examples to help strengthen your paraphrasing and summarizing skills. Read on to become an expert at restating ideas in your own words.

Defining Paraphrasing and Summarizing

Paraphrasing and summarizing are two useful skills, but what exactly do they mean? Let's break it down:

What is Paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing involves restating something in your own words while keeping the original meaning intact. When you paraphrase, you rephrase the way ideas or information are expressed, using synonyms and rearranging the structure of sentences and paragraphs. The key is to not copy word-for-word.

Some tips for effective paraphrasing:

  • Read the original text multiple times to fully understand the meaning
  • Identify the main ideas and arguments
  • Restate those ideas and arguments in your own words using synonyms and restructuring sentences
  • Double check that the paraphrased version accurately captures the meaning of the original
  • Cite or reference the original source to avoid plagiarism

Paraphrasing allows you to explain concepts and share information in a personalized, easy to understand way. It demonstrates your understanding and ability to communicate ideas.

To enhance your content creation process, you can explore the use of tools like the Hypotenuse AI paraphrasing tool, which provides assistance in generating paraphrased content effortlessly.

What is Summarizing?

Summarizing involves briefly restating the main ideas, themes, or plot points of something in a concise way. The key is to condense longer pieces of information into a high-level overview by extracting only the most important elements.

Some tips for effective summarizing:

  • Focus on the overall meaning and key takeaways, not specific details
  • Identify the main subject, topic, setting, characters, events, etc. depending on what you're summarizing
  • Keep summaries under 10% of the original length
  • Use your own words and sentence structure
  • Omit unnecessary examples, anecdotes, descriptions, and repetitions

Summarizing allows you to quickly share the essence of complex information in a simplified way. It shows you can synthesize and evaluate information to determine what's most significant. To summarize content effortlessly, one can try the Hypotenuse AI tool for summarization.

How To Paraphrase?

When paraphrasing, you convey the same ideas as the original text but in your own words and sentence structure. Here are some helpful tips to successfully paraphrase:

1. Read the original text thoroughly

Make sure you understand the full meaning and context of the original text. Read it more than once if needed. Look up any unfamiliar words or terms so you have a solid grasp of the ideas and details.

2. Identify the key ideas

Determine the central theme or message, as well as any important supporting ideas. These are what you will restate in your own words. Leave out insignificant details and examples.

3. Put the text aside and write in your own words

Do not look at the original text while you are writing your paraphrase. This will allow you to articulate the ideas in the way that feels most natural to you. Refer to your notes about the key ideas to make sure your restatement is accurate.

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4. Use synonyms and reorganize

Replace words and phrases from the original text with synonyms and synonymous expressions. Also, reorganize or restructure sentences and paragraphs. For example, you can combine some sentences or split long sentences into shorter ones. Change the order of ideas or examples.

5. Vary your sentence structure

Avoid simply rearranging the words in the original sentences. Instead, create entirely new sentences in your own unique style. To maintain a smooth flow, use a mixture of simple and complex sentence structures. Remember to keep your language concise, but don't make it sound choppy.

6. Compare with the original

Once you have completed your paraphrase, review the original text again. Make sure that your version conveys all of the same key ideas, examples, and details. Look for any passages that seem too similar to the original—if there are any sentences or phrases that are verbatim or nearly verbatim, rephrase them in your own words.

Paraphrasing Examples

Here's an example of paraphrasing using AI:

Paraphrasing Example #1


The increased use of technology in the classroom continues to be a controversial issue in education. While some studies have found that technology can be distracting and negatively impact learning, other research has found that technology, when used appropriately, can enhance learning and engage students.


The use of technology in classrooms is a topic that sparks debate in education. Some studies suggest that technology can be a distraction and hinder learning, while others argue that when used properly, it can actually improve learning and capture students' attention.

Paraphrasing Example #2


The ability to paraphrase demonstrates several higher-order thinking skills including comprehension, abstraction, and reorganization of ideas. Paraphrasing requires understanding the essence and meaning behind a message, relating new ideas to familiar ones, and reconstructing the message in a new yet faithful way.


Paraphrasing is a skill that shows advanced thinking abilities like understanding, abstract thinking, and rearranging ideas. When you paraphrase, you need to grasp the main point and significance of a message, connect new ideas to ones you already know, and reconstruct the message in a fresh but accurate way.

Paraphrasing Example #3


Understanding the difference between paraphrasing and summarizing is crucial in academic writing. While both involve restating information in one's own words, they serve different purposes. Paraphrasing focuses on expressing the original text in a new way, maintaining the same level of detail and length. Summarizing, on the other hand, aims to condense the main ideas and key points of the text into a shorter version.


In academic writing, it's important to grasp the distinction between paraphrasing and summarizing. Although both involve rephrasing information using your own words, they serve different purposes. Paraphrasing is all about expressing the original text in a fresh manner while keeping the same level of detail and length. On the other hand, summarizing aims to condense the primary ideas and key points of the text into a shorter version.

How To Summarize?

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Summarizing information effectively is a useful skill that can help in many areas of life. Here are some tips to keep in mind when summarizing:

1. Focus on the main ideas

Read through the entire piece you want to summarize and identify the most important concepts and themes. Ignore minor details and examples. Focus on capturing the essence of the key ideas.

If it's an article or book, read introductions, headings, and conclusions to get a sense of the central themes. As you read, ask yourself "What is the author trying to convey here?" to determine what's most significant.

2. Keep it short

A summary should be considerably shorter than the original work. Aim for about 1/3 of the length or less. Be concise by eliminating unnecessary words and rephrasing ideas efficiently. Use sentence fragments and bulleted lists when possible.

3. Maintain objectivity

Summarize the work factually without putting your own personal spin or opinions on the information. Report the key ideas in an impartial, balanced manner. Do not make judgments about the quality or accuracy of the content.

4. Check your work

Review and edit your summary to ensure it's clear, coherent, and captures the essence of the most significant themes and concepts in the source material—all in your own words. Get feedback from others if possible. Revise as needed to improve the summary.

Summarizing Examples

Here are some summarizing examples:

Summary Example #1


Regular exercise has been shown to have numerous positive effects on mental health. It can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve mood, boost self-esteem, and enhance cognitive function. Exercise also promotes better sleep and stress management, contributing to overall well-being.


Regular exercise has many mental health benefits. It reduces anxiety and depression, improves mood, boosts self-esteem, and enhances cognitive function. Exercise also helps with sleep and stress management, promoting overall well-being.

Summary Example #2


Effective communication is essential in the workplace. It builds strong relationships among team members, enhances productivity, and promotes a positive work environment. Good communication involves active listening, clear and concise expression of ideas, and providing constructive feedback. It also involves understanding non-verbal cues and adapting communication styles to different individuals and situations. By fostering effective communication, organizations can minimize misunderstandings, resolve conflicts, and achieve their goals efficiently.


Effective workplace communication is vital. It builds relationships, increases productivity, and fosters a positive environment. It involves active listening, clear expression of ideas, and constructive feedback. Understanding non-verbal cues and adapting to others is important. It minimizes misunderstandings, resolves conflicts, and helps achieve goals efficiently.

Summary Example #3


Social media has become a pervasive part of modern society. It allows people to connect, share information, and engage with others across the globe. With platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, individuals can stay updated on current events, follow their favorite celebrities, and express their opinions freely. Social media has also revolutionized the way businesses operate by providing a platform for advertising, customer engagement, and brand building.


Social media is now an integral part of society, enabling people to connect, share information, and engage globally. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter offer updates, celebrity updates, and the freedom to express opinions. It has also transformed businesses, offering advertising, customer engagement, and brand building opportunities.

Summarize and Paraphrase with Hypotenuse AI

Now you know the difference between paraphrasing and summarizing and how to apply these skills in your own writing. Being able to restate ideas in your own words is such an important ability, and these techniques will make you a stronger writer and communicator. Next time you read an article or have a conversation, challenge yourself to paraphrase the main points to reinforce your understanding. And when you want to distill lots of information into a compact message, work on crafting a high-level summary.

Give Hypotenuse AI a try and witness the positive impact it can have on your writing journey. Happy writing!

SEO Specialist
Hazel has over 3 years of experience in SEO. She has helped multiple clients in different industries grow their online presence through SEO, content creation and other marketing strategies.

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