This English Language quiz is called 'Writing - Quoting, Paraphrasing and Summarizing' and it has been written by teachers to help you if you are studying the subject at middle school. Playing educational quizzes is a fabulous way to learn if you are in the 6th, 7th or 8th grade - aged 11 to 14.
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Whenever you are called upon to write a paper, whether that be for a book report, a research paper, an essay, a term paper or whatever, many times the source material you are gathering your information from contains amazing language that says something far better than you believe you can.
It is at this point that some people get in quite a bit of trouble, especially if they copy, word-for-word, what someone else wrote. When that happens the writer has committed plagiarism. Plagiarism is the wrongful use of another person’s piece of written and sometimes spoken work without giving credit to the original author. The one thing that you never – ever want to do is to plagiarize someone else’s materials.
But there are things that you can do to capture that writing, that saying or that paragraph that you so admired. You can do this through quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing. So now we are left with the questions of, what is the difference, if any, between quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing? To answer that question, let’s look at each one of these separately.
Quoting: When you quote the original source, you only use a segment of that source. To let your reader know that you are using someone else’s written work, you place quotation marks (“”) around the words that are being quoted word-for-word and then you give credit to the original author. For example:
Although I believe in magic, “as it is the essence of every human’s nature to want to believe” (John S. Wilcox; The Magician), I find that as I get older…
In this example the reader can clearly see that the words “as it is the essence of every human’s nature to want to believe” were taken from another source and are not the writer’s words and then the (John S. Wilcox, The Magician) tells the reader who the original writer of those words were and where those words came from, i.e., the book The Magician. It is not always necessary to reference the book in the body of your writing but it should be listed in the index. There are many variations you could use here and each would be correct and acceptable. For example, the above could have been written as either of the following:
Although I believe in magic, “as it is the essence of every human’s nature to want to believe” (John S. Wilcox), I find that as I get older…
Although I believe in magic as John S. Wilcox stated in his book The Magician, “as it is the essence of every human’s nature to want to believe,” I find that as I get older…
In each of these examples, the writer is giving the original source full credit for the quoted material.
Paraphrasing: When paraphrasing you take material from the original source and then you reword it using your own words. Mostly, after you have paraphrased, the paraphrased work will be shorter than the original piece of work. When you do paraphrase, you always let the reader know that is what you are doing. Let’s look at the following source material and then below that, let’s look at a paraphrasing of that source material.Original Source:
Students frequently overuse direct quotation in taking notes, and as a result they overuse quotations in the final [research] paper. Probably only about 10% of your final manuscript should appear as directly quoted matter. Therefore, you should strive to limit the amount of exact transcribing of source materials while taking notes. Lester, James D. Writing Research Papers. 2nd ed. (1976): 46-47.
In research papers students often quote excessively, failing to keep quoted material down to a desirable level. Since the problem usually originates during note taking, it is essential to minimize the material recorded verbatim (Lester 46-47).
As you can see, the paraphrasing of the source materials gives you the same information but in a scaled down manner. Even the resource, i.e., Lester 46-47, was scaled down but the reference was still given!
Summarizing: When summarizing an original source, you are using your own words to address the main points of the original source. Because you only focus on the main points, summaries are generally quite short. Again, as with quoting and paraphrasing, you must give credit back to the original writer and, at the same time, disclose that what you are providing is only a summary and that if they want to see the entire source, then they can go to that source. (You will provide that information in your index.)
Here is an example of summarizing an original source, in fact, let’s summarize the above Original Source.
Students should take just a few notes in direct quotation from sources to help minimize the amount of quoted material in a research paper (Lester 46-47).
As you can see, the summary is very brief compared to the original source and includes less wordage from even that of paraphrasing.
Once you can master these three acceptable ways of using original material, it will greatly help you in your writing endeavors both now and in the future.
Now for the quiz. For each of the following written pieces of work, see if you can determine if the piece is a piece of plagiarism, quoting, paraphrasing or summarizing. Determining that might not be as easy as you first think so take your time and be certain before choosing the correct answer.
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