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What is the Difference Between Paraphrasing and Summarizing

What is the Difference Between Paraphrasing and Summarizing

What is the Difference Between Paraphrasing and Summarizing

If you deal with writing of any type, then you might have heard the terms ‘paraphrasing’ and ‘summarizing.’ It doesn’t matter if you write academically, professionally, or for digital platforms. These terms are used in almost all of them. 

But what do they mean? These terms are often used interchangeably. However, that is wrong. These are two processes that are completely different and have totally different goals. So, in this article, we will break down this difference.

In the coming sections, we will talk about these two terms side-by-side so you can clearly understand the differences. If you are already aware of these differences though, you can still give this piece a read because it will also talk about methods to use both of these techniques.

1. Definition

First, let’s define both the terms.


Paraphrasing means taking words and editing them in such a way that their meaning isn’t affected. For example, if the original sentence is:

The cat sat on the mat.

Then, its paraphrased version can be something like:

The mat was where the cat chose to sit.

Paraphrasing can be done in a single sentence and also on whole write-ups. It’s up to the writer.


Summarizing means extracting the most vital points from a write-up and condensing that write-up into a shorter version. In simple words, it reduces a document to its most important points. A basic example of this is portrayed here:

Original: The sun was setting over the horizon, casting a warm, golden glow over the quiet town. Birds were chirping their evening songs, and a gentle breeze rustled the leaves of the trees. People were beginning to settle in for the night, turning on lights in their homes and preparing dinner. It was a peaceful and serene end to a busy day.

Summarized: As the sun set, the town grew peaceful, with birds singing and people settling in for the night.

2. When to Use

Now, let’s see when you should use these techniques.


We have listed some case scenarios where using paraphrasing can be useful.

  • To avoid plagiarism when using content from some other source. (you need to cite even after paraphrasing)
  • To make your write-ups more readable and coherent.
  • To make highly complex content easy to understand.
  • To change the tone of your sentences.
  • To modify your work according to the audience’s liking.

These are cases when you can implement paraphrasing.


Summarizing can also be used in multiple situations. Some of them are listed here:

  • If you want to present a lengthy piece of content but have limited time, you can summarize it and present only the main points.
  • You can summarize your academic content to consume maximum information on exam day.
  • Summarizing can help in skimming lengthy articles.

These are general uses of summarizing. If you go into specific use cases, then this list would multiply greatly.

3. How to Implement

Now, we will show you how these two techniques are used.


Paraphrasing can be done in multiple ways. The most common ones are listed here:

  • You can paraphrase by replacing words of a sentence with their synonyms.
  • You can alter the structure of sentences.
  • You can change the voice of a sentence.
  • You can combine two different sentences into one. Similarly, you could also break down a large sentence. It all depends on the scenario.


To summarize, the process is listed below:

  • First, thoroughly go through the original work. Understand the crucial points of the write-up.
  • Write the important points down in a rough manner.
  • Pick and choose which of these points to continue with and give them a proper format.
  • Proofread to remove errors and discrepancies.

We have tried to cover the basic differences between the two techniques under discussion. We hope you got the gist of it. But there is something else that we need to discuss as well. Now, online tools and utilities are available to perform these tasks, and you don’t have to do them manually. These automated solutions are suitable for these fast-paced times. In the next section, let us show you how these tools work.

Tools for Paraphrasing and Summarizing

In the following, we will show you the working of one tool for both summarizing and paraphrasing. This will give you a comprehensive overview of the technology being used in this industry.

1. Paraphrasing

A paraphrasing tool takes in textual information and rephrases it using different methods. During this process, the original idea of the text is preserved. To use such a tool, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the tool's home page. Enter your text. There are usually multiple options to enter text. You can use any one of them.

    paraphrasing tool input
  2. Choose a style of paraphrasing from the given options.

    paraphrasing tool modes
  3. Click on the ‘Paraphrase’ button.

    paraphrasing tool paraphrase button
  4. Copy or download the results.

In this way, you will get a paraphrased version of whatever you put in as the input.

2. Summarizing

For summarizing, the process is somewhat similar because online writing tools work more or less in the same way. However, here is a detailed demonstration of a summarizing tool for your convenience.

  1. Insert the text that you want to summarize into the tool. There are multiple options for doing that.

    summarizing tool input
  2. Choose the language of your input text to let the tool know the language in which you want the output.

    summarizing tool language
  3. Select how short or long you want your summary to be by using the little slider at the top.

    summary lenght
  4. After that, click on ‘Summarize.’

    summarize button
  5. The output will now be displayed to you. You can further optimize it by converting the summary into bullet points if you want.

    summarizing tool output
  6. Once you are done optimizing, you can copy or download your summary.

This simple process helps you summarize large texts into their condensed versions.

Why Use These Tools?

As we said before, these online tools allow writers to keep up with the fast-moving world of today. However, for further understanding, let’s look at some statistics that prove the importance of using these tools:


So, it is now safe to say that paraphrasing and summarizing are two completely different things. We hope you have gotten the distinction by now. Now, you can use both techniques when they are required and take your writing game to the next level.

We urge you to try to implement these practices in your writing regardless of the nature of your content. Techniques like these really uplift the quality of a piece and make it much more presentable.

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