English: skills for learning
English: skills for learning

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English: skills for learning

2.3 Distinguishing between summaries, paraphrases and quotations

In an assignment, it may be necessary to:

  • include a summary of a text you have read
  • include the paraphrased version of a sentence taken from a text
  • quote a word or a sentence taken from a text.

The next activity helps to distinguish between these three ways in which information from sources is normally presented in a written assignment.

Activity 3

Allow approximately 5 minutes

Match the following definitions to the three ways in which texts can be used in an assignment:

Using the following two lists, match each numbered item with the correct letter.

  1. A very concise and reworded version of a source text that reproduces all the key concepts but leaves out details and examples.

  2. One word, or a group of words, taken directly from a source text and included, within inverted commas, in the assignment.

  3. The reworded version of a short section of the source text.

  • a.Quotation

  • b.Paraphrase

  • c.Summary

The correct answers are:
  • 1 = c
  • 2 = a
  • 3 = b

In the next activity you will look at some examples of summaries, paraphrasing and quotations.

Activity 4

Allow approximately 10 minutes

Read this short text taken from the Open University Access course Y032 People, work and society.

Musical connections are particularly significant for migrants. The music they bring with them provides an important way of remembering home culture. But it can also be a form of connection to the culture they are coming to. For instance in Britain people arriving from the Caribbean between the 1940s and the 1960s brought music, notably reggae, which was enthusiastically taken up by young people already living in the UK. Today the descendants of these migrants maintain links with the Caribbean, and this continues to have a major impact on British musical culture.

(The Open University, 2014a, p. 82)

Now decide which of the following pieces of text is a summary, a quotation or a paraphrased sentence of the original text. Type the letter corresponding to the piece of text that matches the headings in the answer box below. Then compare your answers with mine.

  • a.To migrants, music can ‘be a form of connection to the culture they are coming to’ (The Open University, 2014).
  • b.Music is of fundamental importance to migrants as it allows them to retain and extend connections to their country of origin while at the same time culturally influencing their new country (The Open University, 2014).
  • c.Reggae, a type of Caribbean music which was brought to the UK by immigrants in the period from the 1940s to the 1960s, became very popular among the British youth (The Open University, 2014).
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Answer

1. Paraphrase of one sentence

c. Reggae, a type of Caribbean music which was brought to the UK by immigrants in the period from the 1940s to the 1960s, became very popular among the British youth (The Open University, 2014).

2. Summary of the whole paragraph

b. Music is of fundamental importance to migrants as it allows them to retain connections to their country of origin while at the same time culturally influencing their new country (The Open University, 2014).

3. Quotation

a. To migrants, music can ‘be a form of connection to the culture they are coming to’ (The Open University, 2014).

SWE_1

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