plagiarism tutorial

How to Cite

girl reading in the librarySummarizing

When you summarize, you condense a passage in a way that presents the passage's most important ideas, but omits some details. When you summarize a passage you should:

  1. Restate the central idea in your own words.
  2. Include an in-text citation to indicate to the reader where the passage you summarized begins and ends. You can also add attributive tags (phrases which are used to introduce a quote/passage) to longer summaries. These tags can be used to show where a summary begins. Examples of attributive tags include:
    • Lincoln stated...
    • As Mr. Chen suggests...
    • Howard Pyle tells readers that...
  3. Avoid including opinions or feelings about the passage within the summary. Any opinions you use in your work should be clearly distinguished from the summary of the passage so that it is clear they are your own.

One suggestion for the best method to summarize is to do the following:

Read the passage, and lay it aside for a while. Then come back and record your memory of the passage in your own words. Now, double-check the passage to make sure you have not remembered the author's exact words or misrepresented their ideas.


Need more help with quoting, paraphrasing or summarizing? Check out the UNC Writing Center's website.

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