Paraphrasing versus Summarizing

 

Making students truly understand the difference between summarizing (as establishing the essence, the key messages of a text) and paraphrasing (as rewording someones ideas, or arguments into ones own words), is rather difficult. So I needed some help, and recruited YouTube.

Before I delved into explaining differences between summarizing and paraphrasing, I made them watch the video above and asked to summarize. The students took between 5-7 minutes for this exercise. They came up with strong examples of description, analysis and paraphrasing of text but not with a summary. Which was exactly the point of the exercise. This music video clip is so full of symbolism that my students had no chance to actually summarize it, unless they had an in depth understanding of said symbolism.

The exercise aimed to make clear to the students that being able to summarize an article or someone’s text they need an in depth understanding of this text. I thought of this exercise because most UG students I work with have an issue understanding why they should summarize or paraphrase at all, and not just simply use direct quotes. So I needed to demonstrate to the students how difficult it is to summarize or paraphrase when this understanding is lacking.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s