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Summary, Paraphrase, and Quotation in Context

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Time Estimate

35 minutes


To have students gain experience reading for and working with summaries, paraphrases, and quotations in context.


Summary, Paraphrase, and Quotation handout

Computer Lab Option Materials

Word processing program

Digital projector


This lesson works best when used after other lessons on summary, paraphrase, or quotation.

  1. Pass out the “Summary, Paraphrase, and Quotation in Context" handout and give students enough time to locate any of the potential issues related to summaries, paraphrases, or quotations. Encourage students to both locate and identify a way to revise each of the issues. (15 - 20 minutes)

  2. Go through the essay with the class, focusing on the summary, paraphrase, and citation issues; try to avoid commenting on some of the other writing and mechanical concerns. (15 minutes)

    There are a number of issues including the following:

    • Summarized sections appear to be summarized hastily and without appropriate citation

    • Paraphrased sections may include language that is not the writer’s own and may not be correctly cited

    • Quotations are not set up appropriately

    • There is an incorrect application of a set citation style, missing citations, and an incorrect Works Cited page

    Students will likely pick up on the citation problems but are less likely to locate the summary and paraphrase problems because they only see the result of the finished summary or paraphrase. For these sections, look for jargon or keywords that stand out from the other sections of the writer’s essay.

Computer Lab Option

Using the instructor’s computer and the digital projector, project the essay during discussion and highlight/comment upon the passages students select. Students can also work on the essay within a word processing program by commenting on copies that have been emailed to them.