Quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing are three methods of citing material you use from TOEFL iBT listening and reading materials. Keep in mind when writing essays for TOEFL iBT (integrated writing) or university courses that whether you quote, paraphrase, or summarize, you will need to cite the author and page or date in your text and include a list of works cited at the end of a paper. In the case of TOEFL iBT integrated writing, you will not have complete reference information, so you can refer to the sources as “the reading passage” and “the listening passage.” As a writer, you will need to decide which method of citation you should use.
Quoting, the direct wording of a source into your own writing, is used for several reasons:
1. Wording of the source is memorable, and rewording it would destroy the meaning.
2. The words of reliable and respected authorities will bolster (support) your position.
3. You may want to highlight the author’s opinions.
4. You may wish to cite an expert whose opinion either challenges or differs greatly from those of other experts.
5. You want to discuss the source’s choice of words.
Suppose you were referring to the exact words “To give is to give with all of one’s heart.” from a TOEFL iBT reading passage. You should introduce this quote by using a variety of present tense verbs and a variety of sentence styles:
1. The author in the reading passage asserts an opinion about giving: “To give is to give with all of one’s heart.”
2. The author in the reading passage says, “To give is to give with all of one’s heart.”
3. “To give is to give with all of one’s heart,” comments the author in the reading passage
4. The reading passage claims that “to give is to give with all of one’s heart.”
5. “To give is to give,” discusses the author in the reading passage, “with all of one’s heart.”
Use a variety of verbs to introduce quotes, paraphrases, and summaries:
acknowledge, admit, agree, analyze, argue, assert, believe, claim, comment, concede, conclude, confirm, consider, criticize, describe, disagree, discuss, dispute, emphasize, explain, express, find, illustrate, interpret, maintain, note, observe, oppose, point out, refute, remark, report, respond, show, speculate, state, suggest, think, write
Paraphrasing is when you restate a source in your own words without adding any opinion to the source’s ideas. Basically, you are retelling the information in roughly the same number of words.
1. To avoid intellectual stealing, or plagiarism, you must use different words and grammar to convey the ideas when paraphrasing.
2. Learn to find synonyms. Choose 15 to 20 words in a reading passage and think of synonyms for these words. Try not to look up the words in the dictionary.
3. Use only your notes when writing a paraphrase of part of a reading passage. If you have not taken any notes, paraphrase without looking at the reading passage. After writing a paraphrase, you can check your paraphrase with the original reading passage to see if your writing was factually accurate and if you used different grammatical structures.
4. Preventing you from quoting too much, paraphrasing is good for ordinary material which is not especially important.
Summarizing presents only the main ideas of a source, without the details and examples. It is made up of words supplied by the writer.
1. Summary allows you to condense large amounts of writing from a source into your own writing.
2. Summaries should provide balanced coverage of a source and should avoid any hint of agreement or disagreement with them.
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