Paraphrasing, Quoting, and Summarizing: A Unit on Informative Writing


Help your students improve their writing by focusing on three key skills: paraphrasing, quoting, and summarizing. This unit that teaches students how to paraphrase, quote, and summarize text in their own writing will help students add more variety to their essays. In this informational writing mini-unit, your students will learn the differences between paraphrasing, quoting, and summarizing, and when to use each one in their writing.

There are two different files in the zipped download.

  • An editable, 27 slide PowerPoint
  • A PDF document with supplementary materials, classroom activities, and student reference sheets.

The PowerPoint teaches students about paraphrasing, quoting, and summarizing. The PowerPoint includes color-coded examples for how to properly introduce and cite a quote and a quick quiz at the end of the presentations to check student understanding.

The supplementary material includes:

  • A standards-based unit outline that includes instruction for 3+ days
  • Three informational text activities to help enhance students’ paraphrasing, quoting, and summarizing abilities
  • A full-text informational passages (The Gettysburg Address and the Preamble to the US Constitution)
  • An excerpt text handout from President Barack Obama’s first inaugural address with a link to the video and full text version
  • Two helpful student handouts that can be used all year long

Going digital? The COMBO lesson also includes interactive Google Slides!

SMARTePlans Paraphrasing, Quoting, & Summarizing (Digital Google & Traditional)

Other research and explanatory writing lessons that might interest you:

Introduction to Research Writing: a CCSS aligned mini-unit (grades 7-12)

Annotating Text Made Easy – CCSS aligned

Academic Vocabulary Volume 3: Words about Research