In many situations, you will not have to provide the level of detail that the original writer did. At such times, you should summarize, or remove minor details. Here’s an example:
Example: Overall, the first two quarters of 2008 have been profitable to the company. Nineteen of twenty departments report cutting costs at least twenty percent, and sales from fifteen departments have risen five percent, or about $5 million. Despite these positive developments, most department heads believe that they will not be able to maintain these levels for the remainder of the year.
Revision: The first two quarters of 2008 have been profitable, but the rest of the year is not expected to be as good.
Unlike paraphrasing, the basic order of the original text is maintained. However, some words have been changed to close synonyms. When summarizing, avoid cutting too much important information.
For more information on paraphrasing, visit the OWL’s resource, Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing.