What is a paraphrase and summary? For one thing a paraphrase and summary have their similarities. For example, both are ways of citing sources, but in your own words. A summary is like a recap over the whole article or section, but with less details but also straight to the subject and better structure. Paraphrasing is a little more difficult than a summary; paraphrasing requires you to make all the same points as the author but in your own words. I really do not know when the best time to use a paraphrase but my guess would be to clarify a passage in the article.