The ability to summarize and paraphrase is an essential academic skill. Summaries and paraphrasing help substantiate ideas in research papers without the need to quote every word from source material.
You can be accused of plagiarism if you change only a few words from the original source and use that as your summary or paraphrase. Be careful to use your own words and sentences.
Two sample summary and paraphrase exercises are included in the writing center. In one (Exercise 8), you will be asked to distinguish between summaries and paraphrases; in the other (Exercise 9), you will be asked to write a summary or paraphrase.