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How to Write a Summary (Examples Included)

Ashley Shaw

Ashley Shaw

How to write a summary

Have you ever recommended a book to someone and given them a quick overview? Then you’ve created a summary before!

Summarizing is a common part of everyday communication. It feels easy when you’re recounting what happened on your favorite show, but what do you do when the information gets a little more complex?

Written summaries come with their own set of challenges. You might ask yourself:

  • What details are unnecessary?
  • How do you put this in your own words without changing the meaning?
  • How close can you get to the original without plagiarizing it?
  • How long should it be?

The answers to these questions depend on the type of summary you are doing and why you are doing it.

A summary in an academic setting is different to a professional summary—and both of those are very different to summarizing a funny story you want to tell your friends.

One thing they all have in common is that you need to relay information in the clearest way possible to help your reader understand. We’ll look at some different forms of summary, and give you some tips on each.

Let’s get started!

What Is a Summary?

How do you write a summary, how do you write an academic summary, what are the four types of academic summaries, how do i write a professional summary, writing or telling a summary in personal situations, summarizing summaries.

A summary is a shorter version of a larger work. Summaries are used at some level in almost every writing task, from formal documents to personal messages.

When you write a summary, you have an audience that doesn’t know every single thing you know.

When you want them to understand your argument, topic, or stance, you may need to explain some things to catch them up.

Instead of having them read the article or hear every single detail of the story or event, you instead give them a brief overview of what they need to know.

Academic, professional, and personal summaries each require you to consider different things, but there are some key rules they all have in common.

Let’s go over a few general guides to writing a summary first.

A summary should be shorter than the original

1. A summary should always be shorter than the original work, usually considerably.

Even if your summary is the length of a full paper, you are likely summarizing a book or other significantly longer work.

2. A summary should tell the reader the highlights of what they need to know without giving them unnecessary details.

3. It should also include enough details to give a clear and honest picture.

For example, if you summarize an article that says “ The Office is the greatest television show of all time,” but don’t mention that they are specifically referring to sitcoms, then you changed the meaning of the article. That’s a problem! Similarly, if you write a summary of your job history and say you volunteered at a hospital for the last three years, but you don’t add that you only went twice in that time, it becomes a little dishonest.

4. Summaries shouldn’t contain personal opinion.

While in the longer work you are creating you might use opinion, within the summary itself, you should avoid all personal opinion. A summary is different than a review. In this moment, you aren’t saying what you think of the work you are summarizing, you are just giving your audience enough information to know what the work says or did.

Include enough detail

Now that we have a good idea of what summaries are in general, let’s talk about some specific types of summary you will likely have to do at some point in your writing life.

An academic summary is one you will create for a class or in other academic writing. The exact elements you will need to include depend on the assignment itself.

However, when you’re asked for an academic summary, this usually this means one of five things, all of which are pretty similar:

  • You need to do a presentation in which you talk about an article, book, or report.
  • You write a summary paper in which the entire paper is a summary of a specific work.
  • You summarize a class discussion, lesson, or reading in the form of personal notes or a discussion board post.
  • You do something like an annotated bibliography where you write short summaries of multiple works in preparation of a longer assignment.
  • You write quick summaries within the body of another assignment . For example, in an argumentative essay, you will likely need to have short summaries of the sources you use to explain their argument before getting into how the source helps you prove your point.

Places to find academic summaries

Regardless of what type of summary you are doing, though, there are a few steps you should always follow:

  • Skim the work you are summarizing before you read it. Notice what stands out to you.
  • Next, read it in depth . Do the same things stand out?
  • Put the full text away and write in a few sentences what the main idea or point was.
  • Go back and compare to make sure you didn’t forget anything.
  • Expand on this to write and then edit your summary.

Each type of academic summary requires slightly different things. Let’s get down to details.

How Do I Write a Summary Paper?

Sometimes teachers assign something called a summary paper . In this, the entire thing is a summary of one article, book, story, or report.

To understand how to write this paper, let’s talk a little bit about the purpose of such an assignment.

A summary paper is usually given to help a teacher see how well a student understands a reading assignment, but also to help the student digest the reading. Sometimes, it can be difficult to understand things we read right away.

However, a good way to process the information is to put it in our own words. That is the point of a summary paper.

What a summary paper is

A summary paper is:

  • A way to explain in our own words what happened in a paper, book, etc.
  • A time to think about what was important in the paper, etc.
  • A time to think about the meaning and purpose behind the paper, etc.

Here are some things that a summary paper is not:

  • A review. Your thoughts and opinions on the thing you are summarizing don’t need to be here unless otherwise specified.
  • A comparison. A comparison paper has a lot of summary in it, but it is different than a summary paper. In this, you are just saying what happened, but you aren’t saying places it could have been done differently.
  • A paraphrase (though you might have a little paraphrasing in there). In the section on using summary in longer papers, I talk more about the difference between summaries, paraphrases, and quotes.

What a summary paper is not

Because a summary paper is usually longer than other forms of summary, you will be able to chose more detail. However, it still needs to focus on the important events. Summary papers are usually shorter papers.

Let’s say you are writing a 3–4 page summary. You are likely summarizing a full book or an article or short story, which will be much longer than 3–4 pages.

Imagine that you are the author of the work, and your editor comes to you and says they love what you wrote, but they need it to be 3–4 pages instead.

How would you tell that story (argument, idea, etc.) in that length without losing the heart or intent behind it? That is what belongs in a summary paper.

How Do I Write Useful Academic Notes?

Sometimes, you need to write a summary for yourself in the form of notes or for your classmates in the form of a discussion post.

You might not think you need a specific approach for this. After all, only you are going to see it.

However, summarizing for yourself can sometimes be the most difficult type of summary. If you try to write down everything your teacher says, your hand will cramp and you’ll likely miss a lot.

Yet, transcribing doesn’t work because studies show that writing things down (not typing them) actually helps you remember them better.

So how do you find the balance between summarizing the lessons without leaving out important points?

There are some tips for this:

  • If your professor writes it on the board, it is probably important.
  • What points do your textbooks include when summarizing information? Use these as a guide.
  • Write the highlight of every X amount of time, with X being the time you can go without missing anything or getting tired. This could be one point per minute, or three per five minutes, etc.

How Do I Create an Annotated Biography?

An annotated bibliography requires a very specific style of writing. Often, you will write these before a longer research paper . They will ask you to find a certain amount of articles and write a short annotation for each of them.

While an annotation is more than just a summary, it usually starts with a summary of the work. This will be about 2–3 sentences long. Because you don’t have a lot of room, you really have to think about what the most important thing the work says is.

This will basically ask you to explain the point of the article in these couple of sentences, so you should focus on the main point when expressing it.

Here is an example of a summary section within an annotation about this post:

“In this post, the author explains how to write a summary in different types of settings. She walks through academic, professional, and personal summaries. Ultimately, she claims that summaries should be short explanations that get the audience caught up on the topic without leaving out details that would change the meaning.”

What are annotation summaries?

Can I Write a Summary Within an Essay?

Perhaps the most common type of summary you will ever do is a short summary within a longer paper.

For example, if you have to write an argumentative essay, you will likely need to use sources to help support your argument.

However, there is a good chance that your readers won’t have read those same sources.

So, you need to give them enough detail to understand your topic without spending too much time explaining and not enough making your argument.

While this depends on exactly how you are using summary in your paper, often, a good amount of summary is the same amount you would put in an annotation.

Just a few sentences will allow the reader to get an idea of the work before moving on to specific parts of it that might help your argument.

What’s the Difference Between Summarizing, Paraphrasing, and Using Quotes?

One important thing to recognize when using summaries in academic settings is that summaries are different than paraphrases or quotes.

A summary is broader and more general. A paraphrase, on the other hand, puts specific parts into your own words. A quote uses the exact words of the original. All of them, however, need to be cited.

Let’s look at an example:

Take these words by Thomas J. Watson:

”Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t as all. You can be discouraged by failure—or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember, that’s where you will find success.”

Let’s say I was told to write a summary, a paraphrase, and a quote about this statement. This is what it might look like:

Summary: Thomas J. Watson said that the key to success is actually to fail more often. (This is broad and doesn’t go into details about what he says, but it still gives him credit.)

Paraphrase: Thomas J. Watson, on asking if people would like his formula for success, said that the secret was to fail twice as much. He claimed that when you decide to learn from your mistakes instead of being disappointed by them, and when you start making a lot of them, you will actually find more success. (This includes most of the details, but it is in my own words, while still crediting the source.)

Quote: Thomas J. Watson said, ”Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure—or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember, that’s where you will find success.” (This is the exact words of the original with quotation marks and credit given.)

A summary versus a paraphrase versus a quote

Avoiding Plagiarism

One of the hardest parts about summarizing someone else’s writing is avoiding plagiarism .

A tip to avoid plagiarism

That’s why I have a few rules/tips for you when summarizing anything:

1. Always cite.

If you are talking about someone else’s work in any means, cite your source. If you are summarizing the entire work, all you probably need to do (depending on style guidelines) is say the author’s name. However, if you are summarizing a specific chapter or section, you should state that specifically. Finally, you should make sure to include it in your Work Cited or Reference page.

2. Change the wording.

Sometimes when people are summarizing or paraphrasing a work, they get too close to the original, and actually use the exact words. Unless you use quotation marks, this is plagiarism. However, a good way to avoid this is to hide the article while you are summarizing it. If you don’t have it in front of you, you are less likely to accidentally use the exact words. (However, after you are done, double check that you didn’t miss anything important or give wrong details.)

3. Use a plagiarism checker.

Of course, when you are writing any summary, especially academic summaries, it can be easy to cross the line into plagiarism. If this is a place where you struggle, then ProWritingAid can help.

ProWritingAid's Plagiarism Report

Just use our Plagiarism Report . It’ll highlight any unoriginal text in your document so you can make sure you are citing everything correctly and summarizing in your own words.

Find out more about ProWritingAid plagiarism bundles.

Along with academic summaries, you might sometimes need to write professional summaries. Often, this means writing a summary about yourself that shows why you are qualified for a position or organization.

In this section, let’s talk about two types of professional summaries: a LinkedIn summary and a summary section within a resume.

How Do I Write My LinkedIn Bio?

LinkedIn is all about professional networking. It offers you a chance to share a brief glimpse of your professional qualifications in a paragraph or two.

This can then be sent to professional connections, or even found by them without you having to reach out. This can help you get a job or build your network.

Your summary is one of the first things a future employer might see about you, and how you write yours can make you stand out from the competition.

Your resume's summary

Here are some tips on writing a LinkedIn summary :

  • Before you write it, think about what you want it to do . If you are looking for a job, what kind of job? What have you done in your past that would stand out to someone hiring for that position? That is what you will want to focus on in your summary.
  • Be professional . Unlike many social media platforms, LinkedIn has a reputation for being more formal. Your summary should reflect that to some extent.
  • Use keywords . Your summary is searchable, so using keywords that a recruiter might be searching for can help them find you.
  • Focus on the start . LinkedIn shows the first 300 characters automatically, and then offers the viewer a chance to read more. Make that start so good that everyone wants to keep reading.
  • Focus on accomplishments . Think of your life like a series of albums, and this is your speciality “Greatest Hits” album. What “songs” are you putting on it?

Tips for writing a linkedin summary

How Do I Summarize My Experience on a Resume?

Writing a professional summary for a resume is different than any other type of summary that you may have to do.

Recruiters go through a lot of resumes every day. They don’t have time to spend ages reading yours, which means you have to wow them quickly.

To do that, you might include a section at the top of your resume that acts almost as an elevator pitch: That one thing you might say to a recruiter to get them to want to talk to you if you only had a 30-second elevator ride.

Treat your resume summary as an elevator pitch

If you don’t have a lot of experience, though, you might want to skip this section entirely and focus on playing up the experience you do have.

Outside of academic and personal summaries, you use summary a lot in your day-to-day life.

Whether it is telling a good piece of trivia you just learned or a funny story that happened to you, or even setting the stage in creative writing, you summarize all the time.

How you use summary can be an important consideration in whether people want to read your work (or listen to you talk).

Here are some things to think about when telling a story:

  • Pick interesting details . Too many and your point will be lost. Not enough, and you didn’t paint the scene or give them a complete idea about what happened.
  • Play into the emotions . When telling a story, you want more information than the bare minimum. You want your reader to get the emotion of the story. That requires a little bit more work to accomplish.
  • Focus. A summary of one story can lead to another can lead to another. Think about storytellers that you know that go off on a tangent. They never seem to finish one story without telling 100 others!

Summarize a spoken story

To wrap up (and to demonstrate everything I just talked about), let’s summarize this post into its most essential parts:

A summary is a great way to quickly give your audience the information they need to understand the topic you are discussing without having to know every detail.

How you write a summary is different depending on what type of summary you are doing:

  • An academic summary usually gets to the heart of an article, book, or journal, and it should highlight the main points in your own words. How long it should be depends on the type of assignment it is.
  • A professional summary highlights you and your professional, academic, and volunteer history. It shows people in your professional network who you are and why they should hire you, work with you, use your talents, etc.

Being able to tell a good story is another form of summary. You want to tell engaging anecdotes and facts without boring your listeners. This is a skill that is developed over time.

Take your writing to the next level:

20 Editing Tips From Professional Writers

20 Editing Tips from Professional Writers

Whether you are writing a novel, essay, article, or email, good writing is an essential part of communicating your ideas., this guide contains the 20 most important writing tips and techniques from a wide range of professional writers..

how to write summary of paragraph

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Ashley Shaw is a former editor and marketer/current PhD student and teacher. When she isn't studying con artists for her dissertation, she's thinking of new ways to help college students better understand and love the writing process. You can follow her on Twitter, or, if you prefer animal accounts, follow her rabbits, Audrey Hopbun and Fredra StaHare, on Instagram.

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The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Summary: Using it Wisely

What this handout is about.

Knowing how to summarize something you have read, seen, or heard is a valuable skill, one you have probably used in many writing assignments. It is important, though, to recognize when you must go beyond describing, explaining, and restating texts and offer a more complex analysis. This handout will help you distinguish between summary and analysis and avoid inappropriate summary in your academic writing.

Is summary a bad thing?

Not necessarily. But it’s important that your keep your assignment and your audience in mind as you write. If your assignment requires an argument with a thesis statement and supporting evidence—as many academic writing assignments do—then you should limit the amount of summary in your paper. You might use summary to provide background, set the stage, or illustrate supporting evidence, but keep it very brief: a few sentences should do the trick. Most of your paper should focus on your argument. (Our handout on argument will help you construct a good one.)

Writing a summary of what you know about your topic before you start drafting your actual paper can sometimes be helpful. If you are unfamiliar with the material you’re analyzing, you may need to summarize what you’ve read in order to understand your reading and get your thoughts in order. Once you figure out what you know about a subject, it’s easier to decide what you want to argue.

You may also want to try some other pre-writing activities that can help you develop your own analysis. Outlining, freewriting, and mapping make it easier to get your thoughts on the page. (Check out our handout on brainstorming for some suggested techniques.)

Why is it so tempting to stick with summary and skip analysis?

Many writers rely too heavily on summary because it is what they can most easily write. If you’re stalled by a difficult writing prompt, summarizing the plot of The Great Gatsby may be more appealing than staring at the computer for three hours and wondering what to say about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s use of color symbolism. After all, the plot is usually the easiest part of a work to understand. Something similar can happen even when what you are writing about has no plot: if you don’t really understand an author’s argument, it might seem easiest to just repeat what he or she said.

To write a more analytical paper, you may need to review the text or film you are writing about, with a focus on the elements that are relevant to your thesis. If possible, carefully consider your writing assignment before reading, viewing, or listening to the material about which you’ll be writing so that your encounter with the material will be more purposeful. (We offer a handout on reading towards writing .)

How do I know if I’m summarizing?

As you read through your essay, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I stating something that would be obvious to a reader or viewer?
  • Does my essay move through the plot, history, or author’s argument in chronological order, or in the exact same order the author used?
  • Am I simply describing what happens, where it happens, or whom it happens to?

A “yes” to any of these questions may be a sign that you are summarizing. If you answer yes to the questions below, though, it is a sign that your paper may have more analysis (which is usually a good thing):

  • Am I making an original argument about the text?
  • Have I arranged my evidence around my own points, rather than just following the author’s or plot’s order?
  • Am I explaining why or how an aspect of the text is significant?

Certain phrases are warning signs of summary. Keep an eye out for these:

  • “[This essay] is about…”
  • “[This book] is the story of…”
  • “[This author] writes about…”
  • “[This movie] is set in…”

Here’s an example of an introductory paragraph containing unnecessary summary. Sentences that summarize are in italics:

The Great Gatsby is the story of a mysterious millionaire, Jay Gatsby, who lives alone on an island in New York. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote the book, but the narrator is Nick Carraway. Nick is Gatsby’s neighbor, and he chronicles the story of Gatsby and his circle of friends, beginning with his introduction to the strange man and ending with Gatsby’s tragic death. In the story, Nick describes his environment through various colors, including green, white, and grey. Whereas white and grey symbolize false purity and decay respectively, the color green offers a symbol of hope.

Here’s how you might change the paragraph to make it a more effective introduction:

In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald provides readers with detailed descriptions of the area surrounding East Egg, New York. In fact, Nick Carraway’s narration describes the setting with as much detail as the characters in the book. Nick’s description of the colors in his environment presents the book’s themes, symbolizing significant aspects of the post-World War I era. Whereas white and grey symbolize the false purity and decay of the 1920s, the color green offers a symbol of hope.

This version of the paragraph mentions the book’s title, author, setting, and narrator so that the reader is reminded of the text. And that sounds a lot like summary—but the paragraph quickly moves on to the writer’s own main topic: the setting and its relationship to the main themes of the book. The paragraph then closes with the writer’s specific thesis about the symbolism of white, grey, and green.

How do I write more analytically?

Analysis requires breaking something—like a story, poem, play, theory, or argument—into parts so you can understand how those parts work together to make the whole. Ideally, you should begin to analyze a work as you read or view it instead of waiting until after you’re done—it may help you to jot down some notes as you read. Your notes can be about major themes or ideas you notice, as well as anything that intrigues, puzzles, excites, or irritates you. Remember, analytic writing goes beyond the obvious to discuss questions of how and why—so ask yourself those questions as you read.

The St. Martin’s Handbook (the bulleted material below is quoted from p. 38 of the fifth edition) encourages readers to take the following steps in order to analyze a text:

  • Identify evidence that supports or illustrates the main point or theme as well as anything that seems to contradict it.
  • Consider the relationship between the words and the visuals in the work. Are they well integrated, or are they sometimes at odds with one another? What functions do the visuals serve? To capture attention? To provide more detailed information or illustration? To appeal to readers’ emotions?
  • Decide whether the sources used are trustworthy.
  • Identify the work’s underlying assumptions about the subject, as well as any biases it reveals.

Once you have written a draft, some questions you might want to ask yourself about your writing are “What’s my point?” or “What am I arguing in this paper?” If you can’t answer these questions, then you haven’t gone beyond summarizing. You may also want to think about how much of your writing comes from your own ideas or arguments. If you’re only reporting someone else’s ideas, you probably aren’t offering an analysis.

What strategies can help me avoid excessive summary?

  • Read the assignment (the prompt) as soon as you get it. Make sure to reread it before you start writing. Go back to your assignment often while you write. (Check out our handout on reading assignments ).
  • Formulate an argument (including a good thesis) and be sure that your final draft is structured around it, including aspects of the plot, story, history, background, etc. only as evidence for your argument. (You can refer to our handout on constructing thesis statements ).
  • Read critically—imagine having a dialogue with the work you are discussing. What parts do you agree with? What parts do you disagree with? What questions do you have about the work? Does it remind you of other works you’ve seen?
  • Make sure you have clear topic sentences that make arguments in support of your thesis statement. (Read our handout on paragraph development if you want to work on writing strong paragraphs).
  • Use two different highlighters to mark your paper. With one color, highlight areas of summary or description. With the other, highlight areas of analysis. For many college papers, it’s a good idea to have lots of analysis and minimal summary/description.
  • Ask yourself: What part of the essay would be obvious to a reader/viewer of the work being discussed? What parts (words, sentences, paragraphs) of the essay could be deleted without loss? In most cases, your paper should focus on points that are essential and that will be interesting to people who have already read or seen the work you are writing about.

But I’m writing a review! Don’t I have to summarize?

That depends. If you’re writing a critique of a piece of literature, a film, or a dramatic performance, you don’t necessarily need to give away much of the plot. The point is to let readers decide whether they want to enjoy it for themselves. If you do summarize, keep your summary brief and to the point.

Instead of telling your readers that the play, book, or film was “boring,” “interesting,” or “really good,” tell them specifically what parts of the work you’re talking about. It’s also important that you go beyond adjectives and explain how the work achieved its effect (how was it interesting?) and why you think the author/director wanted the audience to react a certain way. (We have a special handout on writing reviews that offers more tips.)

If you’re writing a review of an academic book or article, it may be important for you to summarize the main ideas and give an overview of the organization so your readers can decide whether it is relevant to their specific research interests.

If you are unsure how much (if any) summary a particular assignment requires, ask your instructor for guidance.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Barnet, Sylvan. 2015. A Short Guide to Writing about Art , 11th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Corrigan, Timothy. 2014. A Short Guide to Writing About Film , 9th ed. New York: Pearson.

Lunsford, Andrea A. 2015. The St. Martin’s Handbook , 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/St Martin’s.

Zinsser, William. 2001. On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction , 6th ed. New York: Quill.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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How to Write a Summary

Last Updated: August 24, 2023 Approved

This article was co-authored by Richard Perkins . Richard Perkins is a Writing Coach, Academic English Coordinator, and the Founder of PLC Learning Center. With over 24 years of education experience, he gives teachers tools to teach writing to students and works with elementary to university level students to become proficient, confident writers. Richard is a fellow at the National Writing Project. As a teacher leader and consultant at California State University Long Beach's Global Education Project, Mr. Perkins creates and presents teacher workshops that integrate the U.N.'s 17 Sustainable Development Goals in the K-12 curriculum. He holds a BA in Communications and TV from The University of Southern California and an MEd from California State University Dominguez Hills. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 26 testimonials and 90% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,816,380 times.

Writing a summary is a great way to process the information you read, whether it’s an article or a book. If you’re assigned a summary in school, the best way to approach it is by reviewing the piece you’re summarizing. Read it thoroughly and take notes on the major points you want to include in your summary. When you get to writing your summary, rely on your memory first to make sure the summary is in your own words. Then, revise it to ensure that your writing is clear and the grammar, punctuation, and spelling are all perfect.

Sample Summaries

how to write summary of paragraph

Reviewing the Piece

Step 1 Read the piece thoroughly.

  • The author might also state their thesis more plainly by saying something like "my argument is...." or I believe...
  • In a fiction piece, the author will more likely emphasize themes. So if you notice that love - discussions or descriptions of it, for example - come up a lot, one of the main points of the piece is probably love.

Step 3 Reread the piece, taking notes on the major points of it.

  • To put something in your own words, write it down as if you were explaining or describing it to a friend. In that case, you wouldn't just read what the author wrote. Do the same when you're writing down the major points in your own words.

Step 4 Don't focus on the evidence that the author uses to support those points.

  • For fiction pieces, this means avoiding rewriting every single thing that happens in the piece. Focus instead on the major plot points and the main motivator for those points. Don't include everything that happens to the character along the way.

Writing The Summary in Your Own Words

Step 1 Start with the source’s information.

  • For example, you can start with something like “George Shaw’s '‘Pygmalion’' is a play that addresses issues of class and culture in early twentieth-century England.”

Step 2 Work from memory to write the main point of each section.

  • If you absolutely must use the original author’s words, put them in quotation marks. This tells your reader those words aren’t yours. Not doing this is academic plagiarism, and it can get you in a lot of trouble.
  • Make sure you format the quote correctly!

Step 3 Present the material using the author’s point of view.

  • For example, you might think that Hamlet spends a lot of time thinking and not a lot of time acting. You can say something like, "Hamlet is a man of thought, rather than action," instead of saying, "Why doesn't Hamlet do something once in a while?"

Step 4 Use language appropriate to a summary.

  • In fiction pieces, you can say something like "Shakespeare's Hamlet then spends a lot of time brooding on the castle ramparts." This tells your reader you're talking about Shakespeare's play, not inventing your own story.

Revising Your Draft into a Coherent Summary

Step 1 Reread the draft you wrote from memory against your notes.

  • If you notice an author has made the same point multiple times, though, it’s a good indicator that this is an important point, and it should definitely be in your summary.

Step 4 Add transitions where necessary.

  • For example, in a summary of an article about the cause of the American Revolution, you might have a paragraph that summarizes the author's arguments about taxes, and another about religious freedom. You can say something like, "Although some colonists believed that taxes should entitle them to representation in Parliament, the author also argues that other colonists supported the Revolution because they believed they were entitled to representation in heaven on their own terms."

Step 5 Check for grammatical and spelling errors.

  • Don't use spell-checker for spelling errors. It will catch if you spell something wrong, but not if you use the wrong spelling of a word. For example, it won't catch that you used "there" when you meant "their."

Step 6 Check your length.

  • Generally, a summary should be around one quarter the length of the original piece. So if the original piece is 4 pages long, your summary should be no more than 1 page. [13] X Research source

Step 7 Ask someone else to read your work.

  • Not only should they be comparing your work for accuracy, ask them to read it for flow and summation. They should be able understand what happened in the article or story by reading your summary alone. Don't hesitate to ask for criticism; then weigh those criticisms and make valid changes.

Expert Q&A

Alexander Peterman, MA

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  • ↑ http://teacher.scholastic.com/reading/bestpractices/comprehension/authorsmainidea.pdf
  • ↑ Richard Perkins. Writing Coach & Academic English Coordinator. Expert Interview. 1 September 2021.
  • ↑ http://utminers.utep.edu/omwilliamson/engl0310/summaryhints.htm
  • ↑ https://public.wsu.edu/~mejia/Summary.htm
  • ↑ http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/rwc/handouts/the-writing-process-1/invention/Guidelines-for-Writing-a-Summary

About This Article

Richard Perkins

Before you write a summary, read the piece you’re summarizing, then make notes on what you think the main point and major supporting arguments are. When you’re ready to draft your summary, start with the author and title, then use your own words to write what you think the author’s main point is in each section. Be sure to focus on what the author thinks and feels rather than what you do! Finally, reread your summary and check it for good spelling, punctuation, and grammar. For more suggestions from our reviewer about polishing your summary and improving transitions, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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  • How to Write a Summary

Proficient students understand that  summarizing , identifying what is most important and restating the text (or other media) in your own words, is an important tool for college success.

After all, if you really know a subject, you will be able to summarize it. If you cannot summarize a subject, even if you have memorized all the facts about it, you can be absolutely sure that you have not learned it. And, if you truly learn the subject, you will still be able to summarize it months or years from now.

Proficient students may monitor their understanding of a text by summarizing as they read. They understand that if they can write a one- or two-sentence summary of each paragraph after reading it, then that is a good sign that they have correctly understood it. If they can not summarize the main idea of the paragraph, they know that comprehension has broken down and they need to use fix-up strategies to repair understanding.

Summary Writing Format

  • When writing a summary, remember that it should be in the form of a paragraph.
  • A summary begins with an introductory sentence that states the text’s title, author and main point of the text as you see it.
  • A summary is written in your own words.
  • A summary contains only the ideas of the original text. Do not insert any of your own opinions, interpretations, deductions or comments into a summary.
  • Identify in order the significant sub-claims the author uses to defend the main point.
  • Copy word-for-word three separate passages from the essay that you think support and/or defend the main point of the essay as you see it.
  • Cite each passage by first signaling the work and the author, put “quotation marks” around the passage you chose, and put the number of the paragraph where the passages can be found immediately after the passage.
  • Using source material from the essay is important. Why? Because defending claims with source material is what you will be asked to do when writing papers for your college professors.
  • Write a last sentence that “wraps” up your summary; often a simple rephrasing of the main point.

Example Summary Writing Format

In the essay Santa Ana , author Joan Didion’s main point is ( state main point ). According to Didion “… passage 1 …” (para.3). Didion also writes “… passage 2 …” (para.8). Finally, she states “… passage 3 …” (para. 12) Write a last sentence that “wraps” up your summary; often a simple rephrasing of the main point.

  • Provided by : Lumen Learning. Located at : http://lumenlearning.com/ . License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Authored by : Paul Powell. Provided by : Central Community College. Project : Kaleidoscope Open Course Initiative. License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Authored by : Elisabeth Ellington and Ronda Dorsey Neugebauer. Provided by : Chadron State College. Project : Kaleidoscope Open Course Initiative. License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Table of Contents

Instructor Resources (Access Requires Login)

  • Overview of Instructor Resources

An Overview of the Writing Process

  • Introduction to the Writing Process
  • Introduction to Writing
  • Your Role as a Learner
  • What is an Essay?
  • Reading to Write
  • Defining the Writing Process
  • Videos: Prewriting Techniques
  • Thesis Statements
  • Organizing an Essay
  • Creating Paragraphs
  • Conclusions
  • Editing and Proofreading
  • Matters of Grammar, Mechanics, and Style
  • Peer Review Checklist
  • Comparative Chart of Writing Strategies

Using Sources

  • Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Avoiding Plagiarism
  • Formatting the Works Cited Page (MLA)
  • Citing Paraphrases and Summaries (APA)
  • APA Citation Style, 6th edition: General Style Guidelines

Definition Essay

  • Definitional Argument Essay
  • How to Write a Definition Essay
  • Critical Thinking
  • Video: Thesis Explained
  • Effective Thesis Statements
  • Student Sample: Definition Essay

Narrative Essay

  • Introduction to Narrative Essay
  • Student Sample: Narrative Essay
  • "Shooting an Elephant" by George Orwell
  • "Sixty-nine Cents" by Gary Shteyngart
  • Video: The Danger of a Single Story
  • How to Write an Annotation
  • Writing for Success: Narration

Illustration/Example Essay

  • Introduction to Illustration/Example Essay
  • "She's Your Basic L.O.L. in N.A.D" by Perri Klass
  • "April & Paris" by David Sedaris
  • Writing for Success: Illustration/Example
  • Student Sample: Illustration/Example Essay

Compare/Contrast Essay

  • Introduction to Compare/Contrast Essay
  • "Disability" by Nancy Mairs
  • "Friending, Ancient or Otherwise" by Alex Wright
  • "A South African Storm" by Allison Howard
  • Writing for Success: Compare/Contrast
  • Student Sample: Compare/Contrast Essay

Cause-and-Effect Essay

  • Introduction to Cause-and-Effect Essay
  • "Cultural Baggage" by Barbara Ehrenreich
  • "Women in Science" by K.C. Cole
  • Writing for Success: Cause and Effect
  • Student Sample: Cause-and-Effect Essay

Argument Essay

  • Introduction to Argument Essay
  • Rogerian Argument
  • "The Case Against Torture," by Alisa Soloman
  • "The Case for Torture" by Michael Levin
  • How to Write a Summary by Paraphrasing Source Material
  • Writing for Success: Argument
  • Student Sample: Argument Essay
  • Grammar/Mechanics Mini-lessons
  • Mini-lesson: Subjects and Verbs, Irregular Verbs, Subject Verb Agreement
  • Mini-lesson: Sentence Types
  • Mini-lesson: Fragments I
  • Mini-lesson: Run-ons and Comma Splices I
  • Mini-lesson: Comma Usage
  • Mini-lesson: Parallelism
  • Mini-lesson: The Apostrophe
  • Mini-lesson: Capital Letters
  • Grammar Practice - Interactive Quizzes
  • De Copia - Demonstration of the Variety of Language
  • Style Exercise: Voice

how to write a summary

A step-by-step guide to writing a great summary.

A summary of a literary work isn't just a plain-old synopsis. It's a valuable study tool, a foundational element of all kinds of essays, a common testing mechanism, and one of the basics of literary analysis. 

Whether you're in high school or college, developing a deep understanding of how and when to summarize a book or text is a valuable skill. Doing so might require a little more knowledge and effort than you'd think. 

That's why we're covering all aspects of summaries, from study tools to plot summaries, below.

What Is a Summary?

A summary is a brief overview of a text (or movie, speech, podcast, etcetera) that succinctly and comprehensively covers the main ideas or plot points. 

Sounds simple, right? Well, there are a lot of unique characteristics that differentiate summaries from other commentary, such as analyses, book reviews, or outlines. 

Summaries are: 

  • In your own words. It's important that you don't just copy and paste the writer's words (in fact, that's plagiarizing). Writing the key points of a work in your own words indicates your comprehension and absorption of the material. 
  • Objective. While a summary should be in your own words, it shouldn't contain your opinions. Instead, you should gather the main points and intentions of the writer and present them impartially. (If you include your opinions, it instead becomes an analysis or review.)
  • More than paraphrasing. Many students fall into the trap of simply paraphrasing—plainly restating the ideas or events of the work. (Is our definition starting to sound contradictory? We told you it wasn't straightforward!) Rather than recounting the events or ideas in a work chronologically or in the order they're presented, instead consider the broad scope of how they all contribute to the narrative or argument. 
  • Short. There are no strict rules regarding length, only that it is concise. It's largely dependent on the length of the text it summarizes: longer texts, longer summaries. It also depends on the assignment or objective. However, most are about one to two paragraphs in length. 
  • Comprehensive. Yes, it's another seemingly contradictory descriptor, but an important one. Summaries are comprehensive, meaning they cover all of the main plot points or ideas in a work (so they inherently contain "spoilers"). You should present those ideas in a way that condenses them into an inclusive, but not exhaustive, recounting in order to keep it short.  
  • Straightforward (even if the text isn't). A good summary should be easy to comprehend, presenting the reader with a simple but all-encompassing understanding of the work at hand. With complex texts, summaries can be particularly useful because they distill big, complicated ideas into a bite-sized package. 

When to Write a Summary

Like so many elements of literary analysis, summaries are misunderstood. We've already explained why they aren't as simple as most people think, but neither are their uses. 

Summary writing is a useful skill in a variety of circumstances, both in and outside the English and Language Arts classrooms. 

Readers, writers, teachers, and students can use summaries: 

  • As a study tactic. The ability to summarize a book or text indicates that you've absorbed and understand the material. Plus, writing down notes (as in a summary) is a great way to retain material. Try summarizing at the end of a book chapter, after each section of an article, or periodically in textbooks. Doing so will help you digest the material you've just read, confirming you understood and retained the information therein. Stopping frequently to summarize is most effective because you're less likely to forget important plot points or ideas. 
  • As an assignment. Teachers and professors often ask students to summarize a text as a test to confirm they read and understood the material. Before heading into class—especially if you have a test or quiz scheduled—try practicing summarizing the text. Write it down (rather than practicing it out loud or in your head) so that you can review your ideas and ensure you're presenting them succinctly and sensibly. 
  • As part of an essay. If you're referencing a book or article in your own paper, you might need to summarize the source as the foundation for your argument. In this case, your summary should be particularly short so the reader doesn't lose sight of your own argument and intention. Introduce the name of the work and its author, then use one sentence (two at most) to describe their objective and how it relates to your own. 
  • As part of a review. Summaries are very useful in an academic setting, but they have their place outside of it too. Whether you're on a book review site or just sharing a recommendation with a friend, being able to succinctly write a book summary (with or without spoilers) will help others to make their own judgements of a book. 

Your Step-by-Step Guide for How to Write a Summary

Step 1: read the work .

Summaries are often perceived as a workaround for reading the work itself. That's not a great strategy under most circumstances because you tend to lose a lot of the details and nuance of a work, but it's particularly impractical to do so when writing about the work. 

Remember, a summary is supposed to present your perception of the work as a whole. So in order to develop that perception, you have to first read the original text. 

Step 2: Take Notes 

As you read the work, simultaneously take notes. If you own the book, it might be helpful to add your notes to the margins or highlight passages that are particularly relevant or capture a key idea. If you don't own the book, try taking notes on your computer or in a notebook. You can still notate important passages by writing down the page and paragraph number or writing an abbreviated version of the quotation. Alternatively, try marking key passages with sticky notes or tabs. 

It might also be helpful to write out a short outline of the work as you go. While you won't want to use this verbatim (remember, you shouldn't just paraphrase the work), it can help you establish and remember the text's framework. 

Step 3: Identify the Author's Thesis Statement, Objective, or Main Point 

In some works, such as a journal article, a writer will provide a thesis statement. A thesis statement is a one-sentence synopsis of the author's argument and intention. A thesis statement can be really helpful in forming the backbone of your own summary, just as it forms the backbone of the essay. 

However, even when a thesis statement isn't present—like in a novel—the writer always has an objective or main idea. You should always identify this idea and use it to form the foundation of your summary. 

The main point might be apparent at the outset of the work. Other times, the author won't present it until the conclusion. Sometimes you might identify multiple objectives throughout the work. That's why it's important, as you read, to note any ideas that might be the  main  idea. Even those that aren't the  most  important will likely remain relevant. 

Step 4: Note Other Important Elements

If something stands out to you about the work and seems to play an important role in the text's overall narrative or structure, make a note about it. This could be a recurring theme, an incident in the storyline, or a deviation from the overall argument. 

As you identify and note important elements and moments in the work, the structure of your summary should begin to fall into place. 

Step 5: Prepare to Write Your Summary 

Once you've finished reading the work, review your notes and highlight the key points that came to light. Remember, your summary should be objective, so disregard any opinions you might have noted about the work. You should introduce the thesis or objective, briefly encapsulate the important ideas and moments from the work, and end with a conclusion that ties those ideas to the objective. Keep this structure in mind as you begin. 

Step 6: Begin by Introducing the Work 

As you begin, introduce the work, its author, and, if relevant, the context.

Depending on your situation—for example, if your teacher or professor has asked you to summarize a work as part of an assignment or quiz—this might seem redundant. However, it is standard practice to begin by introducing the work, even if the reader already knows what you're writing about. 

Example:  In  The Great Gatsby , F. Scott Fitzgerald... 

Step 7: Present the Thesis, Main Idea, or Central Argument

Once you've introduced the work, your priority is to clearly define the author's thesis, important point, or central argument. As mentioned above, sometimes the author presents this idea clearly and succinctly at the outset of their work; at other times, it's buried deep in the text. 

Regardless of how the main idea is presented in the work, it should be front and center in your summary. Some teachers might refer to this as a "topic sentence" or "introductory sentence." This is the central point around which you will construct the rest of your writing. As you progress, you'll highlight other ideas or occurrences that relate or contribute to this main idea, so it's important that your representation of it is easily understood. 

Example:  In  The Great Gatsby , F. Scott Fitzgerald uses the story of Jay Gatsby as a symbol of the social stratification, greed, and indulgence of 1920s America. 

Step 8: Briefly Discuss the Important Elements of the Work

After identifying the thesis or central argument, you should provide a brief overview of the work's other elements, ideas, and plot points. For the most part, the information you present throughout this section should bolster the thesis presented previously. Each sentence should serve as a supporting point for the topic sentence. Don't simply list ideas or plot points, but show how they're connected and inform the work as a whole. Of course, there may also be important elements of the work that are not directly tied to the main idea; it's ok to include these if you feel they are vital to understanding the work.

When writing the body, you should consciously and intentionally leave out unnecessary details. They tend to bog down your writing and lose the reader. 

Example:  The narrator, Nick Carraway, moves to New York's "West Egg," where he reunites with his cousin, Daisy, and her husband, Tom Buchanan. Fitzgerald clearly delineates social lines between West Egg (new money) and East Egg (old money), where Tom and Daisy reside. 
Nick attends a lavish party thrown by his neighbor, Jay Gatsby, and learns Jay formerly had a relationship with Daisy. The two reignite their forbidden affair. Tom reveals to Daisy that Gatsby earned his money illegally, through smuggling alcohol, and is actually a man of humble Midwestern origins. Daisy and Gatsby try to run away together, but Daisy accidentally runs over Tom's mistress. Tom, eager to exact revenge, convinces his mistress' husband that Gatsby was to blame in her death, and he murders Gatsby before committing suicide. Few of Gatsby's many friends attend his funeral.

Step 9: Write a Conclusion that Ties It All Together

Much like you introduce the author's major point at the outset of your summary, you should revisit it as you close out your writing. If you presented the author's main idea in the introduction, and then bolstered that main idea by recollecting plot points or important elements from the work, your conclusion should then reiterate how those elements relate to the main idea. 

Example:  Though Gatsby subscribed to the extravagance of his peers, his efforts to fit into the upper echelon of West and East Egg were negated by his humble origins; always out of place, he was rejected for his social class as much as his perceived crimes.  

Step 10: Edit

Before submitting your work, read it in full, and edit out any superfluous and redundant information. It's likely that unnecessary details snuck in as you were writing, and you might find that certain plot points just feel unnecessary within the scope of your finished product. 

In addition to editing for content, be sure to edit it closely for grammatical or spelling errors. Even if your summary is well thought out, its expertise is compromised if it's full of errors! 

How to Write a Plot Summary

The step-by-step guide to writing an effective summary, outlined above, applies to most summaries. However, each type has its own unique elements outside of those standard requirements. 

A plot or book summary, for example, should encapsulate the plot of a short story or novel. When writing one, there are unique strategies to follow.  

Dos of Writing a Plot Summary

  • Note plot points as the book or story unfolds. Especially in longer novels, it can be difficult to keep track of the twists and turns in the storyline. That's why we recommend taking notes as you read. 
  • Use online study guides for inspiration. Websites like SuperSummary provide in-depth summaries free of charge. While this is a good starting point when writing your own, it should only be for inspiration. Don't copy examples online (that's plagiarism!). 
  • Be sure to cover the three main arcs of every story: the exposition, climax, and conclusion. The exposition is the moment when the conflict or driving narrative is introduced. The climax is when that conflict comes to a head, and the narrative reaches its most dramatic moments. The conclusion is when the conflict is resolved or the story comes to an end. You should also include any inciting incidents (the first domino in a plot point).
  • Connect the dots. Throughout, you should demonstrate an understanding of how events and characters are related, rather than introducing each element as an independent variable. Remember, you should tie each plot point back to the main idea. 

Don'ts of Writing a Plot Summary

  • Don't just regurgitate the storyline. Rather than drone through the story plot point by plot point, you should highlight key moments in the narrative and direct them back to the author's objective. 
  • Avoid repetitive phrases like "then" or "next." A key indication you're just repeating the storyline point by point is utilizing a phrase like "then" or "next." While you should recount the major incidents of the narrative, it shouldn't feel so formulaic. 
  • Don't let it drag on. Books are long, but summarizing a book should still be short. While it depends on the assignment and the work in question, your summary should be 200 to 600 words, max.
Example :   In  The Great Gatsby , F. Scott Fitzgerald uses the story of Jay Gatsby as a symbol of the social stratification, greed, and indulgence of 1920s America.   The narrator, Nick Carraway, moves to New York's "West Egg," where he reunites with his cousin, Daisy, and her husband, Tom Buchanan. Fitzgerald clearly delineates social lines between West Egg (new money) and East Egg (old money), where Tom and Daisy reside. 
Nick attends a lavish party thrown by his neighbor, Jay Gatsby, and learns he formerly had a relationship with Daisy. When the two reignite their forbidden affair, disaster ensues. Tom reveals to Daisy that Gatsby earned his money illegally, through smuggling alcohol, and is actually a man of humble Midwestern origins. Daisy and Gatsby try to run away together, but Daisy accidentally runs over Tom's mistress. Tom, eager to exact revenge, convinces his mistress' husband that Gatsby was to blame in her death, and he murders Gatsby before committing suicide. Few of Gatsby's many friends attend his funeral.
Though Gatsby subscribed to the extravagance of his peers, his efforts to fit into the upper echelon of West and East Egg were negated by his humble origins; always out of place, he was rejected for his social class as much as his perceived crimes.

For an in-depth analysis of The Great Gatsby , check out the our study guide (we have an audio guide, too!).

How to Summarize an Article or Essay

The nature of an article or essay is quite different from a novel or short story, and in many ways, your summary should be too. The outline above remains the same, but the details are different. 

Here's what you should and shouldn't do when writing your article summary. 

Dos of Writing an Article Summary

  • Skim the original article first. To develop a basic understanding of the article and the writer's objectives, skim the content before reading it closely. Doing so will help you to identify some of the key points and then pay attention to the arguments around them when you read the article in full. 
  • Then read the article closely, marking key passages and ideas. Noting important ideas as you read will help you develop a deeper understanding of the writer's intentions.  
  • Note headings and subheadings, which likely identify important points. In articles and essays, the author often utilizes subheadings to introduce their most important ideas. These subheadings can help guide your own writing. 
  • Keep it short. The rule of brevity applies to article summaries too. In fact, because articles are usually short compared to novels or books, your text should be correlatively brief. And if you're utilizing the work as part of your own essay or argument, just a couple sentences will do.

Don'ts of Writing an Article Summary

  • Don't ignore the conclusion. When reading a long article or essay, it can be tempting to overlook the conclusion and focus on the body paragraphs of the article. However, the conclusion is often where the author most clearly outlines their findings and why they matter. It can serve as a great foundation for your own writing. 
  • Don't copy anything from the article directly—always paraphrase. If you copy any passages word-for-word from the article, be sure to identify them as quotations and attribute them to the author. Even this should be done sparingly. Instead, you should encapsulate their ideas within your own, abbreviated words.  
  • Don't forget to include proper citations. If you do include a direct quotation from the article, be sure to properly cite them. You can learn how to properly cite quotations in our Academic Citation Resource Guide . 
Example Summary of  "Gatsby as a Drowned Sailor" :  In her essay, "Gatsby as a Drowned Sailor," Margaret Lukens posits that a major, and often overlooked, motif in  The Great Gatsby  is that of the "drowned sailor." The novel, she points out, is immersed in nautical symbols and themes, particularly in the scenes surrounding Jay Gatsby. For example, Gatsby grew up on the shores of Lake Superior, now owns a house on the Long Island Sound, and supposedly spends much of his time on his boat. 
Lukens nods to the nautical imagery throughout Gatsby's lavish party, as well as Nick's interactions with Gatsby. Many of these, she argues, foreshadow Gatsby's death in his pool. Even his funeral is a testament to the motif, with the few attendees soaked to the skin with rain. Lukens presents a thorough case for the overarching nautical motif in  The Great Gatsby  and her argument that though Gatsby hooked a big one, ultimately it was "the one that got away." 

FAQs: How to Write a Book Summary  

How do you summarize without plagiarizing .

By its very nature, a summary isn't plagiarizing because it should be written in your own words. However, there are cases where it might be difficult to identify an appropriate synonym, and the phrase remains somewhat close to the original. In this scenario, just be sure to differentiate the rest of the phrase as much as possible. And if you need to include a direct quote from the work, be sure to appropriately cite it. 

How to write a summary and a reaction? 

In some cases, your teacher may ask you to write a summary and a reaction. Whereas a summary is objective, a reaction is a matter of opinion. So in this case, you should present the actions or ideas of the work, then respond to those actions and ideas with your personal thoughts. 

Why write a summary? 

A summary is a helpful tool many educators use to test their students' comprehension of a text. However, it is also a useful study tactic because recounting what you read can help you organize and retain information. 

how to write summary of paragraph

Logo for Remixing Open Textbooks through an Equity Lens (ROTEL)

Want to create or adapt books like this? Learn more about how Pressbooks supports open publishing practices.

Summarizing

The first three chapters in this section of Reading and Writing Successfully in College provide guidance for locating and evaluating sources. The rest of this section provides guidance for using the sources you have located. All of this guidance assumes that you understand the sources you are trying to use. If you don’t, review Part 1: Successful College Reading for reading techniques and/or talk with a classmate, your professor, or a tutor for help.

A summary is, by definition, a condensed version of the original. It’s shorter, and it must focus on the original’s main point(s) to be accurate.

Summaries vary in length. Some will be very short, even just a phrase. For example, if I write, “A coming-of-age story set in a fictional Southern town, To Kill a Mockingbird explores issues of racism and discrimination,” the phrase “a coming-of-age story set in a fictional Southern town” is a kind of summary. It doesn’t provide any details at all, but it still encapsulates the book. Notice that the idea that the book takes up issues of racism and discrimination is not a summary. That’s an interpretation.

Some summaries will be long. For example, in graduate school, I was asked to write 500-word summaries of major theories of literary criticism. In academic settings, professors sometimes assign long summaries to make sure that you understand the texts that you are working with, which is exactly what my graduate instructor wanted.

More often, though, summaries are somewhere in between. Writers summarize in order to make sure our readers understand the text in the same way we do. To accomplish this, our summaries need to be honest.  From a sentence or two to a paragraph, writers usually offer summaries to make sure that reader and writer are on the same page, metaphorically speaking, before the writer uses the source to support their own work.

To write a summary well, we cannot misrepresent the ideas in a text, either by accident or on purpose, nor can we write a summary as if a minor point is the central idea of a text. Even if we are going to argue with an author’s points, the summary must accurately represent the ideas in the original.

Honest summaries start with careful reading. You won’t be able to summarize well if you don’t understand what you are reading. Once you have a good understanding, you’ll be able to write a good summary.

The following activity will help you write a successful summary that covers the entire text. This activity assumes that you have carefully read the text and that you understand it.

  • Divide the text into sections. Sometimes those sections are marked for you by headings or extra spaces between paragraphs. If they aren’t, look especially for transitions that indicate contrast or sequence, which frequently indicate a shift in focus. Don’t worry about getting these sections “right”; instead, make sure that you understand why you are grouping those particular paragraphs together.
  • For each section, determine the main point of that section. Separate that point from examples, counterarguments , and subordinate points . Write a one- or two-sentence summary of each section, focusing on that point.
  • Write a one- or two-sentence summary of the entire piece based on your understanding of the whole text. It can help to read over the sentences you have written in Step 2.
  • Check your high-level summary (Step 3) against the original text. Are you accurately representing the author’s main idea? If not, revise your overall summary sentence.
  • Consider the length of summary that you need. Do you just need a sentence or two? If so, the work you did in Steps 3 and 4 should probably serve you well. If you need a longer summary, though, keep going!
  • Combine your summary of the entire piece with your section summaries into a paragraph (or more, depending on how long the original is). As you combine these sentences, eliminate repetition and details that you don’t need.
  • Check what you have written against the original text. Are you accurately representing the author’s ideas? If not, revise your summary to increase your accuracy.
  • Consider length again. If you need a shorter summary than your draft, look for details or more minor points that you can eliminate. If you need a longer summary, go back to the original for additional details or even examples.

Writing Strong Summaries

Here are some tips for writing good summaries:

  • Be sure to refer to the author as you write your summary. A good rule of thumb is to reference the author by name at or near the beginning of your summary, and then to reference them at least one more time in every summary paragraph. This practice reminds your reader that the ideas you are describing are not your ideas.
  • In general, don’t quote in summaries unless the quotations are very short or the summary is long (more than a page). Quotations require a lot of extra material and are usually too specific to be useful in summaries. In addition, quoting gets in the way of your comprehension of the text since you are relying on the author’s words instead of your understanding.
  • If there is an introductory narrative, skip (or at least minimize) that as you write your summary. These introductory narratives are usually a way to draw the reader in. They hint at the main point, but they rarely spell that point out. Moreover, you can end up spending far too much time summarizing that narrative and miss the main point entirely.

You should be able to summarize every source that you use, even if you aren’t required to write a summary. If you can summarize a text successfully, you both understand that text and you are able to put it into your own words.

  • A summary condenses a text, so it is always shorter than the original, though the summary itself can be very short, somewhat long, or in between.
  • Summaries identify the main point of a text and provide as much information about the supporting points and specific examples as the writer (and reader) need, given the purpose of the summary.
  • An effective way to write an accurate summary is to divide a text up into sections, summarize each of those sections, and combine those smaller summaries with a statement summarizing the overall point of the text.
  • When you write a summary, be sure to refer to the author’s name so that your reader knows which ideas belong to you and which belong to the author.
  • Generally, you won’t quote in summaries, except for very short quotations.

A word or group of words that guide the reader logically from one idea to the next in a text.

An argument that opposes the argument that an author is making; also used to describe an author's response to that opposing argument.

A less important point, as distinct from the main point.

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How to Write Article Summaries, Reviews & Critiques

Writing an article summary.

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When writing a summary, the goal is to compose a concise and objective overview of the original article. The summary should focus only on the article's main ideas and important details that support those ideas.

Guidelines for summarizing an article:

  • State the main ideas.
  • Identify the most important details that support the main ideas.
  • Summarize in your own words.
  • Do not copy phrases or sentences unless they are being used as direct quotations.
  • Express the underlying meaning of the article, but do not critique or analyze.
  • The summary should be about one third the length of the original article. 

Your summary should include:

  • Give an overview of the article, including the title and the name of the author.
  • Provide a thesis statement that states the main idea of the article.
  • Use the body paragraphs to explain the supporting ideas of your thesis statement.
  • One-paragraph summary - one sentence per supporting detail, providing 1-2 examples for each.
  • Multi-paragraph summary - one paragraph per supporting detail, providing 2-3 examples for each.
  • Start each paragraph with a topic sentence.
  • Use transitional words and phrases to connect ideas.
  • Summarize your thesis statement and the underlying meaning of the article.

 Adapted from "Guidelines for Using In-Text Citations in a Summary (or Research Paper)" by Christine Bauer-Ramazani, 2020

Additional Resources

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How to Write a Summary - Guide & Examples  (from Scribbr.com)

Writing a Summary  (from The University of Arizona Global Campus Writing Center)

  • Next: Writing an article REVIEW >>
  • Last Updated: Aug 16, 2023 11:47 AM
  • URL: https://libguides.randolph.edu/summaries

Typical College-level Writing Genres: Summary, Analysis, Synthesis

How to write a summary.

Summarizing consists of two important skills:

  • identifying the important material in the text, and
  • restating the text in your own words.

Since writing a summary consists of omitting minor information, it will always be shorter than the original text.

Photograph of two hands writing next to each other, holding black pens and wearing white gloves

  • A summary begins with an  introductory sentence  that states the text’s title, author and main thesis or subject.
  • A summary contains the main  thesis  (or main point of the text), restated in your own words.
  • A summary is  written in your own words . It contains few or no quotes.
  • A summary is  always shorter than the original text , often about 1/3 as long as the original.  It is the ultimate “fat-free” writing.  An article or paper may be summarized in a few sentences or a couple of paragraphs. A book may be summarized in an article or a short paper.  A very large book may be summarized in a smaller book.
  • A summary should  contain all the major points  of the original text, but should  ignore most of the fine details , examples, illustrations or explanations.
  • The backbone of any summary is formed by  critical information  (key names, dates, places, ideas, events, words and numbers). A summary must never rely on vague generalities.
  • If you quote anything from the original text, even an unusual word or a catchy phrase, you need to put whatever you quote in quotation marks (“”).
  • A summary must contain only the ideas of the original text.  Do not insert  any of  your own opinions, interpretations, deductions or comments  into a summary.
  • A summary, like any other writing, has to have a specific audience and purpose, and you must carefully write it to serve that audience and fulfill that specific purpose.
  • Writing a Summary. Authored by : Elisabeth Ellington and Ronda Dorsey Neugebauer. Provided by : Chadron State College. Located at : http://www.csc.edu/ . Project : Kaleidoscope Open Course Initiative. License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Image of two hands. Authored by : isado. Located at : https://flic.kr/p/4c9cZA . License : CC BY-ND: Attribution-NoDerivatives

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  • How to Write a Summary | Guide & Examples

How to Write a Summary | Guide & Examples

Published on 25 September 2022 by Shona McCombes . Revised on 12 May 2023.

Summarising , or writing a summary, means giving a concise overview of a text’s main points in your own words. A summary is always much shorter than the original text.

There are five key steps that can help you to write a summary:

  • Read the text
  • Break it down into sections
  • Identify the key points in each section
  • Write the summary
  • Check the summary against the article

Writing a summary does not involve critiquing or analysing the source. You should simply provide an accurate account of the most important information and ideas (without copying any text from the original).

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Table of contents

When to write a summary, step 1: read the text, step 2: break the text down into sections, step 3: identify the key points in each section, step 4: write the summary, step 5: check the summary against the article, frequently asked questions.

There are many situations in which you might have to summarise an article or other source:

  • As a stand-alone assignment to show you’ve understood the material
  • To keep notes that will help you remember what you’ve read
  • To give an overview of other researchers’ work in a literature review

When you’re writing an academic text like an essay , research paper , or dissertation , you’ll integrate sources in a variety of ways. You might use a brief quote to support your point, or paraphrase a few sentences or paragraphs.

But it’s often appropriate to summarize a whole article or chapter if it is especially relevant to your own research, or to provide an overview of a source before you analyse or critique it.

In any case, the goal of summarising is to give your reader a clear understanding of the original source. Follow the five steps outlined below to write a good summary.

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You should read the article more than once to make sure you’ve thoroughly understood it. It’s often effective to read in three stages:

  • Scan the article quickly to get a sense of its topic and overall shape.
  • Read the article carefully, highlighting important points and taking notes as you read.
  • Skim the article again to confirm you’ve understood the key points, and reread any particularly important or difficult passages.

There are some tricks you can use to identify the key points as you read:

  • Start by reading the abstract . This already contains the author’s own summary of their work, and it tells you what to expect from the article.
  • Pay attention to headings and subheadings . These should give you a good sense of what each part is about.
  • Read the introduction and the conclusion together and compare them: What did the author set out to do, and what was the outcome?

To make the text more manageable and understand its sub-points, break it down into smaller sections.

If the text is a scientific paper that follows a standard empirical structure, it is probably already organised into clearly marked sections, usually including an introduction, methods, results, and discussion.

Other types of articles may not be explicitly divided into sections. But most articles and essays will be structured around a series of sub-points or themes.

Now it’s time go through each section and pick out its most important points. What does your reader need to know to understand the overall argument or conclusion of the article?

Keep in mind that a summary does not involve paraphrasing every single paragraph of the article. Your goal is to extract the essential points, leaving out anything that can be considered background information or supplementary detail.

In a scientific article, there are some easy questions you can ask to identify the key points in each part.

If the article takes a different form, you might have to think more carefully about what points are most important for the reader to understand its argument.

In that case, pay particular attention to the thesis statement —the central claim that the author wants us to accept, which usually appears in the introduction—and the topic sentences that signal the main idea of each paragraph.

Now that you know the key points that the article aims to communicate, you need to put them in your own words.

To avoid plagiarism and show you’ve understood the article, it’s essential to properly paraphrase the author’s ideas. Do not copy and paste parts of the article, not even just a sentence or two.

The best way to do this is to put the article aside and write out your own understanding of the author’s key points.

Examples of article summaries

Let’s take a look at an example. Below, we summarise this article , which scientifically investigates the old saying ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’.

An article summary like the above would be appropriate for a stand-alone summary assignment. However, you’ll often want to give an even more concise summary of an article.

For example, in a literature review or research paper, you may want to briefly summarize this study as part of a wider discussion of various sources. In this case, we can boil our summary down even further to include only the most relevant information.

Citing the source you’re summarizing

When including a summary as part of a larger text, it’s essential to properly cite the source you’re summarizing. The exact format depends on your citation style , but it usually includes an in-text citation and a full reference at the end of your paper.

You can easily create your citations and references in APA or MLA using our free citation generators.

APA Citation Generator MLA Citation Generator

Finally, read through the article once more to ensure that:

  • You’ve accurately represented the author’s work
  • You haven’t missed any essential information
  • The phrasing is not too similar to any sentences in the original.

If you’re summarising many articles as part of your own work, it may be a good idea to use a plagiarism checker to double-check that your text is completely original and properly cited. Just be sure to use one that’s safe and reliable.

A summary is a short overview of the main points of an article or other source, written entirely in your own words.

Save yourself some time with the free summariser.

A summary is always much shorter than the original text. The length of a summary can range from just a few sentences to several paragraphs; it depends on the length of the article you’re summarising, and on the purpose of the summary.

With the summariser tool you can easily adjust the length of your summary.

You might have to write a summary of a source:

  • As a stand-alone assignment to prove you understand the material
  • For your own use, to keep notes on your reading
  • To provide an overview of other researchers’ work in a literature review
  • In a paper , to summarise or introduce a relevant study

To avoid plagiarism when summarising an article or other source, follow these two rules:

  • Write the summary entirely in your own words by   paraphrasing the author’s ideas.
  • Reference the source with an in-text citation and a full reference so your reader can easily find the original text.

An abstract concisely explains all the key points of an academic text such as a thesis , dissertation or journal article. It should summarise the whole text, not just introduce it.

An abstract is a type of summary , but summaries are also written elsewhere in academic writing . For example, you might summarise a source in a paper , in a literature review , or as a standalone assignment.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the ‘Cite this Scribbr article’ button to automatically add the citation to our free Reference Generator.

McCombes, S. (2023, May 12). How to Write a Summary | Guide & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved 22 February 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/working-sources/how-to-write-a-summary/

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A Guide to Writing a Summary Paragraph

Table of Contents

Writing a summary paragraph comes with its own set of tips and tricks. Essentially, it’s one of the most challenging tasks teachers ask students to complete.

What Is a Summary Paragraph?

A summary paragraph is a shortened version of a longer piece of content that helps the readers grasp the central idea of the text. Summaries are usually written to cover the essential ideas, statements, arguments, or themes in your own words.

Students in literary or research classes produce summaries of articles, short tales, academic texts, scholarly pieces, or novels for their assignments. The length of a summary depends on the work’s requirements and how much material you’re expected to cover.

6 Tips on How to Start a Summary Paragraph

When it comes to writing a summary , the number one thing is that you need to keep the reader’s attention. This is why you need to write a summary that is intriguing and has a way of engaging the audience.

Start by giving a general definition of what you are going to speak about. Following are six effective tips on how to start a summary paragraph that stands out.

Two white and beige pens on a lined notebook.

1. Take Notes While Reviewing the Original Text

Allow yourself plenty of time to read and review the original text. Make a note of any keywords, important phrases, or points in the actual document.

You must highlight or underline any sentence that stands out to you. Also, take note of the central idea or theme of the text, which is usually contained in the topic sentence.

2. Make an Outline of Your Main Idea

With a summary paragraph, it is vital to keep a clear head about the direction that you are taking. This is why you need to begin by setting a solid outline.

This will help you prioritize your thoughts and narrow down the topic of your summary paragraph. One or two sentences should be used to convey the main ideas or arguments of the text.

If identifying the central concept seems complicated, try thinking from an author’s perspective and their motivation for writing a piece of content.

3. Support Your Main Idea with Examples From the Text

Once you’ve identified the key point, find a few instances from the original text that support your idea or argument.

These could be quotes, scenes, pivotal moments, or significant events from the passage. Briefly list the examples to support and strengthen your main point in the summary paragraph.

Unless you need to quote someone’s words directly, refrain from copying content from the original material.

4. Come up with a good opening line

Once you have the main idea of the paper, you should brainstorm several unique opening lines. This is the only way your audience will be able to hear what you have to say.

You should start by giving the reader some background on the text you describe. Include the original material’s title, author, and publication date on the first line of your summary paragraph.

This part should also briefly describe the type of literature you’re citing, such as a narrative, novel, or textbook.

5. Elaborate on the Key Information

Some paragraphs build up over time, while others keep it brief. A good summary paragraph is typically short but includes an elaboration.

Make sure to elaborate on the author’s thesis, argument, or general statement about the purpose of the paragraph. Consider who you’re speaking with and what you’re discussing, and expand on that throughout your summary.

6. Review and Proofread the Summary

After writing the summary, review and proofread it to ensure it is short and related to your overall topic.

Remove any sentences that seem redundant or repetitious to your general topic and check for any spelling or grammatical errors. It can be beneficial to print out the paper or read it aloud to identify any mistakes you may have overlooked previously.

You may also have a friend look over your summary and offer suggestions for improvements.

The ultimate goal of a summary paragraph is to provide an overview of the text . It allows the reader to gain knowledge of the ideas the author presented.

The goal is achieved when important themes and underlying concepts are captured without directly stating the original text. For this reason, summarize the significance of each point and make sure the text is concise using rhetorical devices.

A Guide to Writing a Summary Paragraph

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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This text summarizer can condense long text within seconds.

At the moment, a maximum of 600 words can be summarized at once, within a few seconds. Want to summarize more? Just paste another block of text. There’s no limit on how much text you can summarize with our text summarizer .

The text summarizer can give you a longer or shorter summary, depending on your wishes. Want a more detailed summary? Just adjust the summary length at the top.

So much is at stake in writing a conclusion. This is, after all, your last chance to persuade your readers to your point of view, to impress yourself upon them as a writer and thinker. And the impression you create in your conclusion will shape the impression that stays with your readers after they've finished the essay.

The end of an essay should therefore convey a sense of completeness and closure as well as a sense of the lingering possibilities of the topic, its larger meaning, its implications: the final paragraph should close the discussion without closing it off.

To establish a sense of closure, you might do one or more of the following:

  • Conclude by linking the last paragraph to the first, perhaps by reiterating a word or phrase you used at the beginning.
  • Conclude with a sentence composed mainly of one-syllable words. Simple language can help create an effect of understated drama.
  • Conclude with a sentence that's compound or parallel in structure; such sentences can establish a sense of balance or order that may feel just right at the end of a complex discussion.

To close the discussion without closing it off, you might do one or more of the following:

  • Conclude with a quotation from or reference to a primary or secondary source, one that amplifies your main point or puts it in a different perspective. A quotation from, say, the novel or poem you're writing about can add texture and specificity to your discussion; a critic or scholar can help confirm or complicate your final point. For example, you might conclude an essay on the idea of home in James Joyce's short story collection,  Dubliners , with information about Joyce's own complex feelings towards Dublin, his home. Or you might end with a biographer's statement about Joyce's attitude toward Dublin, which could illuminate his characters' responses to the city. Just be cautious, especially about using secondary material: make sure that you get the last word.
  • Conclude by setting your discussion into a different, perhaps larger, context. For example, you might end an essay on nineteenth-century muckraking journalism by linking it to a current news magazine program like  60 Minutes .
  • Conclude by redefining one of the key terms of your argument. For example, an essay on Marx's treatment of the conflict between wage labor and capital might begin with Marx's claim that the "capitalist economy is . . . a gigantic enterprise of dehumanization "; the essay might end by suggesting that Marxist analysis is itself dehumanizing because it construes everything in economic -- rather than moral or ethical-- terms.
  • Conclude by considering the implications of your argument (or analysis or discussion). What does your argument imply, or involve, or suggest? For example, an essay on the novel  Ambiguous Adventure , by the Senegalese writer Cheikh Hamidou Kane, might open with the idea that the protagonist's development suggests Kane's belief in the need to integrate Western materialism and Sufi spirituality in modern Senegal. The conclusion might make the new but related point that the novel on the whole suggests that such an integration is (or isn't) possible.

Finally, some advice on how not to end an essay:

  • Don't simply summarize your essay. A brief summary of your argument may be useful, especially if your essay is long--more than ten pages or so. But shorter essays tend not to require a restatement of your main ideas.
  • Avoid phrases like "in conclusion," "to conclude," "in summary," and "to sum up." These phrases can be useful--even welcome--in oral presentations. But readers can see, by the tell-tale compression of the pages, when an essay is about to end. You'll irritate your audience if you belabor the obvious.
  • Resist the urge to apologize. If you've immersed yourself in your subject, you now know a good deal more about it than you can possibly include in a five- or ten- or 20-page essay. As a result, by the time you've finished writing, you may be having some doubts about what you've produced. (And if you haven't immersed yourself in your subject, you may be feeling even more doubtful about your essay as you approach the conclusion.) Repress those doubts. Don't undercut your authority by saying things like, "this is just one approach to the subject; there may be other, better approaches. . ."

Copyright 1998, Pat Bellanca, for the Writing Center at Harvard University

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  1. How to Write a Summary

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    Your writing, at its best Be the best writer in the office. Get Grammarly It's free In this quick guide, we explain how to write a summary like an expert. We share some summary examples and list out the steps. But first, let's look at the big question: What is a summary?

  3. How to Start a Summary Paragraph: 10 Steps (with Pictures)

    1 Take notes on the original text. Start by reading and reviewing the original text. Mark up the original text, noting any keywords and important phrases or points. Highlight or underline any sentences that feel important to you. Note the topic sentence in the original text as well as the main idea or theme in the text.

  4. Writing a Summary

    Include an opening line listing the author's name, title of the work, and a broad overview of the work, such as the genre or overall idea of the work. A summary should include all of the main points or ideas in the work but avoid smaller details or ideas. You don't want to provide every aspect of the plot or smaller points in your summary.

  5. How to Write a Summary: 4 Tips for Writing a Good Summary

    Writing How to Write a Summary: 4 Tips for Writing a Good Summary Written by MasterClass Last updated: Jun 7, 2021 • 3 min read With a great summary, you can condense a range of information, giving readers an aggregation of the most important parts of what they're about to read (or in some cases, see).

  6. How to Write a Summary: The Complete Guide

    1. A summary should always be shorter than the original work, usually considerably. Even if your summary is the length of a full paper, you are likely summarizing a book or other significantly longer work.

  7. Summary: Using it Wisely

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  8. How to Write a Summary

    When writing a summary, remember that it should be in the form of a paragraph. A summary begins with an introductory sentence that states the text's title, author and main point of the text as you see it. A summary is written in your own words. A summary contains only the ideas of the original text.

  9. How to Write a Summary: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

    1 Read the piece thoroughly. You should read it without making any kind of marks. Instead, focus on really understanding what the author is trying to say. This might mean that you need to read one sentence or paragraph more than once. You might also want to reread the whole piece. That's fine. 2

  10. How to Write a Summary

    When writing a summary, remember that it should be in the form of a paragraph. A summary begins with an introductory sentence that states the text's title, author and main point of the text as you see it. A summary is written in your own words. A summary contains only the ideas of the original text.

  11. How To Write a Summary: 5 Easy Steps

    1. Read and take notes. First things first: Read or watch the original work you'll be summarizing. While you do, take brief pauses and explain to yourself what you just read or watched. As the main ideas start becoming clear to you, take notes. This will make the writing process easier. 2.

  12. How to Write a Summary

    Step 2: Take Notes. As you read the work, simultaneously take notes. If you own the book, it might be helpful to add your notes to the margins or highlight passages that are particularly relevant or capture a key idea. If you don't own the book, try taking notes on your computer or in a notebook.

  13. How To Write a Summary in 8 Steps (With Examples)

    1. Read the text thoroughly Read the text several times to ensure you understand everything about the author's message. On the first read, focus simply on reading instead of pausing to take notes. Try to identify the purpose, the supporting argument and any additional details.

  14. Summarizing

    Write a one- or two-sentence summary of each section, focusing on that point. Write a one- or two-sentence summary of the entire piece based on your understanding of the whole text. It can help to read over the sentences you have written in Step 2. Check your high-level summary (Step 3) against the original text.

  15. Writing an article SUMMARY

    Guidelines for summarizing an article: State the main ideas. Identify the most important details that support the main ideas. Summarize in your own words. Do not copy phrases or sentences unless they are being used as direct quotations. Express the underlying meaning of the article, but do not critique or analyze.

  16. How to Write a Summary

    A summary is written in your own words . It contains few or no quotes. A summary is always shorter than the original text, often about 1/3 as long as the original. It is the ultimate "fat-free" writing. An article or paper may be summarized in a few sentences or a couple of paragraphs. A book may be summarized in an article or a short paper.

  17. How to Summarize (with examples)

    A summary is a shorter version of the original. When you write a summary you should: read the text, scan for the main points, read it again, check that your ...

  18. How to Write a Summary

    Step 1: Read the text Step 2: Break the text down into sections Step 3: Identify the key points in each section Step 4: Write the summary Step 5: Check the summary against the article Frequently asked questions When to write a summary There are many situations in which you might have to summarise an article or other source:

  19. AI Summarizing Tool

    Students can use an essay summarizer to quickly understand broad or complex topics, while professionals may use a summary writer to distill lengthy reports into a few short paragraphs. In the age of information overload, tools such as summary generators, article summarizers, and AI summarizers help readers quickly understand main ideas and ...

  20. A Guide to Writing a Summary Paragraph

    Following are six effective tips on how to start a summary paragraph that stands out. Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash. 1. Take Notes While Reviewing the Original Text. Allow yourself plenty of time to read and review the original text. Make a note of any keywords, important phrases, or points in the actual document.

  21. How To Write a Summary in 5 Steps (With Examples)

    3. Write down the main points. Format your summary into sentences that make up paragraphs. Get started by writing down the main points of the text in your own words. Make sure to write down these main points as they were presented by the author of the text, meaning that you should write them in chronological order. 4.

  22. Free Text Summarizer

    1. Insert, paste or download your text 2. Pick the way you want to summarize 3. Adjust your summary length 4. Get your summary in seconds!

  23. Text Summarizer

    Summarize your content in the following interesting ways Paragraph Bullet Points Paragraph Condense articles, papers, documents, and more down to the key points. You can easily control how long your results are using the length slider. Summary length: Short Long Input Globalization has become a driving force in today's business world.

  24. Ending the Essay: Conclusions

    Finally, some advice on how not to end an essay: Don't simply summarize your essay. A brief summary of your argument may be useful, especially if your essay is long--more than ten pages or so. But shorter essays tend not to require a restatement of your main ideas. Avoid phrases like "in conclusion," "to conclude," "in summary," and "to sum up ...

  25. Resume Introduction: 4 Different Ways to Open Your Resume

    There are four main types of resume introductions: Resume objective. Summary of qualifications. Resume summary. Resume profile. Build My Resume. Our free-to-use resume builder can make you a resume in as little as 5 minutes. Just pick the template you want, and our software will format everything for you.

  26. Edutopia on Instagram: "The amount of content students need to learn

    863 likes, 4 comments - edutopia on February 10, 2024: "The amount of content students need to learn often feels at odds with available instructional tim..."