How to Write a Summary | Tips, Steps, and Examples

Written by

Tom Lewis

8 mins read
how to write a summary

A summary is a short description of what happened in the article or book you're reading. But, more importantly, it's your understanding of what happened in the text.

In this blog post, we will discuss how to write a summary that will make your professor want to keep reading.

There is an easy and effective way to summarize a book, write a report for class, or remember what someone told you about their day at work.

If you are unfamiliar with summarizing or you are searching for how to summarize a task you are provided with, keep reading the blog.

What is a Summary?

A summary is a brief overview of a piece of literature. It is meant to help the reader understand the main points of the text.

Summarizing means to say in your own words what the most important points are in a text. A summary is always much shorter than the original text and not as detailed. But, it does provide an accurate account of what was said without copying any text from the original source.

It is written without omitting key information from the original text.

Purpose of Writing a Summary

The purpose of a summary is to give an overview of a text without inserting personal opinions or bias.

A summary is a brief overview of a text. It provides key details or interesting information in a concise way so that the reader can get a quick understanding of the text. A summary can be in the form of an abstract, description, or synopsis.

When to Summarize?

There are several reasons you might need to summarize an article or other source. For example, you might need to show that you understand the text for an assignment, remember the main points for a test, or include information from other researchers' work in your literature review.

There are different reasons why you might want to write a summary. However, in order to write a good summary, you need some specific skills.

(back to top)

Qualities of a Good Summary

The qualities that make your summary stand out are:

  • Comprehensive: A summary is a shorter, more concise version of the entire piece. It should include all the important points, so they are easier to understand.
  • Concise: Do not repeat words or pieces of information from the original text when writing your summary. Your summary should be shorter than the original so that readers are not overwhelmed.
  • Coherent: In conclusion, coherence and unity are important. Your summary should be interesting to read, and it should not just repeat what you wrote in your notes. It should also make sense on its own.
  • Independent: The summary should be your own words. You are not copying the author of the text. So your words should stay the same and sound like you.

You can learn more about how to write a summary by reading this blog post.

(back to top)

How to Write a Good Summary

“How to write a summary of an article?”

If you want to write a good summary, you should make sure that your reader understands the original piece of writing. To do this, follow these 5 steps:

  • 1. Read the Text and Understand it

    It is important to read the text more than once so that you completely understand the information it contains.

    Here are the three stages of reading:

    • a. Scan: Look at the document quickly to get an idea of what it is about and how it works.
    • b. Read: As you read, highlight important points and write down notes to help you remember what you have learned.
    • c. Skim: Read this article to understand the key points. If there are any difficult parts, read them again.

    There are a few tricks that can help you understand what you read better. They are simple and will help you a lot.

    • The first thing to do is read the abstract that the author has written for the article. You can find out what to expect from the article there.
    • Make sure you read the headings and subheadings in order to understand what the article is about.
  • 2. Section the Text Properly

    There are different ways to divide a text up. Research papers usually have an introduction, methods, results, and discussion section. Other types of articles might not have those sections, but they will have a series of main points or themes.

    When you are reading an article, try writing a word or phrase in the margin next to each paragraph that describes its content. This will help you to remember what the article is about and what parts are most important.

    You could group similar paragraphs together as sections if they address related topics.

  • 3. Highlight the Important Points

    In order to create a successful summary, you first need to identify the main points of the article. This includes the conclusion and what we learned from the article. You do not need to include every detail, just these key points. Anything that is not necessary for understanding can be left out.

    You should be aware of the thesis statement and topic sentences when reading an essay. The thesis statement is usually in the introduction, and it tells you what the author wants you to learn from the essay.

    Topic sentences tell you what each paragraph is about so that you can better understand the points that are being made.

  • 4. Draft the Summary

    To avoid plagiarism, it is important to write out your understanding of the key points of an article. Do not copy and paste parts of the article, or even just a sentence or two. If it is needed, you can quote information by putting it in quotation marks and citing the source.

    The best way to write a summary is to read the article and take notes on what you think are its key points.

    When summarizing a text, it is important to make sure that you cite where the summary came from. The exact format of your citation depends on what citation style you use. In most cases, you will include a citation at the end of your paper and an in-text citation.

    The summary should not be more than one page long. It is a shorter version of the original text. The length of the summary will depend on the length of the original text.

  • 5. Cross-Check Your Summary

    Make sure you have read the article carefully and understand all the important information. You should also make sure your sentences are not too similar to the original sentences in the article.

    If you are summarizing many articles, it is a good idea to use a plagiarism checker to make sure that your work is properly cited and free from plagiarism.

Summary Writing Format

There are many paragraphs and sections in a long summary. This is a way to summarize a detailed literature piece. However, a short summary can also be of a single paragraph. It has the following four main points:

  1. Introductory sentence
  2. Supporting details
  3. Concluding sentence
  4. Citation

Please review the following document for a better understanding.

Summary Writing Format

Summary Writing Format

(back to top)

Two Ways of Writing a Summary

There are two ways to write a summary of a text. The first way is to shorten the text and focus on the most important points. The second way is to keep the original text but only include the most important points.

  • 1. Writing a Summary for Short Text

    These texts or articles are about ten pages or fewer. You can summarize them in the following ways:

    • Summarize each paragraph.
    • Sum up the whole text in one sentence.
    • Put short sentences together to make a paragraph.
    • Write a clear and concise paragraph with no repetition or minor points left out that makes sense when put together.
  • 2. Writing a Summary for a Long Text

    Text longer than 10 pages requires a longer summary. For such text, you can summarize through the following guidelines.

    • Create an outline of the text. To create an outline, you must first break the text down into its major sections. The easiest way to do this is by identifying key points in each paragraph and grouping them together.
    • Write a concise summary of one or two sentences of each section that you have outlined.
    • Then write a single sentence that summarizes the whole text. It could be the focal point of the text.
    • Then write the summary in one or more paragraphs using the previously written brief summaries.
    • Organize all the paragraphs to form a whole summary. To be clear and concise, you should not include points that are repetitive or relatively minor. The final version of your writing needs to be complete and coherent.

(back to top)

How to Write Summary - Examples

These are some examples to help you improve your summary writing skills.

How to Write a Resume Summary

How to Write a Resume Summary

How to Write a LinkedIn Summary

How to Write a LinkedIn Summary

How to Write a Summary of a Chapter

How to Write a Summary of a Chapter

How to Write a Summary of an Article

How to Write a Summary of an Article

How to Write a Summary of a Research Paper

How to Write a Summary of a Research Paper

How to Write a Summary of a Story

How to Write a Summary of a Story

How to Write a Summary of a Book

How to Write a Summary of a Book

How to Write a Summary of a Paragraph

How to Write a Summary of a Paragraph

How to Write a Summary of a Poem

How to Write a Summary of a Poem

The skill of summarizing is important for all types of writing. In this blog post, you learned five steps to help you write good summaries, as well as two different ways to approach the task.

Now that you know how to write a summary, you should be able to do it yourself. If you're finding it difficult, don't worry. You can hire a professional essay writer to do it for you at YourEssayWriter.net. We can write a great summary for you within your deadline and at an affordable price.