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Procedures: How to prepare for a summary

❶If no author is given, use the title of the article: Most importantly, the summary restates only the main points of a text or a lecture without giving examples or details , such as dates, numbers or statistics.

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Rules: How to write a summary


There are many instances in which you will have to write a summary. You may be assigned to write a one or two page summary of an article or reading, or you may be asked to include a brief summary of a text as part of a response paper or critique.

Also, you may write summaries of articles as part of the note-taking and planning process for a research paper, and you may want to include these summaries, or at least parts of them, in your paper. The writer of a research paper is especially dependent upon summary as a means of referring to source materials. Through the use of summary in a research paper, you can condense a broad range of information, and you can present and explain the relevance of a number of sources all dealing with the same subject.

You may also summarize your own paper in an introduction in order to present a brief overview of the ideas you will discuss throughout the rest of the paper. Depending on the length and complexity of the original text as well as your purpose in using summary, a summary can be relatively brief—a short paragraph or even a single sentence—or quite lengthy—several paragraphs or even an entire paper. A good summary should be comprehensive, concise, coherent, and independent.

These qualities are explained below:. Skip to navigation Search Hunter. Murray and Anna C. These qualities are explained below: A summary must be comprehensive: You should isolate all the important points in the original passage and note them down in a list. A summary must be concise: Eliminate repetitions in your list, even if the author restates the same points. Your summary should be considerably shorter than the source.

You are hoping to create an overview; therefore, you need not include every repetition of a point or every supporting detail. A summary must be coherent: Expand on them by including one or more examples from the original text. Include important information only and avoid describing minor, insignificant points. After you have summarized the main ideas in the original text, your essay is finished. A conclusion paragraph should be added if your teacher specifically tells you to include one. Summary Essay Topics You can write a summary essay on a scientific work, an interesting article, a novel, or a research paper.

For example, you might want to write a summary essay on: Keep in mind that your interpretation of the source can mislead your readers or even distort the meaning of the original text.

Your summary essay should serve as a substitute for the original source; by reading your summary essay, a reader should be able to develop an understanding of the original work.

This type of essay is about summarizing the original text, not criticizing it. Otherwise, it may look like plagiarism. Do write in present tense, even if the author of the original text has passed away a long time ago. Do understand the original source completely. If you have doubts about the meaning of certain terms, clarify them before you start to write. You may find a nice place to insert a new quotation, correct some mistakes, and make other improvements.

You can also give your essay to a friend or a colleague to read to see if they can grasp the main idea of the source after reading your summary essay. You literally need to repeat the information given in the original text, but in a shorter frame and in your own words. Your task is to summarize, not give a personal opinion. Once you know for sure what the author's main point is, reread the piece, looking for the ways they support that point.

You can find supporting material by looking for details that refer to the title, surprises in the argument or plot, repetition, or a lot of attention to detail.

Write down each time something like this occurs. 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. Don't focus on the evidence that the author uses to support those points. You only need to know what they're arguing. So, for example, say the author's main argument is: Civil Rights Movement actually began in the s. You only need to note the black women's boycott, not the examples of that boycott that the author uses.

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. Work from memory to write the main point of each section. Without looking at your notes, write a first draft that includes the main point of each section in your own words. Not doing this is academic plagiarism, and it can get you in a lot of trouble. Make sure you format the quote correctly! Instead, summarize what the original author said and retain their tone and point of view.

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? Use language appropriate to a summary. Reread the draft you wrote from memory against your notes. Take your notes out and compare them to your from-memory draft. Present the summary in chronological order. Rather than jumping around to different parts of the story or article, you should explain what happened in the sequence that it happened.

This is especially important for summarizing works of fiction. Sometimes in an article or book, the author might make the same point multiple times as a way to underline their main points. Add transitions where necessary. When you revise, make sure that you connect each paragraph to the next, and back to the main point.

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.

Check for grammatical and spelling errors. Once you've finished revising the arguments in your draft, check the little things. Make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes. Look for any additional or missing punctuation and correct that as well. 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.

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.

Ask someone else to read your work. Another person may see an argument or point in a completely different light than you have, giving you a new feel for the work and yours. 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. Because a summary should be an shortened, objective version of a written work, I would avoid your own persuasive speech in a summary.

Remember that this was someone else's work, not your own! Save persuasive writing for an analysis, not a summary.


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Rules: How to write a summary Find important facts, statements and ideas Leave all statistics, dates and names, quotations, details and comparisons, examples, opinions, and decorating expressions unless they are important for the understanding of the text.

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How to Write a Summary. A "stand-alone" summary is a summary produced to show a teacher that you have read and understood something. It is common in many and level classes to get assignments that ask you to read a certain number of articles and summarize them.

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Basic rules of summary writing. The first part - thesis - is the first writing that we just wrote Being a high writing writing is a wonderful experience for three reasons. After obtaining the basic rule the summary rule is to use essay outlines and format in writing the essay, they are; thesis statement, rules, introduction, body and conclusion, basic. Guidelines for using IN-TEXT CITATIONS in a SUMMARY (or RESEARCH PAPER) Christine Bauer-Ramazani. The purpose of a summary is to give the reader, in a about 1/3 of the original length of an article/lecture, a clear, objective picture of the original lecture or text.

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Writing the Summary: When writing the summary there are three main requirements: 1. The summary should cover the original as a whole. 2. The material should be presented in a neutral fashion. 3. The summary should be a condensed version of the material, presented in your own words. * * Also. do not include anything that does not appear in the original. Summary Writing page 1 of 1 Summary Writing Guidelines For some of your Fast-Write homework assignments you’ll be asked to summarize an article. Guidelines below will help guide your reading and writing: 1. Complete A summary should include all the ideas that .