John K.
John K.

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

8 min read

Published on: Jan 6, 2023

Last updated on: Jan 5, 2023

How to Write a Summary

On This Page On This Page

A summary is a brief overview 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'll go over how to write an engaging summary that will get your professor interested enough to read on.

Whether you have to summarize a book, write a report for class, or just want to remember what your friend told you about their day at work, there is an easy and effective way of doing it.

Here are 5 easy steps to write a summary along with some tips and examples to help you learn the skill of summarizing.

What is a Summary?

A summary is a brief account of a piece of literature. They're typically used to condense large blocks of text down into a few sentences for easy consumption and understanding by the readers.

Summarizing means condensing a text’s most important points into your own words.

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.

Order Essay

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That's our Job

Purpose of Writing a Summary

The purpose of a summary is to provide readers with an overview without inserting personal opinions or bias.

A summary is a short description of a text. It should give the reader a quick idea of the important details or interesting information. A summary can be in the form of an abstract, description, or synopsis.

When to Summarize?

The following is a list of situations in which you might have to summarize an article or other source:

  • As an illustration of your understanding of a text for an assignment or a demonstration.
  • To help you remember the major points in your source material.
  • You need to write a summary of other researchers' work in your literature review.

You can be summarizing a text for these or other reasons. However, writing a well comprehensive summary requires some essential skills.

Qualities of a Good Summary

The qualities that make your summary stand out are given below:

  • Comprehensive: A summary is a condensation of the entire piece and must be comprehensive: You should isolate all important points in order to make them more digestible.
  • Concise: Try not to repeat words and pieces of information in your summary even if the original author has done so. Your summary should be shorter than the original text so as not to overwhelm readers with too much information.
  • Coherent: Coherence and unity, in summary, are very important. A summary must be engaging to the reader. It should not merely mirror what you wrote in your notes, but it needs a way of making sense on its own as well.
  • Independent: The summary should be independent. You are not being asked to imitate the author of the text you're writing about, so your voice should remain throughout it and take on its own personality as well.

Read the blog further to know more about how to write a summary.

How to Write a Good Summary in 5 Steps?

“How to write a summary of an article?”

A good summary should make your reader understand the original piece of writing. Follow these 5 steps to write it effectively:

1. Read the Text and Understand it

It is important to read the text more than once in order to make sure you fully understand the information.

Here are the three stages of reading:

a. Scan: Scan it quickly to get a sense of what it is about and how it goes.

b. Read: Highlight important points, and write notes as you read to help you remember what you've learned.

c. Skim: Skim this article to make sure you understand the key points. Read any difficult parts again.

There are some tricks to help you know the important parts of what you read. They are easy, and they will help you a lot.

  • The first thing to do is read the abstract. The author has already put what they are writing about in it. You can find out what to expect from the article there.
  • Make sure to read the headings and subheadings. This will tell you what the article is about.
  • Read the introduction and conclusion together. Compare what the author wanted to do and what they actually did in the article.

2. Section the Text Properly

To make the text more manageable, break it down into smaller parts. Most research papers have sections like introduction, methods, results, and discussion.

Other types of articles may not be divided into sections, but most will have a series of sub-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. Then look at your compiled list of phrases for reference when trying to decide what part of this text focuses on most urgently!

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

3. Highlight the Important Points

Now you need to find the most important points of the article that you need to include in your summary. These are things that someone who read the article would want to know.

For example, what was the conclusion? What did we learn? You do not need to repeat every detail in your summary. You just need to mention these points and leave out anything that is not necessary for understanding.

Make sure to pay attention to the thesis statement and the topic sentences. The thesis statement is usually in the introduction, and it tells you what the author wants you to learn. Topic sentences tell you what each paragraph is about.

4.Draft the Summary

Now that you know what the article is about, it is important to write out an understanding of the key points. To avoid plagiarism, do not copy and paste parts of the article or even just a sentence or two. If it is direly needed, you can quote information by putting it in “quotation marks” and citing the source along.

The best way to write a summary is to put the article aside and write what you understand are its key points.

When you are 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. Usually, you will include a citation at the end of your paper and an in-text citation.

The length of the summary should not be more than a page. It is a shorter version of the original text. The exact length will be determined depending on the length of the original text being summarized.

5. Cross-Check Your Summary

Finally, read through the summary one more time to make sure that you have not missed any important information. You should also make sure that your sentences are not too close to sentences in the original article.

If you are summarizing many articles on your own, it is a good idea to use a plagiarism checker to double-check that your work is properly cited and free from plagiarism.

Summary Writing Format

A long summary has many paragraphs and sections to summarize a detailed literature piece effectively. However, a short summary can also be of a single paragraph. It has three to four main parts:

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

Have a look at the following document to get a better idea.

Two Ways of Writing a Summary

The technique to summarize shorter and longer texts varies from one another. Here are the two ways of writing a summary.

Order Essay

Tough Essay Due? Hire Tough Writers!

1. Writing a Summary for Short Text

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

  • Make a summary sentence for 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

The text, which is more than ten pages, requires a longer summary than a single paragraph. It can be written by the following method:

  • 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.

How to Write a Summary - Examples

Here are some examples to help you learn summary writing better.

Tips for Writing a Good Summary

Here are some tips to guide you on how to write a summary easily and effectively:

  • Read the passage and understand the main message of the passage before you start summarizing it. For summarizing the main idea, you can choose the significant details from the passage and summarize them in a few sentences.
  • Keeping it brief is the key to a good summary. A summary is not a rewrite. It’s just the short version of what you read. So, do not elongate it unnecessarily or include any repeated words.
  • When you are summarizing, please do not judge what you are writing. You should be summarizing the most relevant parts of something. This is not your opinion on it.
  • Make sure your sentences flow together. Connect them with transition words to make it easy for people to read and understand what you are saying.

Writing a summary is an important skill that can be used in any type of writing.

This blog has given you five steps to help write a good summary, as well as two different ways to approach the task. You have also read some tips for how to make your summaries more interesting.

By now, you should be well prepared to hold the pen and start writing your summary.

However, if it is still not manageable for you, is here to manage it for you. We can write an excellent summary for you within your given deadline at affordable rates.

John K.


John K. (Mathematics, Research)

John K. is a professional writer and author with many publications to his name. He has a Ph.D. in the field of management sciences, making him an expert on the subject matter. John is highly sought after for his insights and knowledge, and he regularly delivers keynote speeches and conducts workshops on various topics related to writing and publishing. He is also a regular contributor to various online publications.

John K. is a professional writer and author with many publications to his name. He has a Ph.D. in the field of management sciences, making him an expert on the subject matter. John is highly sought after for his insights and knowledge, and he regularly delivers keynote speeches and conducts workshops on various topics related to writing and publishing. He is also a regular contributor to various online publications.

Keep reading

Free Essays About Blog

If you have any queries please write to us

Invalid Email Address!
Thank you for joining our mailing list

Please note that some of the content on our website is generated using AI and it is thoroughly reviewed and verified by our team of experienced editors. The essays and papers we provide are intended for learning purposes only and should not be submitted as original work.