condensed, concise, edited version of a longer piece of writing
for Summary Writing:
on the purpose of your summary (beyond
just getting a grade for your homework J):
you need to describe?
you need to inform?
understand the material to be summarized:
Read and think about the title.
Read the opening and closing paragraphs of the text.
Read the topic sentences of each paragraph.
You are looking for major ideas and the organization of the text.
and Annotate (make notes):
Underline key ideas, facts, and conclusions as you read.
introductory material, examples, or general remarks.
in the margins: questions, mini-summaries, (dis)agreements, etc.
summary: one sentence
which describes the overall meaning of an article.
to summarize in the MOST GENERAL terms, what the article is about.
Title) by (Author’s Name) is about….
Star Wars by George Lucas is about a young man named Luke
Skywalker who finds his true father and becomes a Jedi knight as he fights
the forces of evil.
summary: short paragraph that gives the major facts and conclusions of an article
or piece of writing.
the underlined portions of the article in your own words.
ideas and reorganize the article so that it is shorter and more concise
(less than 25% of the original length).
that you are the author and the editors have asked you to rewrite the
article. Avoid “s/he says”
and speak using the present tense.
on main ideas and conclusions.
the original article:
your summary for accuracy and emphasis.
Double check facts (you should have them annotated / underlined anyway).
Your treatment of ideas should mirror the original text’s emphasis.
sure your summary is equally proportioned to the article / text:
If ½ of the article covers Subject A, and the other ½ is split between
Subjects B and C, then ½ of your summary should cover A and ½ should be
split between B and C.
Do not ignore facts or points just because you disagree or dislike them.
Don’t overemphasize facts you like or agree with.
Stay away from writing either your personal opinion or the opinion of the
Don't add anything that wasn't in the original information.
Try to keep in mind what is essential to communicate and avoid all else.
The intent is to provide the essential information, results and or
Keep with the specifics. Your reader need not know about the how and why
of the topic.
This is not a full-fledged formal document. It is a snapshot of an event
or writing; it is not meant to be a reference source.
Keep your audience in mind. Try to avoid using technical terms and writing
in a "language" that your readers may have difficulty
(underlining & notes on text)