How to Write a Summary

So we summarize all the time in our daily lives. You may summarize something interesting that you read in the news. Or you may summarize a movie plot line for a friend. Or a lesson for a classmate who has been sick and missed the class. And at some point in your academic career, you will have to write a summary which is something that a lot of students find difficult so I thought I would give you some tips on how to write an effective successful summary.

It’s important to remember that a summary needs to be clear to someone who has not read, seen or heard the original material. Now you have to include all of the essential information that a person would need to understand without reading the original source so you have to include all of the main points. Now that’s pretty much what a summary is

It’s important also to remember that you shouldn’t go beyond the main points. It’s important that a summary be as brief as possible. So you don’t want to get too specific with details like numbers, statistics, dates, figures, that kind of thing. Unless it’s absolutely necessary for the reader to understand it. Remember that a summary needs to be concise, brief, you don’t want to be too descriptive.

So a good summary should follow and maintain good paragraph structure. You want a topic sentence, and supporting sentences and a concluding sentence. Now it’s important for the topic sentence of a summary to identify itself as a summary. You should include the title or the author or the speaker of the original material in your topic sentence. And in the supporting sentences are the main points. And it’s important to try to follow the same order that the information is presented in the original material.

Again, if possible, there are times perhaps if you’re summarizing a story. Where the original story is not in chronological order, and it may make it easier for the reader to understand it if you change the order. But in general, you want to keep the same order

Now also, in a summary, you should be paraphrasing, you should not be using direct quotes from the original material and you should not be copying and pasting sentences right from the original. You should be using your own words.

And lastly, it’s important for a good summary to be objective, meaning you should not include your opinion in a summary, remember that you’re just reporting information from someone else’s piece of writing or lecture

So if you follow these tips, you’ll be that much more likely to write a successful summary.