Introduction to a Summary Essay

In this article, we will give you a run down introduction to a summary essay. In a summary, you basically restate the article’s key points in your terms.

A summary essay is an overview of an original text. It gives the reader a brief yet accurate overview of the full content.

In a summary essay, you may need to identify the text’s point of view and genre. Let’s check out essay summary writing procedures, tips, and a sample of a summary essay.

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Essay Summary Writing Procedures

These are the steps to composing an excellent summary:

1. Read the article paragraph by paragraph

Highlight the subject sentence of each paragraph (topic sentence). If you cannot highlight the passage in the book, write it on your computer or a piece of paper. Read all the highlighted passages at the end of the article.

2. Write a statement

Write one statement that explains the fundamental idea in your own words. Introduce the sentence with the author and title of the article.

Continue composing your summary by rewriting the remaining highlighted phrases in your own words. Remember that you must alter both the terms and the sequence of the phrase.

3. Utilize transitional phrases

Utilize transitional phrases to connect your sentences. Transitional words such as “in this sense” or “at this point” are valuable tools in determining how to build a compelling and cohesive argument.

4. Use author tags

Include the author’s name, article title, or “author tags” to indicate that you are discussing the author’s words and not your own.

5. Re-read your piece

Does it read smoothly? Are there excessive details? Not adequate? Your summary should be as brief and to the point as feasible.

Sample of a Summary Essay

1. Author Tag

You must begin your summary with the article’s title and author’s name. Here are three examples of how to accomplish this (note the punctuation):

  • In “How Tsunami Began,” historian James Bright explains…
  • In his work “How the Tsunami Began,” James Bright claims that the actual cause…
  • “How the Tsunami Began,” by historian James Bright, describes…

The opening line should contain the article’s core idea along with the title and author’s name.

It should address the question: What is the purpose of this essay? (thesis).


In “How the Tsunami Began” by James Bright, the author argues that the underlying cause of the Tsunami was not due to natural forces. He claims that the Tsunami was triggered due to man-made disruptions below water.

Rest of Synopsis:

The remainder of your essay will provide supporting arguments and proof for your thesis statement. In other words, what is the writer’s core argument, and what are the supportive concepts he or she employs to substantiate it?

Does the author present any counterarguments, and how does the writer dispute them? Here is an example of a sentence type:

XXX is the issue addressed in “(article’s title)” by (author’s name). The thesis of this essay is XXX.

Author’s central claim is XXX, and his/her subclaim is XXX. The author argues XXX. Other people argue XXX. The author refutes these ideas by saying XXX. His/her conclusion is XXX.

Points to Note

You need to make it apparent when an idea is from the article and when it is your own. Typically, you should include the article’s title and the author’s complete name in the first sentence of your summary. When summarizing an article or book, mention the author’s surname or the title.

For publications with one to four writers, cite all authors the first time the article and title are mentioned. Use “authors” or the surname of the first author followed by “et al.” (which is Latin for “and others”).

For papers with more than four writers, include the first author’s name and “et al.” in the opening line. Then, use “et al.” or “writers” or some other plural designation throughout.


A summary essay often equates to content digesting. It may be helpful for college applicants who want to analyze their writing talents objectively.

You should always use a summary essay to help send the author’s main points in a structured, easy-to-read fashion for a potential audience.

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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