Essential Summary Skills in Writing

Writing a good summary requires essential skills. You need skills to write clearly and deliver the information you have gathered effectively.

Understanding each component of a summary helps you create a summary that has no parallel.

A well-written summary aids comprehension and equips the reader with the essential points. This article outlines the tips, uses, and steps to drafting a good summary.

fountain pen on black lined paper
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

What Is Summary Writing?

A summary is a short synopsis of a longer piece of writing that emphasizes its essential points. Summary is derived from the Latin term “summa” which means “totality, gist.”

A well-written summary distills the essential information from a longer piece into a few sentences, giving the reader a glimpse of the overall message.

In summary, inserting your thoughts and beliefs is not a good idea. Instead, focus on providing a factual account of the source material.

A summary needs to be brief, but it shouldn’t water down the main points or change the focus of the work being summarized.

Why Do We Need Summary Skills Writing?

Writing summaries improves skills that will help you in school and your profession.

Summarization is a fantastic critical thinking activity. It challenges students to study a text, determine its main ideas, and choose which to emphasize and which to leave out. These are just some ways in which summary can be utilized:

1. Writing Proficiency

Summarizing properly entails using your own words, vocabulary, and syntax. The pupils will have an opportunity to hone their writing talents via repeated practice.

Students with this ability can distill lengthy texts down to a more manageable size by focusing on the main topics.

2. Comprehension and Priming Purposes

Students can demonstrate their comprehension by completing tasks like summarizing the book. It can also serve as a means of priming students for the lecture proper. Teachers can incorporate chapter summaries into their lesson plans.

3. Quick Synopsis of a Movie or Book

It might serve as a quick synopsis of a movie or book. A summary is a great way to get the gist or review of a lengthy film, research paper, or scientific report.

Summary Skills Writing: Step-by-Step Guide

Writing a summary is a skill that students in school typically learn. This skill is vital because it ensures the learner grasps the essential ideas of the text they read. Let’s examine what it takes to write a solid summary:

1. Discover the Core Concept

A summary writer may need to conduct many different types of analysis to uncover the core concept of a given text.

Read the entire text at least once, or maybe more, for vested interest. As you read, note the author’s tone, the overall subject of the text, and any other novelties that the text presents.

2. Minimize Complexity in the Text

Divide the content into sections that relate together. This will make the material more digestible. You will also be able to zero in on the meat of the argument without missing any of the finer points.

Then, write down the sentences from each paragraph or section that back up the paper’s argument.

3. Make a Detailed Outline

Note any interesting remarks or points the author offers that clarify or expand the issue. It is much easier to write a summary that flows logically and has no jumbled-up information if you first create an outline.

4. Compile the Synopsis

Start writing your summary after creating a basic overview of the content, bearing in mind that it should be brief. Bring together the thesis and the supporting sentences.

Remember that the summary should only be 10–15% of the total text length. When creating a summary, remember that it needs an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

Give your summary a title that accurately describes its contents. You should always write summaries in the third person. Make sure you’re using the right tense and grammar for the past.

5. Check Your Synopsis

The final stage in creating a summary is to read it over again. If you want to be sure your summary is error-free, read it repeatedly and pay special attention to spelling and grammar.

Ensure your sentences flow well and connect, so the reader can understand what you’re writing. Streamline your writing by rewriting paragraphs to eliminate unnecessary details and jargon.

The final version of the summary should communicate the same information as the original text, just more succinctly.

Tips for a Good Summary

You can hone the skill of summarizing with the help of a few helpful hints. When writing your summary, keep the following in mind:

  • It must be conveyed so that the reader can visualize and comprehend it.
  • It needs to be a streamlined and abridged version of the full report. A shorter length is preferable to the original.
  • Your essay ought to be neutral and written on your terms. Only the author’s thoughts and opinions should be included.


All these things are crucial considerations for any summary writer. You can get better at writing summaries if you practice doing so regularly.

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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