How Many Sentences are in a Summary

How many sentences are in a summary? This is determined by the length of the text being summarized. If the original text contains many sentences, the summary will be shorter.

The average number of sentences in a summary of an article or essay is between 5 and 8 sentences. The summary should present the article’s main points in direct, clear, and unambiguous sentences.

To further understand how many sentences are in a summary, we need to discuss specific vital components.

Let’s get started!

Academic and scientific papers will have longer summaries with longer sentences,
Summary for Academic purposes

What Is a Summary?

A summary is often the most effective way to communicate the story when an author is unable to write the full version. 

When you read a summary, you can understand the gist of the story and learn what the main points are. This is what makes summaries so unique and effective forms of communication. 

A summary can also be used as a persuasive tool. You want to persuade the reader of a topic by using every weapon at your disposal! 

How Many Sentences Are in a Summary?

Are there sentence-length recommendations for a summary?

Although a summary must be brief by definition, it must be as long as necessary to complete the task. Someone reading your summary should understand what the main text is about and what it will cover.

The ideal length is often cited as five sentences, but this depends on a few factors. Some sentences are significantly longer than others and can provide more information, especially if they have a complex structure and describe academic works.

If the summarized text can be effectively represented in 50 to 60 words, a summary can be as short as three sentences.

This can be difficult if the author’s arguments and conclusions are complex or numerous. A group of paragraphs that form the main idea can be challenging to summarize in a single sentence.

If an essay contains more than three main arguments, it will be challenging to summarize the text in just three sentences.

Book blurbs are excellent practice for writing summaries. This is because they cover all of the major plot points of a novel in 5 or 6 sentences.

How to Write a Summary

Writing a summary isn’t easy. You may have to rewrite the content of the article or essay multiple times before it’s in the right shape. 

Writing a summary has specific guidelines to follow. Always make sure to emphasize the crux of the article. Shall we take a look?


To write a summary, start with a strong introduction. The introduction can be from 1 to 3 sentences long. In the introduction, you should provide information about your article’s main idea and what you are about to do. This will help summarize the main idea of your article. 

You should also introduce your audience. The introduction should not contain any information that will go against what you will write in the rest of the paper. 

For instance, you should not say that you want to tell the truth in the introduction. You should be more subtle in this regard. However, you can say that you intend to make the reader think about the issue you will talk about. 

You should also explain your aim and point of view in writing about the topic in the introduction. This will help the readers understand what you have to say even if they are not entirely familiar with the subject. 

In conclusion, the introduction is a preliminary statement that you should make to your readers. This is the part of the paper where you should make them understand how you have come about the topic. You should use facts and figures so that the readers do not feel like they are reading some random words. 

Body of Work

The body of your work should have a logical presentation of your ideas. In the first paragraph of the body, you should discuss what you have already written in the introduction. In this way, it will be easy for the reader to keep track of the flow of events and information. 

In the second paragraph, you should explain the paper’s central idea. This is the first section of the body in which you should answer the first question the reader has about your ideas. You should use statistics and figures to prove your main idea. 

In the last paragraph, you should discuss the other ideas you mentioned in the introduction. For example, you should discuss how to improve the work with some other ideas.

 In conclusion, you should write a short discussion about your final remarks in the paper. 

What Are Three Characteristics of a Good Summary?

  • A good summary should be short and serve its purpose. 
  • It should give the reader a brief overview of the information at hand. It should be well-paced, allowing the reader to learn the most salient points in a shorter amount of time.
  •  It should be straightforward to understand.

What Is a Summary Question?

A summary question is a question that asks you to reflect on your article, themes, or story. 

A summary question might present an interesting point, a moral, a lesson, or a feeling that you couldn’t fit into the article’s body text. It’s helpful to raise such questions after reading an article to help you wrap your head around it. 

If you try to write a summary question before reading the article, you’ll likely come up with something too generic – and nothing specific enough. 

To create a summary question, you need to ask yourself: What was the overall point of this article? What was it trying to teach you or inspire you to think about? What was the takeaway? And how might your response differ from that article? 


To summarize an article, you need to read the article for a while. Let it sink in, and then think about what was the takeaway? Ask yourself if you agree? What were the author’s goals?

The number of sentences in a summary will always vary, but it must be efficient and concise while still informative. 

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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