Effective Steps for Writing a Summary

A summary is a condensed version of a text. It distills the main points and themes of what the writer attempts to convey and is typically shorter than the original.

What Is A Summary?

A summary is a written description of some content, in which the writer highlights key points and convey them in a few sentences. Summaries are used in academic texts to cover a topic or idea quickly. They are intended to provide readers with a concise overview of essential facts or exciting information without incorporating personal opinions.

Summarizing is essentially condensing a piece of writing into a sizeable form. It is a useful writing skill, used in academic and informal writing.

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How to Write A Good Summary: 5 Steps

Writing a summary is a valuable skill because it allows for a quick review and highlights vital points while leaving out supplementary details.

Summaries are an excellent way to grasp a topic or review an important topic that you’ve already learned. They typically include the essential facts of the original content.

The following steps will guide you through writing a good summary.

1. Read the text and take notes

Read the text to understand what is being said and take notes. Identify where the author talks more about the point they are trying to make and any other significant events or details. Focus on these things and pen them down as you’ll need to include them in your summary.

2. Break the text into sections and identify key points

Divide the text into sections to create a progression of ideas. You can put them into headings, subsections, and paragraphs, among other things. Also, you can make into sections based on the introduction, the middle section, and the ending.

Next, go through each section and extract the essential points. Make sure to look out for only essential points and leave any information that is not relevant in your summary.

3. Analyze and summarize briefly

After reading the text carefully and identifying vital points, you should analyze your notes and check how well you understand what you’ve read. What are your disagreements with the text, and what do you understand?

Next, you can write your summary. When you summarize, include key points and the ones you may be able to explain better in your words. You’ll need to paraphrase the key points and include all relevant information. Keep the summary concise and straightforward, and eliminate redundancies or repetitive text.

4. Revise for Clarity

Review your summary and edit as necessary. Ensure that your summary is properly written. Be sure you have used your words and not lifted sentences or phrases from the original work.

Make sure you have correctly cited the author when using an original piece, so your work won’t pass off as a plagiarized piece. You can also use a plagiarism checker to ensure your text is original.


A summary gives a brief overview of the main points of a text or piece, such as the abstract to a scientific paper.

An excellent summary provides readers with a range of information, giving them an overview of what they’re about to read. Remember, your summary should include the overall purpose of your paper.

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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