A Guide to Writing a Summary Paragraph

Writing a summary paragraph comes with its own set of…

Writing a summary paragraph comes with its own set of tips and tricks. Essentially, it’s one of the most challenging tasks teachers ask students to complete.

What Is a Summary Paragraph?

A summary paragraph is a shortened version of a longer piece of content that helps the readers grasp the central idea of the text. Summaries are usually written to cover the essential ideas, statements, arguments, or themes in your own words.

Students in literary or research classes produce summaries of articles, short tales, academic texts, scholarly pieces, or novels for their assignments. The length of a summary depends on the work’s requirements and how much material you’re expected to cover.

6 Tips on How to Start a Summary Paragraph

When it comes to writing a summary, the number one thing is that you need to keep the reader’s attention. This is why you need to write a summary that is intriguing and has a way of engaging the audience.

Start by giving a general definition of what you are going to speak about. Following are six effective tips on how to start a summary paragraphthat stands out.

Two white and beige pens on a lined notebook.
Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash

1. Take Notes While Reviewing the Original Text

Allow yourself plenty of time to read and review the original text. Make a note of any keywords, important phrases, or points in the actual document.

You must highlight or underline any sentence that stands out to you. Also, take note of the central idea or theme of the text, which is usually contained in the topic sentence.

2. Make an Outline of Your Main Idea

With a summary paragraph, it is vital to keep a clear head about the direction that you are taking. This is why you need to begin by setting a solid outline.

This will help you prioritize your thoughts and narrow down the topic of your summary paragraph. One or two sentences should be used to convey the main ideas or arguments of the text.

If identifying the central concept seems complicated, try thinking from an author’s perspective and their motivation for writing a piece of content.

3. Support Your Main Idea with Examples From the Text

Once you’ve identified the key point, find a few instances from the original text that support your idea or argument.

These could be quotes, scenes, pivotal moments, or significant events from the passage. Briefly list the examples to support and strengthen your main point in the summary paragraph.

Unless you need to quote someone’s words directly, refrain from copying content from the original material.

4. Come up with a good opening line

Once you have the main idea of the paper, you should brainstorm several unique opening lines. This is the only way your audience will be able to hear what you have to say.

You should start by giving the reader some background on the text you describe. Include the original material’s title, author, and publication date on the first line of your summary paragraph.

This part should also briefly describe the type of literature you’re citing, such as a narrative, novel, or textbook.

5. Elaborate on the Key Information

Some paragraphs build up over time, while others keep it brief. A good summary paragraph is typically short but includes an elaboration.

Make sure to elaborate on the author’s thesis, argument, or general statement about the purpose of the paragraph. Consider who you’re speaking with and what you’re discussing, and expand on that throughout your summary.

6. Review and Proofread the Summary

After writing the summary, review and proofread it to ensure it is short and related to your overall topic.

Remove any sentences that seem redundant or repetitious to your general topic and check for any spelling or grammatical errors. It can be beneficial to print out the paper or read it aloud to identify any mistakes you may have overlooked previously.

You may also have a friend look over your summary and offer suggestions for improvements.

To Wrap Up

The ultimate goal of a summary paragraph is to provide an overview of the text. It allows the reader to gain knowledge of the ideas the author presented.

The goal is achieved when important themes and underlying concepts are captured without directly stating the original text. For this reason, summarize the significance of each point and make sure the text is concise using rhetorical devices.

Frequently asked questions

How long is a summary paragraph?

paragraphs should not be longer than six to eight sentences. Read over the summary paragraph once you’ve finished it so it is short and to the point.

What are the parts of a summary?

An introduction paragraph. Instructing the reader to explain the main idea or purpose of the work. These are body paragraphs that support that thesis. Conclusion paragraph that connects everything together.

What are the 5 steps of summary writing?

  • Check out the summary against the article.
  • Take note of the key points in each section.
  • Read the text
  • Dividing it into sections.
  • Write the summary

How do you begin a paragraph?

A well-written paragraph begins with a topic sentence, a few paragraphs on that topic, and a closing sentence. To provide a bit more detail, well-written paragraphs have logical and verbal bridges (see below). This idea can be continued from sentence to sentence.

How do you write a summary paragraph?

You must read a passage closely in order to find the main ideas and supporting ideas. Writing down those ideas to a few paragraphs or sentences is a necessary step. An overview and a paraphrase are important to understand. It is simply a rewriting of a passage in your own words.

What are the six things a summary must include?

  • Who participated?
  • How was the method used?
  • What is the reason for this study?
  • What were the major findings of the study?

What is the process of writing a summary?

Do not describe your own opinions or judgments when writing a summary. Capture the most important ideas and paraphrase them. Summary should be a thorough, fair and objective refancing of the original text. The article should reflect the author’s point of view, not yours.

What are the 7 steps in writing a summary?

  • Find the most important concepts and fundamental points in the text.
  • Main body paragraphs
  • Conclusion paragraph
  • Continue reading
  • Introduction
  • Make the main ideas organized.
  • Let’s write the text in your own words.

What are the 4 rules of writing a summary?

  • Write without judgment
  • Keep it brief. Summary is not the same as the original piece. It’s a summation of the original text.
  • I make sure it flows.
  • What you are trying to achieve. Summary distilled the source material down to its most important point for the reader to learn.

What are key points to write a summary?

  • Attention to transition words.
  • Separate between major and minor details.
  • The ideas should be re-organized as needed.
  • Reserve your opinions
  • Remove details and examples.
  • Include the sections that make up the text. The thesis and main ideas of the text.

What is an example of a summary?

Summary is a quick or short overview of events. A great example is the summary of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” told in under two minutes. Abstract or condensed presentation of a body of material.

What are the 8 steps to writing a summary?

  • Divide… and conquer
  • Read. Read the selection now that you’ve prepared.
  • Reread. Reading should be active.
  • One sentence at a time.
  • Write a thesis statement (the BIG idea that says what the whole summary is about).
  • Ready to write
  • Check for accuracy
  • Revise

How many paragraphs are in a summary?

Summary is a single paragraph (in most cases) which provides a shortened version of an original text, but is written in your own words. One sentence, a body (many sentences), and a conclusion (one sentence) should be included in the letter.

How do you start a summary example?

Use the source of the summary to begin. There is the possibility to begin with a sentence such as: “This is a summary of the article XXXx written by XuxXX published in XxxXX.”. Next, write a topic sentence to convey the main concept of the text.

A Guide to Writing a Summary Paragraph

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.

Why Use Short Sentences – 5 Benefits of Simple Writing

We’ve all heard the advice: “write short sentences”. But why are short sentences used in the first place? If you…

May 16, 2022

What is Summarize (Unbelievable Key Features)

What is summarize? Summarize isn’t equivalent to rewriting. A summary provides a shortened and accurate description of a text’s key…

May 16, 2022

What You Need to Know About Text Summarization NLP

The primary purpose of summarizing a text is to create information that is easy to understand and conveys the main…

May 16, 2022

Effective Steps for Writing a Summary Sentence

A summary sentence is a shorter version of the original sentence. A good summary should be concise, accurate, and objective.…

May 16, 2022

How to Summarize a Newspaper Article in Seconds

Can you summarize newspaper article? Many students shoulder the responsibility of summarizing newspaper articles as part of their schoolwork. Newspaper…

May 16, 2022

Shortening Words: Tips for Effective & Improved Writing.

Shortening words is the process of cutting the beginning or end of a word from a longer word. It involves…

May 16, 2022

Short Sentences: The Key to Writing Interesting Content

The link between short sentences and readability is not debatable. It’s pretty simple — sentences with fewer words are easier to follow…

May 16, 2022

Sentence shortener (Improve your Writing With Ease)

Sentence shortener is a free online tool that does just what its name suggests! It reduces any given text to…

May 16, 2022

The Best Research Paper and Article Summarizer

Writing a research paper summary is particularly hard. It is a time-consuming and challenging process. That’s why you need a…

May 16, 2022