Know the Importance of Summarization in Writing

The summarization process is more vital in writing today than it was in the past. Here’s why.

What Is Summarization in Writing?

Summarization is the process of distilling massive amounts of information into a slim, easily understandable, and memorable summary. The task requires a steady hand and the ability to cut through a lot of complex content to the essential takeaways.

A dense amount of complex information would be difficult to understand without a summary.

Any summary should do three things. It must provide an overall idea of what the text is about, a unique perspective, and maintain the meaning and message of the source.

Why is it Necessary?

Communicating the essential parts of a text is essential to teaching it well. Summarizing your written work makes the information easy to learn and digest. By gaining a summary of the text, you can help others better understand the text and remember the shared information.

Moreover, a summary includes writing out key phrases and giving an objective view of the text. Allowing the reader to more easily digest information increases the likelihood of their continued interest in the subject at hand.

It can also help the reader remember information and experience events the author talks about.

How Does an Automatic Text Summarizer Work?

An automatic summarizer is an AI-based software that is helpful for written work, such as short stories or introductions for research articles. A summarizer searches for similar sentences in the document and combines them into a single paragraph that presents the essence of the text.

It doesn’t only focus on specific words or phrases but on the whole sentence to retain the meaning. It creates a short and precise guide that you can use to recap information quickly.

The underlying principles are based on n-gram techniques or lexical translation, which are both widely used in natural language processing.

Sticks of purple flowers and a pen on paper
Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

What Should You Avoid in Summarization?

In general, you should avoid using hedges and passive voice. Hedges make the meaning confusing because they indicate a more uncertain communication.

Passive and dependent voice in personal essays makes you sound unsure of your point of view. Use a simple and active voice, and focus on the message you are trying to communicate.

Avoiding bland details is the key to making a good summary. You should also avoid reiterating your thesis or main points in a summarization.

This erases any unique aspects of the paper and may lead your reader to skip your paper. In summarizing a text, the audience needs to be entertained, and the writer needs to keep the reader engaged.

To Wrap Up

When writers share their thoughts in written form, summaries assist readers in understanding the key points in a piece. Summarization can be done manually or by an automated text summarizer.

Be sure to consider the most important points in your work and avoid using platitudes to leave the reader with a misleading impression. The last thing you want to do is be succinct without enlightening your reader.

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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