Steps to Write an Effective Summary Essay

Sometimes it can be a little daunting to think about writing a summary. But it shouldn’t be. Learn how to write a summary essay with these great tips and pointers in this article.

What is a summary essay?

A summary essay discusses a series of points, facts, or ideas that occur in a hypothetical discourse or argument. It is used to provide an overview of the source material.

The purpose of a summarized essay is to conclude, highlight key points, and offer commentary on the overall implication of an article. As a result, the reader gets the gist of the essay without having to read it completely.

Why is it important?

A summary sums up the material to give readers a good understanding of the writing. It’s a concise version of an essay that is used to understand the main point of the piece.

They can be helpful to determine your comprehension of the text. It helps you decide what you should remember if you reread it or write about it in an assignment, final exam, or essay.

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Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Steps for Writing a Summary Essay

Students must be able to recognize, summarize, and restate the key information from a piece of content in their own words. Writing a summary may seem overwhelming at times, but it can be easily mastered by following the few simple steps below.

  • Read and analyze the original text thoroughly. Get a sense of the author’s style, tone, and mood as you read it, and identify the central theme of the content.
  • Create a rough outline by dividing the text into sections. It will make the concepts easier to understand. Then go over each section again, highlighting the main aspects that you want to include in the summary of your essay.
  • Have a clear understanding of each section in the text. It will help youwrite down the main idea of each paragraph into a short overview.
  • Write a brief introduction. It should summarize the essential points of the actual content. You should include the author’s name, the title of their work, and some background information about the author in the introduction.
  • Include the key ideas in the main body paragraphs. Elaborate the ideas with an example from the original text. Include only the most crucial information and avoid discussing trivial details.
  • Your essay is complete once you’ve summarized the important points from the original text. However, you can also include a concluding paragraph if your teacher particularly mentions it.


A summary essay summarizes an argument or a text, pulling out its salient points. The points can be organized into sections, but those sections are not necessarily separated by a paragraph. The summary should be detailed enough to include a better understanding. However, it should also be brief enough that it’s something people can understand, digest, and use as a reference.

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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