Top 10 Summary Writing Tips

useful summary writing tips

Expert Summary Writing Tips to Ensure Quality Papers

There are few fields of study where you won’t eventually have to learn a little bit about how to summarize. Many classes will require summaries. Whether it’s STEM, where you may need to sum up research, to humanities, where you’ll most likely have to discuss books and primary sources, it’s in most academic areas. It teaches you crucial skills such as critical thinking. Since many employers are concerned with hiring graduates who have excellent critical thinking skills, it summarizing can make you more employable. But how do you do it? Here are some summarizing lessons to help you.

When summarizing a text, one of the most important summary writing tips would be to read the original document and understand it. It is crucial that you are able to offer your readers extensive overview on what the paper is all about. Basically, your summary is the shortened version of the paper and the main goal is for your readers to understand it without the lengthy content. Other important summary writing tips would be to start early, this way, you are able to craft a good summary and still have time to proofread and revise when deemed necessary.

Tips for Summary Writing as to Guarantee Winning Summary

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Summarizing Dos

These are the top “do” tips for summarizing. If you follow these steps, you’ll be able to summarize faster than you ever thought possible!

  • Make it short: Your summary should be shorter than the text – that’s what a summary is for, after all! You’ll have to reduce a lot, of course, but one of the skills of summary writing is conciseness. Look at this as a good exercise.
  • Keep all the main points in: Although you’ll be leaving out a lot to shorten your summary, keep the main information in. To do this, you’ll have to identify the author’s main argument. Decide what parts are the most important and keep only those.
  • Write in your own words: Obviously, you don’t want to plagiarize. Rewrite thoroughly. However, it’s also okay to use your own voice. You’ll have to stay academic, but you can still write a summary of newspaper articles on how it comes naturally to you.
  • Show you understand: A summary in word should demonstrate a thorough understanding of the text. Part of the reason you’ve been asked to summarize is that your instructor wants to know you paid attention. Show them you did by writing about the text with familiarity.
  • Exclude yourself: Keep it objective and written in the third person. You want to write as if there’s no writer. Use an academic, professional-sounding tone.

Summarizing Don’ts

These are the top “don’t” suggestions for summaries. Your summarizing will be much stronger and more professional if you avoid these things.

  • Add your opinion: Remember how we suggested to remove yourself? This is the same type of advice. You’re here to talk about what the text says, not what you thought about it. Again, write in a neutral and academic tone.
  • Analyze: Writing analysis is a great skill which you’ll often have to employ. This, however, is not the place for it. Leave your critiques and inferences at the door for now. Just talk about what’s there on the surface of the text.
  • Explain why you’re summarizing: We don’t need to know why you’re summing up this text. Get straight into the details – this is the one place where you won’t need a contextualizing intro unless you’ve been told to provide one.
  • Give general background info: Don’t talk about the author unless you’ve been asked to. Don’t discuss the context unless you’ve been asked to. In short, unless your teacher has said that you should, don’t include anything that’s not immediately and directly part of the text.
  • Give supporting details: When summarizing, cut out everything that’s not absolutely vital. Your job is to boil the text down to its most crucial details. For that reason, you’re not going to include little side arguments and supporting suggestions. Pretend, for the moment, that they don’t exist.
  • Don’t rely on tools:  Using auto summarize tool can’t be a good solution because it brings too many mistakes, you’d better use some service for your summarizing tasks to trust.

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There are many skills at play during the summarizing process. Al of them takes time to develop. You may be struggling with getting good at one or more of them. That is perfectly fine. Nobody is good at everything. Plus, with all the other work that you have to do, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. We understand that, and that’s why we offer help. If you’re struggling with anything about summarizing, contact us. We can help you summarize like a professional. No matter where you are in the process, we’re confident that our staff can make your life easier.

useful tips for summary writing

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