Preparing To Write A Summary

by Jane Sumerset - Date: 2010-02-09 - Word Count: 512 Share This!

How are you going to write a summary? Do you find it hard to write a summary or you doubt yourself on how to make a better one? Summaries, on the surface, seem easy to write. All the thinking, research and presentation have already been done for you. All you need to do now is take the best parts and present it in a more concise manner.

Despite that, most people still find it difficult to write good summaries. From poorly-written text to badly-presented ideas to missed crucial points, useful abridged versions of materials just don't come by all too often.

If you understand completely what your text is all about, with all your efforts in researching and writing, then you can write a good summary which is an effective way to share what you have learned towards your readers.

Summary is a brief discussion about your content whether it contains the elements of your story, an overview about your article, or the general concept of what you have written. Besides, writing a summary is just another way of eliminating unnecessary words or information from your text or contents and it explains directly what the main point of your writing really is.

If you are going to write a summary, it can be a little complicated at first since you are not aware on what to write and whether you're going to include too much details or too little information at this part. This can be very tricky for most writers especially those who are still beginners in the field or writing. In order for you to write a better summary that is just right for your article or story, you need to be aware on what to prepare before you start writing it.

Like most other forms of writing, preparation is the key to a good summary. The actual text can fashioned into shape with attention, time and a good writing software, but poor preparation leads you down the wrong path from the start.

Reading The Material

Before being ready to write the summary, you'll need to go over the material in detail. Read it carefully for the essence, making no notes or markings on the pages, with your sole purpose to understand the whole point of the text.

After you've read it, write down the main idea that you've taken away from the material in one sentence. Then, go over the text again and look for the writer's main thesis. Compare the two, carefully revising your own main idea to better reflect the writer's goals with the piece.

Pick Out Ideas

The next step in the preparation is to pick out the ideas throughout the work that support the main thesis (as you have determined above). I personally like to do this by underlining from the text, but you can do whatever works best for you (e.g. writing things down as an outline). Make sure to highlight "key" elements that link one idea to another (I encircle them) too as you will need them in your summary. All examples, detailed arguments and quotations can be skipped (I cross them out).

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