Summaries may be written for different purposes either in an academic or wider context. As for academic writing, a summary brings out the main message contained in a bigger volume of text such as articles, essays and research papers from a reader’s point of view. However, if you intend to retell a film you watched, it is also called a summary. Either way, a summary clearly highlights the main points expressed in the original content in a more accurate and brief manner. The ideal length of any summary should range between a quarter and a third of the original content. Nonetheless, it should be more comprehensive by detailing a complete overview of the initial piece in a sequence that is logical.
To write an effective summary, it is imperative to have a deep understanding of the passage under study. Let us delve into some of the tips that you should be equipped with to put down an effective summary.
The Purpose of Summary Writing
Summary writing comes in handy in judging one’s understanding of a given text or passage. As a result, it enhances reading skills. Through reading, you get to capture the main ideas expressed in a given source. Similarly, it is instrumental in boosting a vocabulary base besides ways to drastically improve your vocabulary. This is achieved through altering grammar, paraphrasing and changing vocabulary. Moreover, summaries can be utilized as a method of studying. Rather than go through a colossal volume of text severally, students can compress that into easily readable content using summaries. Likewise, students can avoid plagiarism by using summaries. Instead of quoting a long string of sentences from a book, a smart student should go for a summary. This makes the text unique too. Finally, summaries are integral in writing argumentative essays. Research findings and other texts need to be summarized to support the thesis statement.
5 Features of an Effective Summary
- Independence: As much as the summary has to be written from the author’s point of view, the output should be unique. Copying directly from the source is considered plagiarism. It must convey the writer’s own understanding and interpretation of the source in his or her voice.
- Coherence: Anyone who reads the summary should be able to find the meaning even without referring to the main source. In other words, it should an exhaustive passage that makes sense by itself.
- Precision: Most students fail to nail it when it comes to summaries due to repetition. Repetitions make summaries longer when they should only be about a quarter the length of the source. Summaries condense information. Therefore, the summary is supposed to be an overview and not a copy of the original work.
- Objectiveness: Summaries should be based on the author’s perspective. No edits should be made on the initial idea. A summary should be more of a report except for the original words.
- Accuracy: A good summary has to be a short but precise reflection of the main message of the material. Summary writers should have a perfect understanding of the original content to bring out the intended accuracy.
5 Crucial Summary Writing Tips
When you get familiar with the purpose of summary writing and the main features of the effective writing process, there are some practical tips to make this process more smooth for yourself. In an ideal scenario, you can simply buy a summary from DoMyPapers or any other writing service to save free time and be sure that everything will be fine with this task finally. However, if you tend to write a summary on your own, go right ahead!
- Point out the main purpose of writing a summary: In general, a summary is meant to give the main information about something without giving all the details. However, within this particular assignment, there is a specific purpose to answer particular research questions. It may happen the author expresses several ideas, but you as a summary writer should focus on the idea you research.
- Highlight the key ideas within the text: As you are stated before, you need to write a huge volume of texts to write a summary. So it is simply to get lost and omit some important information. Provide yourself with a pen or pencil to be with an eye toward the data you’re looking for.
- Outline a summary: The best way to filter out less important ideas is by creating a list of all the relevant ones in the form of a summary outline. After that, one should check out for ideas that seem repetitive. It will be easier to omit the less substantial ideas in the text.
- Refer to the work you’re writing about: It is vital to infuse credibility into the summary. The writer has to keep reminding the reader that the output of the summary is drawn from an existing text. So remind the reader of that with the help of words, “A researcher [the name of a researcher] suggests that …”, “The author [the name of an author] asserts that …”, “According to the article [the name of an article], …” and so on
- Stick to the academic style: What does it include? A formal tone of writing (without slangs, collocations), use of the third-person rather than the first-person perspective, use of present tenses instead of past ones, a clear focus on the purpose of writing, and precise word choice. The choice of words has to give credit to the original source. In simple terms, the summary should totally be based on the author’s piece. However, you should write sentences in a reported speech to show that you’re writing a summary.
So there we have it! Now, you are equipped with strong summary writing skills as you need to write a summary occasionally. Mind the features of an effective summary as outlined above and writing summaries should not be a problem with the tips mentioned above as well.