Summarizing can be defined as presenting the substance of a given work briefly. A summary should convey the key points of the work, and at the same time, should be significantly shorter than the original. It helps to understand what the paper is all about as it is a shorter version of the detailed original.

It not only neatly ties together all the previous information included in the paper, but also calls for some sort of action. It gives reasons why the reader should do/believe something and motivates them to actually do it.

Purposes of Summarizing

It helps to understand the main points and structure of an authors argument.

A summarized document is easier to file than a long one.

It presents the background information quickly.

Writing Summaries

An effective summary should combine the available information into concise, coherent sentences/paragraphs. If the sentences are not properly formed, the summary will not make sense and the flow of information will be affected. The sentences should be framed in such a manner that the separate facts and ideas fit together to convey the core meaning. It involves deleting irrelevant material and highlighting key points. Three techniques selection and deletion, note taking, and miniaturizing help in summarizing the material.

Things to Remember While Writing a Summary

Read the original text that has to be summarized at least twice or more till you are sure that you understand it.

Highlight the main context.

Identify and mark parts of the text that support the main idea.

For longer papers, you can include the main points from the key sections, such as, introduction, scope of study, methods section, results section, and discussion/conclusion.

Rephrase the points in your own words, but ensure that the purpose and message of the original is retained. This will help to avoid plagiarizing

Your summary should be about 10-25% of the original length.

Crosscheck to ensure accuracy and correctness.

If you are including some other writer’s information, place it within quotes and mention the name of the author(s) or source of the summarized material. Mention how the summarized material is relevant to your own argument.

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