How to write a good summary in college

college summary example

To summarize is to condense a text to its main points and to do so in your own words. All but one of them contain a link to the original passage.

What is summary writing in english

Your summary should be considerably shorter than the source. Reference the following sentence as an example. If you cannot summarize a subject, even if you have memorized all the facts about it, you can be absolutely sure that you have not learned it. Define "main" The main idea of a non-fiction chapter may be stated for you in an overview, chapter summary, or near the beginning of the chapter. Be sure you don't use the same words, phrases, or sentence structure as the original. In "Cats Don't Dance," John Wood explains that in spite of the fact that cats are popular pets who seem to like us, felines are not really good at any activities that require cooperation with someone else, whether that is dancing or sharing. Formulate a single sentence that summarizes the whole text. As skeptical moderns, we often have trouble accepting drawings or paintings as historical records, but we tend to believe in photographs the way that we believe in mirrors; we simply accept them as the truth. Formulate a single sentence to summarize the whole text, looking at the author's thesis or topic sentences as a guide. The underlined phrase in the paragraph introducing Nash's summary is an example of orienting information. For example, if the piece of writing is about digital technology, it is fine to use key technical words that are in the original, such as "digital technology", "binary digit" or "analog". Some writing styles, especially archaic ones, lend themselves admirably to condensation: If we would know what a University is, considered in its elementary ideas, we must betake ourselves to the first and most celebrated home of European literature and source of European civilization, to the bright and beautiful Athens-Athens whose schools drew to her bosom, and then sent back again to the business of life, the youth of the Western World for a long thousand years. Think of the thesis of your summary as a caption on a picture.

A summary is a record in a reader's own words that gives the main points of a piece of writing such as a newspaper article, the chapter of a book, or even a whole book. When you write a summary, you are demonstrating your understanding of the text and communicating it to your reader.

When you summarize, you do not draw any original conclusions, but report facts as they are presented by the author, so that a reader unacquainted with the original gets from your summary the essential facts and point of view of the original selection.

summary writing pdf

Because defending claims with source material is what you will be asked to do when writing papers for your college professors. You can also refer to it later to refresh your memory, for example when you are revising for an exam, or when you are talking about it in class.

Change the order if necessary, so that the main idea comes first and is followed by the supporting ideas and evidence in a logical sequence. These are: To show how an author's ideas support your argument To argue against the author's ideas To condense a lot of information into a small space To increase your understanding of an article What Needs to Be Included in a Summary of an Article?

He explains that many people believe that companies should have the right to do whatever will make the most money. When you analyze a piece of writing, you generally summarize the contents briefly in order to establish for the reader the ideas that your essay will then go on to analyze, but a summary is not a substitute for the analysis itself.

Summary writing examples pdf

If you cannot summarize a subject, even if you have memorized all the facts about it, you can be absolutely sure that you have not learned it. And even though your method is a chapter-by-chapter attack, you do not want to give this away in your writing. Since people have different backgrounds and read for different purposes, it is possible that different readers will interpret a writer's message in different ways. Think of the thesis of your summary as a caption on a picture. In short, you want to boil the article down to its main, supporting arguments. For some model summaries, click here. When teachers write "too much summary—more analysis needed" in the margin, generally they mean that the essay reports what you've studied rather than argues something about it. Review the chapter briefly. This will become the topic sentence for a paragraph one-fourth of a page long. We will talk more about plagiarism later in the course. Determine the type of essay. It is also possible to summarize something that you have heard, such as a lecture, or something that you have seen and heard, such as a movie. Virginia has been a university English instructor for over 20 years. You may include some very brief summary within a literature paper, but only as much as necessary to make your own interpretation, your thesis, clear.

After all, if you really know a subject, you will be able to summarize it.

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How to Write a Summary of an Article