Steps to Writing a Good Summary

What is a summary?

Summaries are short synopses of a written text, or something that was seen or spoken. They are meant to be short and to the point. They should be no more than 25% of the original text.

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What goes into a summary?

Summaries include: a restatement of the thesis statement or main idea of whatever is being

summarized and major details (i.e., essential information).

What does not go into a summary?

Minor details do not go into summaries. They include nonessential information, examples, and illustrations. Opinions are not facts. Summaries only include the facts in the text.

How do I write a summary?

Start with a restatement of the thesis statement. Then, use the conclusion to guide the content of the summary. The summary contains the most important information. Finally, add details from the body of the text as needed.

Example of Summary in Outline Form

In the text by author(s), last name of authors state(s) that restatement of thesis. State point 1.

Explain of point one. Transition + state point 2. Explain point 2.

Example of Summary

In the book Title by Steve Bookman, his version of the writing process takes a different

approach from most textbooks. According to Bookman, he takes a logical perspective, so that his students understand each phase of the writing process.

Spring 2019 ENG 201A Prof. Bookman 36

Audience is the most important part of the writing process. He requires his students to

create audience profile sheets and goes into great detail in how to define audience. The wrong audience results in an unsuccessful end product.

Employing the question and answer part of the Socratic method, students treat brainstorming just like a casual conversation with a best friend. This results in students generating more ideas and details during the brainstorming process.

The result of the writing process is organizing the results of the brainstorming into an outline until it is complete filled in one step at a time. A completely filled out is the equivalent of a rough draft. There is only one draft in the writing process. All that is left is to write bullets

from the outline into complete sentences. These steps eliminate all of the revision process of

writing, which just leaves proofreading the text.

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