How to write a summary

The purpose of a summary is to condense a passage of writing into the main points.

  • Read through the complete piece and think about its meaning. Re-read at least once more and decide what the central subject of the article is.
  • List the important ideas, leaving out examples and other information. Use only essential ideas. (Look for topic sentences in paragraphs to help you find the main ideas.)
  • Be careful not to alter the original meaning.
  • Think about the key points and rewrite them in a few paragraphs using your own words.
  • Read your paragraphs carefully. Do they make sense? Do your sentences flow logically from one point to another?
  • Revise your paragraphs. Cut unnecessary words or repetitions. Write the final version.

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