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How to Write a Summary How To

What Needs to Be Included in a Summary of an Article?

❶Consider the motivation of the protagonist and antagonist and how they are feeling or reacting to the chapter's events. A book summary, therefore, consists of the most important elements of a work.

How to Write a Summary in 8 Easy Steps

Steps in Writing
When Should You Summarize an Article?
Language & Lit

And summarizing fiction presents its own challenges. That great scene at the lakeshore, the one that made you weep-is it a major or really just a minor element in the story?

This TIP sheet offers a four-step plan of attack for summarizing fiction or non-fiction books. It also offers tips for adapting this method for shorter selections. You've read the book. It had twenty-eight chapters and covered a thirty-year span in the life of the main character on two continents. There was tragedy; there was triumph over tragedy. You have to write a summary in six to eight pages. You know where to start, all right, but you are at a loss where to go from there.

For shorter selections the math is different. In general, a good summary of a chapter, poem, or passage might be about a third to a fourth as long as the original; your instructor will probably suggest a length. 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.

When you look for the main ideas in fiction, you must look for events that move the story forward , or that reveal or develop character.

Although some fiction books include overviews of the events of a chapter as a kind of chapter subtitle, apply judgment in using these, as the author may have had purposes other than mere summarization in mind when he or she wrote them. Review the chapter briefly. Imagine yourself telling your roommate what the chapter was about. Now write a single sentence containing this main idea. This will become the topic sentence for a paragraph one-fourth of a page long.

As his friends watched Danny sink deeper into depression and apathy, they determined among themselves that a surprise party would cheer him up and began making elaborate plans for one. Avoid wordy phrases like, "Chapter one was about And even though your method is a chapter-by-chapter attack, you do not want to give this away in your writing.

Especially for shorter works, avoid borrowing from the original selection a phrase here and half a sentence there. The resulting patchwork will almost certainly be inadequate. Finding the main idea of a short work might require a closer line-by-line reading. In a short work, the meaning of individual words is magnified, so this is no time to depend on guessing the meaning of unfamiliar words; look them up.

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.

Other styles are so abbreviated or full of information that it is more difficult to condense them. The following excerpt from Scientific American magazine, for example, although of approximately the same line length as the previous example, might be ore difficult to "boil down" further:.

The outward signs on which most definitions of race are based-such as skin color and hair texture-are dictated by a handful of genes. But the other genes of two people of the same "race" can by very different. Conversely, two people of different "races" can share more genetic similarity than two individuals of the same race.

Bamshad and Steve E. Fill the framework You now have a rough framework, in the form of a series of topic sentences, for your entire paper. Now write a paragraph for each. Use what you know about paragraphs that they are only about one thing, for example to determine what to include and what to omit. Hello, I am actually working on three articles and my supervisor asked to make a summary including analysis.

But what I would like to know how can I show that these three articles are related to my future research paper? I love the way this website gives steps and examples.

I love how you can distinguish all of this into your on understanding. All of this explaining is a great source for anything. You have to love everything about this site. This is the best. Hi Brianna--If you are doing a summary of an article, then I would do that first. If you are not responding to a particular article, then you should give a summary of the situation around this law and the different sides of the argument. Then pose a question which is interesting to you. Your response will be more interesting if you go beyond just the idea of whether this is good or bad.

Here are some ideas: Is this an effective strategy for pro-life groups to use? Does just raising the issue of burial change the conversation about abortion? Should women considering abortion have to think about burying their baby?

How can I come up with a theme for my response paper. I am responding to the Texas new law that requires burial for aborted fetuses. Thanks for letting me know Seza! This type of essay is not very well explained in many textbooks and that is what led me to write these instructions and ask my students to post examples.

Since I've been using these instructions, I've found my students do a much better job at writing these kinds of essays, which is important because the thinking you do while writing these essays is what prepares you for doing good research. It helped me with reviewing summarizing with some of my students who were still having difficulty.

I especially liked the chart. However, please change adjective to adverbs. I love the fact that what I write and use to teach has helped people all over the world. I'm approaching 8 million views now! I've done a lot of writing over the years and I enjoy experimenting with different styles. This my second semester in the university and I have to write.

Analysis essay I find your site very helpful for me. Since I started writing online in , I've been amazed to see people from all over the world reading my work and being helped by the information I've developed for my students at college here in the United States. Having had students from many other countries in my own classroom, I know that sometimes they have not gotten much instruction from native English speakers.

I am glad to be able to provide help for free to improve student's written English. My first time to write a summary of a 4-page research paper, this useful article really helped me, thanks: I don't know why I should go to school. This is the right place. It's helping me in my English composition 2 class. Hi Ed, I'm not sure what your instructor means by writing with authority. They may mean they want you to quote reliable, authoritative sources. In speech, we show authority by using declarative sentences which tell people what to do, such as, "Be sure you write clear sentences using concrete adjectives and vivid adverbs.

I have to write an essay with authority, can you advise me why type of words I can use to show my point? By the way the topic is dealing Information Technology. Thanks yakul for your comment. As a writer, I know I am always learning and improving too! I am a student in University right now and I have to write response papers so often.

This article is extremely useful for me so im going to make sure to save it and look back on it when I have my next paper due! Aesta--glad to know this helped you.

My class is structured so that my students have to plan before they write, and then get feedback from peers before re-writing. Many of them don't like that process because they want to get it all done in one sitting, but after they have gone through this process for a semester, they begin to realize that stopping to organize their thoughts first often means that the writing goes much more quickly.

In the end, it takes less time! Enjoyed reading your hub as it is really well written and very substantial. I need to digest this information and start applying this in my work.

I often just write spontaneously, no outline, and I organize this after. Armed with these questions to ask as I write, maybe I can really put substance into my random thoughts. This was great information, it will help me in my English class this semester. Organization is key in writing a good summary and response. Organised Kaos--do you really live in Tasmania? That seems like a fairy tale place to me. Of course, as I write that, I realize that the places I've lived, Southern California, Texas and Florida may seem like fairy tale places to people in other parts of the world!

Good luck on your college career. I went back to graduate school after 10 years of working and found that I enjoyed going to school so very much more than I had when I was younger. I actually enjoyed the chance to learn things. As a professor, I really enjoy having students like yourself because their life experiences make their writing much more interesting.

Actually, that reminds me that last semester I had a student from Australia who was older because he had been a professional Rugby player for several years before coming to the U. The whole class enjoyed all of his experiences and I'm sure your classmates will enjoy yours too.

The little bit broken off the bottom of AUS. Thanks for a great hub. Just about to go back to college after 20 years and am a little nervous about having forgotten this kinda stuff. Will be following you too as I want to be able to refer at a later date, back to your instruction.

How interesting Maddie--thanks for letting me know. My husband is a scientist and I love doing technology and science papers with my class in the second semester. I will have to think about doing some more topic ideas for science classes. This page is a great method to connect to others. Congratulations on a job well achieved.

I am anticipating your next. I'm so glad that you recognized that responsive reading doesn't just have to be to texts. Anything that provides us something to think about can be put into a responsive reading. You've reminded me that I need to add my own Hub which responded to a Harvard Study on the effect of going to 4th of July celebrations to my links. Thank you for this interesting and helpful hub. I have bookmarked it. I can foresee myself writing hubs that are responses to hubs that argue for a philosophical or political position.

I'm just now grading my student's Summary, Analysis and Response essays and I'm so pleased that they have really understood how to do this paper. I'm hoping my directions this semester have been clearer. We did two days of peer editing, which I think helped. This paper is similar to the Reading Response paper, and both of these Hubs are are the very top in number of hits, so I think that many people have trouble on these essays and the textbooks don't always describe them well. Yes--I should add that to the hub.

Glad I helped you nico! My class is just starting on this essay now and so I was looking at my Hubviews and very surprised to find this one had over 3,!

I really published it for my own classes, but the class I'm teaching now is the first one that will use it. Guess there are a lot of other people out there needing help!

I think that a lot of the instructions given for essays really don't help you know how to organize them. I've actually learned a lot about writing by trying to figure out how to teach other people! Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners. HubPages and Hubbers authors may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.

To provide a better website experience, owlcation. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so. For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: A summary is telling the main ideas of the article in your own words.

Steps in Writing These are the steps to writing a great summary: Read the article, one paragraph at a time. For each paragraph, underline the main idea sentence topic sentence. If you can't underline the book, write that sentence on your computer or a piece of paper. When you finish the article, read all the underlined sentences. In your own words, write down one sentence that conveys the main idea. Start the sentence using the name of the author and title of the article see format below.

Continue writing your summary by writing the other underlined sentences in your own words. Remember that you need to change both the words of the sentence and the word order.

For more information, see video below. Don't forget to use transition words to link your sentences together. See my list of transition words below to help you write your summary more effectively and make it more interesting to read.

Make sure you include the name of the author and article and use "author tags" see list below to let the reader know you are talking about what the author said and not your own ideas.

Does it flow well? Are there too many details? Your summary should be as short and concise as possible. Sample Format Author Tag: Here are three examples of how to do that pay close attention to the punctuation: Here is a sample sort of sentence: Author Tag List Author's Name.

Different ways to indicate who said what and how, and where. Sample Essays Men and Women in Conversation: Example response essay to Deborah Tannen's article about how divorce can be prevented if people learn the communication signals of the opposite gender.

Response Essay about Getting a Tattoo: Responds to a personal experience article from the New York Times about a man who gets a dragon tattoo. The Year that Changed Everything: Sample paper written by a college English class about an article by Lance Morrow suggesting that three lesser-known events of had a great impact on history.

Transition Words List Contrast. Are you doing this paper for English History Psychology Other class--tell us in comments below See results. Analysis How is this written? Who is the audience? Is it effectively written for that audience? Using TRACE for Analysis Sometimes, especially when you're just getting started writing, the task of fitting a huge topic into an essay may feel daunting and you may not know where to start.

Step by Step Sample Each of the following elements can be one paragraph of your analysis. Text How is the essay organized? What is effective or ineffective about the organization of the essay? How does the author try to interest the reader?

How well does the author explain the main claims? Are these arguments logical? Do the support and evidence seem adequate? Is the support convincing to the reader? Does the evidence actually prove the point the author is trying to make? Author Who is the author? What does he or she know about this subject? What is the author's bias? Is the bias openly admitted?

Does that make his or her argument more or less believable? Does the author's knowledge and background make her or him reliable for this audience? How does the author try to relate to the audience and establish common ground? How does the author interest the audience? Does she or he make the reader want to know more?

Does the author explain enough about the history of this argument? Is anything left out? Reader Who is the reader? How would they react to these arguments? How is this essay effective or ineffective for this audience? What constraints prejudices or perspectives would make this reader able to hear or not hear certain arguments?

What is the exigence events in this moment in time which affect the need for this conversation that makes the audience interested in this issue? Sample Analysis Format Text: How do you write your papers? Brainstorm a lot, then start writing. Make an outline before writing. Just start writing, then revise Pre-write, outline, write, revise. I just write one draft and turn it in! What do you think? Does this article persuade you? How to Write Generally, your response will be the end of your essay, but you may include your response throughout the paper as you select what to summarize and analyze.

Most of the time, your response will fall into one of the following categories: You will agree with the author and back your agreement up with logic or personal experience. You will disagree with the author because of your experience or knowledge although you may have sympathy with the author's position.

You will agree with part of the author's points and disagree with others. You will agree or disagree with the author but feel that there is a more important or different point which needs to be discussed in addition to what is in the article.

How will this article fit into your own paper? How will you be able to use it? Questions to Help You Here are some questions you can answer to help you think about your response: What is your personal reaction to the essay? What common ground do you have with the author? How are your experiences the same or different from the author's and how has your experience influenced your view?

What in the essay is new to you? Do you know of any information the article left out that is relevant to the topic? What in this essay made you re-think your own view? What does this essay make you think about? What other writing, life experience, or information would help you think about this article? How much of your response is related to your personal experience? How much is related to your own worldview? How is this feeling related to the information you know? How will this information be useful for you in writing your own essay?

What Are the Steps to Writing a Summary?

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You can write a summary essay on a scientific work, an interesting article, a novel, or a research paper. This type of essay can be on any subject. For example, you might want to write a summary essay on.

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Sep 06,  · Writing a summary is a great way to process the information you read, whether it’s an article or a book. If you’re assigned a summary in school, the best way to approach it is by reviewing the piece you’re summarizing%(78).

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Write a chapter summary by first reading the chapter to determine the most salient and important points. By making an outline, it allows for easy organization. Depending on the material and word count, writing a chapter summary may require different amounts of material to be cut. Read the chapter. A summary is a concise explanation of the main ideas and supporting details of a work of writing. To decide which details to include in the summary of a book chapter, consider the "who, what, when, where, why and how" while reading the chapter.

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Obviously, you cannot write a good summary of a source that you do not understand. There are reading strategies that will help you comprehend a source text as fully as possible. One of those techniques is the reader’s summary, which you write for yourself, as a way of understanding the text you are reading. Read a section of the book or . How to Write a Book Review Essay Book review essay writing can seem an onerous task – especially if you’ve never written one before. They are highly individual because everything stated is your personal view and what the book meant to you as an individual.