How to Write a Summary (Examples Included)

  • What details are unnecessary?
  • How do you put this in your own words without changing the meaning?
  • How close can you get to the original without plagiarizing it?
  • How long should it be?

What Is a Summary?

How Do You Write a Summary?

How Do You Write an Academic Summary?

  1. You need to do a presentation in which you talk about an article, book, or report.
  2. You write a summary paper in which the entire paper is a summary of a specific work.
  3. You summarize a class discussion, lesson, or reading in the form of personal notes or a discussion board post.
  4. You do something like an annotated bibliography where you write short summaries of multiple works in preparation of a longer assignment.
  5. You write quick summaries within the body of another assignment. For example, in an argumentative essay, you will likely need to have short summaries of the sources you use to explain their argument before getting into how the source helps you prove your point.
  1. Skim the work you are summarizing before you read it. Notice what stands out to you.
  2. Next, read it in depth. Do the same things stand out?
  3. Put the full text away and write in a few sentences what the main idea or point was.
  4. Go back and compare to make sure you didn’t forget anything.
  5. Expand on this to write and then edit your summary.

What Are the Four Types of Academic Summaries?

How Do I Write a Summary Paper?

  1. A way to explain in our own words what happened in a paper, book, etc.
  2. A time to think about what was important in the paper, etc.
  3. A time to think about the meaning and purpose behind the paper, etc.
  1. A review. Your thoughts and opinions on the thing you are summarizing don’t need to be here unless otherwise specified.
  2. A comparison. A comparison paper has a lot of summary in it, but it is different than a summary paper. In this, you are just saying what happened, but you aren’t saying places it could have been done differently.
  3. A paraphrase (though you might have a little paraphrasing in there). In the section on using summary in longer papers, I talk more about the difference between summaries, paraphrases, and quotes.

How Do I Write Useful Academic Notes?

  1. If your professor writes it on the board, it is probably important.
  2. What points do your textbooks include when summarizing information? Use these as a guide.
  3. Write the highlight of every X amount of time, with X being the time you can go without missing anything or getting tired. This could be one point per minute, or three per five minutes, etc.

How Do I Create an Annotated Biography?

Can I Write a Summary Within an Essay?

What’s the Difference Between Summarizing, Paraphrasing, and Using Quotes?

Avoiding Plagiarism

How Do I Write a Professional Summary?

How Do I Write My LinkedIn Bio?

  1. Before you write it, think about what you want it to do. If you are looking for a job, what kind of job? What have you done in your past that would stand out to someone hiring for that position? That is what you will want to focus on in your summary.
  2. Be professional. Unlike many social media platforms, LinkedIn has a reputation for being more formal. Your summary should reflect that to some extent.
  3. Use keywords. Your summary is searchable, so using keywords that a recruiter might be searching for can help them find you.
  4. Focus on the start. LinkedIn shows the first 300 characters automatically, and then offers the viewer a chance to read more. Make that start so good that everyone wants to keep reading.
  5. Focus on accomplishments. Think of your life like a series of albums, and this is your speciality “Greatest Hits” album. What “songs” are you putting on it?

How Do I Summarize My Experience on a Resume?

Writing or Telling a Summary in Personal Situations

  1. Pick interesting details. Too many and your point will be lost. Not enough, and you didn’t paint the scene or give them a complete idea about what happened.
  2. Play into the emotions. When telling a story, you want more information than the bare minimum. You want your reader to get the emotion of the story. That requires a little bit more work to accomplish.
  3. Focus. A summary of one story can lead to another can lead to another. Think about storytellers that you know that go off on a tangent. They never seem to finish one story without telling 100 others!

Summarizing Summaries

  1. A summary is a great way to quickly give your audience the information they need to understand the topic you are discussing without having to know every detail.
  2. How you write a summary is different depending on what type of summary you are doing:
  • An academic summary usually gets to the heart of an article, book, or journal, and it should highlight the main points in your own words. How long it should be depends on the type of assignment it is.
  • A professional summary highlights you and your professional, academic, and volunteer history. It shows people in your professional network who you are and why they should hire you, work with you, use your talents, etc.



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