WHAT IS A SUMMARY?
Think of summary as the following scenario: you and your classmates have just read a short story. Your best friend did not read it, and instead asks you to "summarize" it for them before class starts. If you start to explain what you liked about the short story, your friend will look at you puzzled, as they asked you to summarize it for them, not provide your opinion about it. A summary's goal is to explain what the reading is about - no opinion included.
Summary is an invaluable skill in oral or written communication, as it relies heavily on complete comprehension and controlled expression. An effective summary will exhibit a thorough understanding of content (what’s in the essay), context (when it was written, by who, and for whom), and style (how it’s written). Lastly, it will do so through a careful, thoughtful reduction of these essential parts into as few words as possible.
When drafting the summary, consider the following elements:
Here are a few useful things to keep in mind when writing summaries:
• Make sure you understand the organization of the essay or chapter clearly
• Identify the thesis statement of the essay, topic sentences, and key points as you read
• Ask yourself: “What is this reading about?” Be objective.