Introduction to Summarizing

When you summarize, you condense a longer work into a brief description using your own words. Summaries focus on a work’s main idea and key details, and they present information fairly and accurately, using the unique perspective of the summary writer.

Depending on the writer’s purpose, a summary may be written as a formal assignment, as a note in a research log, or as an annotated bibliography entry. Good summaries begin with critical and active reading. Formal summaries require the same key steps used in any written work: outlining, drafting, revising, and editing . Very brief summaries are often incorporated into larger papers, in which case proper documentation must be used.


This video shows you steps for composing a summary.

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The study pages include more in-depth information about summarizing. Read through the study pages before taking the post-test.

Don’t forget to work smartly!