: How to write a summary essay: writing techniques

An ability to summarize the source or just a point is very useful. Summarizing skills are the ones, which you will need almost every day throughout your academic career. Except for summary essays, you will need it for writing conclusion for every paper as it should sum up the main points, arguments and evidence. Also, you should be able to summarize books and articles for writing literature review for your research papers. Here we will present the ways of effective summarizing for summary papers and literature review section of the research paper.

  1. 1.       Why do we summarize?
  • Summarizing is an activity that condenses material to its core points and presents them as one coherent whole.
  • Sometimes it can be challenging to use quotations all the time when you need to write about some source.  You should not overuse quotations as because they add too much volume to the paper.
  • Also, if you use too many or too long quotations this will distracts reader’s attention from your own contribution and the way you write or even hide your ability to do it.
  • Summary, which is different and more concise manner writing about source, will be really useful in this case.
  1. 2.       What is summary?
  • Summary is a brief restatement that lets the write to sketch quickly the main points of a particular source.
  • If you are writing a summary for the research paper you should consider that a summary of one or two sentences will present a broad overview of the material, while a longer summary (few paragraphs or pages) will provide an explanation of the key supporting arguments and examples used in the source.
  • You should be selective when writing a summary: check carefully what is worth to be included and what should be left out.
  • Keep your summary objective and be accurate in representation of the source.
  • A summary usually provides the context of the discussed issue and some historical background. It situates the reader in the discussion.
  • Summary explains to the audience what writer’s contribution is. This can also include examining some aspects in details, linking additional sources, supporting or disagreeing with the writer’s points and conclusions.
  1. 3.       Paraphrasing techniques.
  • If you are writing a summary you may use citing, however, more often you need to restate the material from the source. That is why you really need to know how to paraphrase.
  • Paraphrasing is restating the material from the source in your own words. You should use it when the source matters but the language of it does not.
  • Paraphrase is a restatement, which is why you must consider that it will appear the same length as the original.
  • When the language of the original text is too technical, old, confusing or difficult paraphrase will lend a hand of help.
  • Paraphrasing will be helpful for understanding your discussion of the source.
  • In order to make the paraphrase effective you should reuse and replace the keywords from the original and make them more accessible for the audience.
  • Also you can rearrange the order of phrases and sentences to make the flow more logical.
  • Typically paraphrasing includes simplifying syntax and lexicon of the original text.


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