Instruction: Let us go through the basics of good summary writing once again.

The first thing in preparingto write a good summary is to thoroughly understand the material you are working with. Here are some preliminary steps in writing a summary.

Skim the text, noting in your mind the subheadings. If there are no subheadings, try to divide the text into sections. Consider why you have been assigned the text. Try to determine what type of text you are dealing with. This can help you identify important information.

Read the text, highlighting important information and taking notes.

In your own words, write down the main points of each section.

Write down the key support points for the main topic, but do not include minor detail.

Go through the process again, making changes as appropriate.



Make sure that:

1. Your summary begins with an introductory sentence that states the article's title and author.

2. Your summary must contain the main thesis or standpoint of the text, restated in your own words. (To do this, first find the thesis statement in the original text.)

3. Your summary is written in your own words. It contains few or no quotes.

4. Your summary is shorter than the original text, often about 1/3 as long as the original. It is the ultimate fat-free writing. An article or paper may be summarized in a few sentences or a couple of paragraphs. A book may be summarized in an article or a short paper. A very large book may be summarized in a smaller book.

5. Your summary should contain all the major points of the original text, and should ignore most of the fine details, examples, illustrations or explanations.

6. The backbone of your summary is formed by crucial details (key names, dates, events, words and numbers). A summary must never rely on vague generalities.

7. If you quote anything from the original text, even an unusual word or a catchy phrase, you need to put whatever you quote in quotation marks.

8. Your summary must contain only the ideas of the original text. Do not insert any of your own opinions, interpretations, deductions or comments into a summary.

9. Your summary:

Includes all of the author's main points and major supporting details.

Deletes minor and irrelevant details.

Combines/chunks similar ideas.

Paraphrases accurately and preserves the author's meaning.

Uses your own wording and sentence style.

Reflects article's emphasis and purpose.

Recognizes article's organization.

Stays within appropriate length; is shorter than the original.

Achieves transition through use of author's name and present-tense verb.

Has few or no mechanical errors.



  1. A bright silver light appeared right ahead of him, moving through the trees. Whatever the source, it was moving soundlessly. The light seemed simply to drift toward him.
  2. A chill that had nothing to do with the iced champagne was stealing through Harrys chest.
  3. A porters cap pulled low over his mismatched eyes, Moody came limping through the archway pushing a trolley loaded with their trunks.
  4. Abstract writing
  5. An odd, dreamy expression suddenly came over Hermiones face. She slowly raised a hand and ran her fingers through her hair.
  6. And Harry fell again through the silver surface, landing this time right in front of a man he recognized at once.
  7. And then the tunnel began to rise; moments later it twisted, and Crookshanks had gone. Instead, Harry could see a patch of dim light through a small opening.
  8. At last, the desserts too disappeared, and Professor Dumbledore got to his feet again. The hall fell silent.
  9. At that moment there was a diversion in the form of a small, redheaded figure in a long nightdress, who appeared in the kitchen, gave a small squeal, and ran out again.
  11. Bellatrix laughed the same exhilarated laugh her cousin Sirius had given as he toppled backward through the veil, and suddenly Harry knew what was going to happen before it did.
  12. Brow furrowed, Frank inclined his good ear still closer to the door, listening very hard. There was a pause, and then the man called Wormtail spoke again.

: 300

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