SUMMARY WRITING

SUMMARY WRITING
DO YOU KNOW HOW TO WRITE A
SUMMARY?
A TOOL FOR COLLEGE YOU NEED TO
HAVE!
THE SUMMARY
Knowing how to write a summary is a beneficial tool in
college, because it checks your understanding of the reading
materials.
It can be used as a study guide in preparing for exams, as
part of a written assignment for condensing information from
an assigned reading or film, relaying a personal experience,
or writing a journal entry as a record of class demonstrations
A summary forces you to think about the information that
you’ve read and taken notes from.
Additionally, it further checks your understanding because it
requires you to condense that information down to its
essential or main parts.
WHAT IS IT?

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A summary is a short, concise method of
stating the main idea and significant
supporting details of a reading selection or
textbook chapter.
It can be thought of as a study outline that is
connected by sentences rather than
numbers, letters, or indentations.
A summary condenses a larger piece of work
down to its essential parts.
WHAT A SUMMARY SHOULD INCLUDE:
–
–
–
–
–
–
The main idea of the selection
The most essential supporting details or
explanations
Only the information you have read
Objective and factual information from the reading
¼ the length of the original essay
Your own words and the use of paraphrasing
skills
WHAT A SUMMARY SHOULD NOT
INCLUDE:
–
–
–
Your opinion
What you think the author should have
said
Copied material or a string of quotes from
the selection
SENTENCE SUMMARIES

A good method to build your skills in summary
writing is to start by writing summaries of
paragraphs.

The key for doing this is by using all essential
points in a paragraph and condensing them into
only a few sentences - expressed in your own
words - to reflect the writer's thoughts.

A summary statement shows the relationship
between several important ideas in a paragraph.
SUMMARY STATEMENT



A summary statement should
include the points from the main
idea sentence as well as the
essential points from in the
supporting sentences.
It is brief and to the point!
To write the summary statement
you put to use the methods of
annotation and mapping.
Hmm! How much should I
write?
Summary of a paragraph =
MAIN IDEA + Major Details
Hints for writing a brief summary for a
paragraph:

Read the paragraph looking for all the
important ideas and facts.
 ANNOTATE:




[Place brackets around the main
idea.]
Underline key words and phrases that
support the main idea.
WRITE KEY WORDS IN THE MARGIN
Cross out any information that is not
important.
ORGANIZE: MAKE A MAP!



Make a map with the
information you underlined
and marked.
Write a summary that
includes all the important
information you’ve identified.
Paraphrase - don't copy the
exact words from the
reading; try to put the
information in your own
words.
MAIN IDEA
DETAIL 1
DETAIL 2
DETAIL 3
READ: Identify the main idea and
the most important details:
Computers have become a necessity for both small and
large businesses today. It takes a computer less than a second
to retrieve information that takes a person several hours to
obtain. It is for this reason that banks, airlines, and fast food
restaurants rely so heavily on them. In addition, computers
can store large amounts of data in a relatively small space.
Because of this, offices need less storage space equipment
such as file cabinets and supply closets.
The Annotation

Mi
1
2
[Computers have become a necessity
for both small and large businesses today.]
It takes a computer less than a second to
retrieve information that takes a person
several hours to obtain. It is for this reason that
banks, airlines, and fast food restaurants rely
so heavily on them. In addition,
computers can store large amounts of data
in a relatively small space. For this reason,
offices need less storage space such as file
cabinets and supply closets.

Map:
Computers are important for businesses
speed in information
retrieval
store large amounts of
information of data
The Short Summary

Computers are important for businesses
because of their speed in retrieving
information and their ability to store large
amounts of data in small spaces.
YOUR TURN:
ANNOTATE, MAP, WRITE A BRIEF
SUMMARY : what should you do?
See the lab instructor

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

The lab instructor will give
you the article to:
1. Read
2. Annotate
3. Map
4. Write a summary

5. After you complete
each step, you can click
the mouse to see the
key so that you can
check your work.
The next slide shows you the
article you will receive from the
lab instructor.
1.
2.
3.
4.
Read the article carefully.
Remember to identify the
main idea.
Underline & number the
essential details.
Locate the writer’s
conclusion
The next slide will show you what
your annotation should look like.
Main idea
The Conclusion
Next Step – Create a Map!
USE THE INFORMATION THAT YOU
ANNOTATED TO CREATE YOUR MAP.
PAUSE HERE.
WHEN YOU ARE DONE, CHECK YOUR
MAP WITH THE SLIDE THAT FOLLOWS.
USE THIS TEMPLATE FOR YOUR MAP
CHECK YOUR MAP WITH THIS ONE!
Now try your skill at writing a summary!
When you’re done, check your summary
with the example on the next slide.
Putting it all together:
Sample Summary

"The Ecology of War - Earth"
The article, "The Ecology of War" by Rick Boling discusses how the once
lush country of Lebanon is now faced with a devastated ecological system. He
points out how the destructions of war have affected Lebanon's ecology. One
such effect is that the country must now import fish from Syria and Turkey due
to the nation's inability to enforce laws protecting its seas. Dynamite and
poisonous bait have infiltrated the once clean waters of the Mediterranean.
The sea is further polluted from unrestricted solid wastes and chemicals that
are dumped in the water. The cedar forests have also suffered. Trees have
been cut down for camouflage and firewood, while the soil has been dug out for
trenches. The vicious shooting of birds has left tree-eating insects to invade the
remaining trees. War has also destroyed Lebanon's agricultural industry
because the land has been destroyed by negligence, occupying forces, and
poor government planning or lack of it. This total damage to Lebanon's
ecological system may be irreversible. In conclusion, according to the author, it
will take cooperation among the Lebanese citizens as well as the international
community to help repair the damage.
Congratulations! You are now
well prepared to write a wellorganized summary for your
classes!
….
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