What is a summary?
A summary is a brief statement or account of the key ideas and points of a piece of writing. The account must be paraphrased, that is, written in your own words, so you must be careful not to copy the wording of the original source.
A good summary will do the following:
- Identify the author of the original source.
- Synthesize the author's key ideas and points.
- Present information in a neutral (unbiased) way.
How do I summarize?
- Read the original source and make sure you understand it
- Write down the major points
- Write a first draft of the summary using just the major points you wrote dow before
- Make sure you're paraphrasing (using your own words).
- Your summary should be approximately 1/4 of the length of the original
- Start your summary by identifying the type of work, title, author, and main point. Example: In the article "Multiple Intelligences," the author, Sarah Rowan, discusses why being aware of multiple types of intelligence is important for teachers.
- Periodically remind the reader that this is a summary by using signal phrases such as "the article claims," "the author describes," etc.
How do I add a review?
When you are asked to review a source, you will need to not only identify and summarize the main ideas in the source, but also evaluate them. You will need to make judgments about the information in the article. The elements of your review are usually spelled out in the assignment, so make sure you understand what is expected.