Mastering the Art of Summary Writing: A Comprehensive Guide


Summary writing is an essential skill that finds use in various fields, including academics, publishing, business, and more. A well-written summary provides a concise and coherent overview, filtering out the necessary details while maintaining the essence of the material.

Essential Aspects of Summary Writing

  1. Understanding the Material: Before starting the process of summary writing, it is crucial to have a thorough understanding of the original material. This involves active reading and identifying the main ideas and supporting evidence.

  2. Identifying the Key Points: Every material, regardless of its nature or subject matter, will always have a set of key points. The ability to identify these core elements is a crucial part of summary writing.

  3. Condensing Information: The purpose of a summary is to condense the original content down to its most crucial parts. One should be able to present the main ideas in a condensed form without losing their essence.

  4. Rephrasing & Precision: Plagiarism should be avoided. It is essential to rephrase the content in your own words. A summary needs to be precise and adhere to the point without diverging.

Step-by-Step Guide to Summarize Effectively

  1. Reading the Material: Read the whole material carefully to understand the overall topic and the context of the points being made.

  2. Identifying the Key Points: On reading again, highlight or underline the main points. This will make it easier to refer back to these points when writing the summary.

  3. Structuring the Summary: Begin by writing down the main idea. Lay down the points in the order that they appear in the original text, to maintain flow and coherence.

  4. Writing the Summary: Begin writing the summary, keeping it precise and to the point. Use your own words and phrases instead of copying from the original text.

  5. Revision: Always revise your summary. Check the precision, the adequacy of points, coherence, and grammatical correctness.

Popular Methods of Summary Writing

  1. The Precis Method: The Precis method follows a structured format, condensing the original text into one-third of its length. The summary holds the essence of the text, condensed into a finer footprint.

  2. The Synopsis Method: Often used in literature and film, the synopsis method aims to provide a quick overview, often without giving away details that would spoil the experience.

  3. The Abstract Method: Commonly used in academic and scientific papers, the abstract method provides a comprehensive overview of the paper’s content, findings, and conclusion.

Common Mistakes in Summary Writing

Avoid these common pitfalls for an effective summary:

  1. Including unnecessary details: Always stick to the main points and discard irrelevant information.

  2. Adding personal opinions: A summary should always be unbiased and objective.

  3. Lack of unity: Every point should flow smoothly into the next to maintain coherence.

  4. Lengthy summary: A summary should always be concise. Too much information defeats its purpose.


Mastering the art of summary writing is a useful and necessary skill. It requires practice and a good understanding of the material. With these tips and guidance, anyone can prepare a comprehensive and effective summary.

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