Why do you need to know how to write a summary?
A summary is a highly abbreviated version of a piece of work that will seek to convey all of the main points and ideas that the author has raised. Typically a summary will reduce a whole book into a page or two or even down to a single paragraph for some applications. Students are often asked to summarize works to show that they fully understand what they have read while in other areas a summary can be used as an introduction to longer works so that the reader will fully understand what they are about to read.
Learning how to write a summary
Being able to write a summary is a skill that not many writers are able to master well. But you have to be able to as there are so many situations that call for the use of a summary. This article will run through what you should do to create a good summary with some simple hints and tips that will make the process as simple as possible.
How to prepare for writing your summary
The first stage in understanding how to write a summary is fully understanding what has actually been written by the author. The following steps should be followed and they will help you to get the notes that you will need to be able to write an effective summary:
• Read the document fully first without taking notes to ensure that you fully understand it
• Reread the article again; this time take notes
• Look for the main points of the work; or main events if it is a work of fiction
• Cover the Who, What, Why, When, Where and How
Following some of these tips might be useful when you start working on your radiology personal statement!
Writing an effective summary
The next stage of learning how to write a summary is to actually write your summary. This can be easily achieved using your notes rather than with the original document under your nose. The easiest way to achieve it is to create a simple outline for your summary and then assign your notes accordingly to the different sections before you write. A typical outline and what each section should contain is below:
• Your introduction; What is it about; you will need a single sentence that explains the thesis behind the work or storyline
• The main body; outline the main ideas or events from the document. Each idea should get just 1 to 3 sentences depending on the overall length of your summary
• Conclusion; how does it end?
• For longer summaries you may wish to include examples to reinforce the main points
• Do not comment on anything that you have read; a summary is only to reflect what has been written not for you to add to it
Finishing an effective summary
The last stage of writing your effective summary is to learn how to write a good conclusion of it. The best way to do it is to review all those pages that you have written to check:
- Have you actually covered all of the main points that are mentioned within the original article?
- Is the summary of the correct length?
- Does it read well; read it out loud to ensure that it flows well and reads correctly
- Proofread carefully to remove any writing errors
- Ensure that you have not added anything extra to the summary in the way of your own opinions
The above hints and tips will help you to ensure that you write an effective summary for an article or even how to write a executive summary for a business report and you will be able to reduce it down to a single page or even less.
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