Analysis of online dictionaries and journals

Summary Writing


Another important skill any researcher should have is summarising. When doing a research you habitually use information from various sources. It is impossible and unethical to use full description of somebody else’s research or quote too extensive extracts of somebody else’s text. Thus, it is important to be able to summarise articles, texts, research descriptions etc. A summary is also an academic paper in the same way as academic essays, articles, reports. Therefore, the requirements for a summary are similar to those of any other piece of academic writing.

A summary is a shortened version of a larger reading.  A summary is not a rewrite of the original piece and does not have to be long.  To write a summary, you should use your own words to express briefly the main idea and relevant details of the piece you have read.   Your purpose in writing the summary is to give the basic ideas of the original reading. 

While reading the original work, you should take note of what or who is the focus and ask the usual questions that reporters use: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?  Using these questions to examine what you are reading can help you write the summary.

Sometimes, the central idea of the piece is stated in the introduction or first paragraph, and the supporting ideas of this central idea are presented one by one in the following paragraphs. You should always read the introductory paragraph thoughtfully and look for a thesis statement or the key sentence.  Finding the thesis statement is like finding a key to a locked door.  Frequently, however, the thesis, or central idea, is implied or suggested.  Thus, you will have to work harder to figure out what the author wants readers to understand. Use any hints that may shed light on the meaning of the piece: pay attention to the title and any headings and to the opening and closing lines of paragraphs.

In writing the summary, let your reader know the piece that you are summarising. Identify the title, author and source of the piece.


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