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Writing a Summary
Transcript of Writing a Summary
Condense Author's Ideas
Mention the author and title in the beginning of the summary
Include only the main ideas--the ones that support the thesis
Use direct quotes or paraphrases to relate author's main ideas
Highlight key words and phrases
Tag the author's name throughout
Avoid specific details or data
Be objective and fair
Some Helpful Tips for Good Summaries
Be true to what the author is actually saying
Suspend your own beliefs and opinions
Put yourself in the author's shoes--imagine their perspective
Do not give away whether you agree or disagree...not just yet
Give your reader enough information so they can assess the argument you have summarized for themselves
Be aware of your own biases and preconceptions
Say Something Different Than "Say"
To make your summary more engaging and to accurately represent what an author is actually
with their words, avoid using the verb "say" and any of its derivatives: says, said, saying. In fact, try hard not to use "states," as well.
Here is a list of verbs that more aptly articulate what writers do with their language: argue, assert, believe, claim, emphasize, insist, observe, report, suggest, acknowledge, admire, agree, endorse, extol, praise, corroborate, deny, reaffirm, support, verify, complicate, contradict, qualify, question, refute, reject, repudiate, advocate, demand, encourage, exhort, implore, urge, recommend, warn.
Examples of Summarizing Quotations
Author X claims, "_____."
According to Author X, "_____."
Author X himself agrees that "_____."
In her article, "___," Author X maintains that "_____."
Basically, Author X is warning us that "_____."
In Author X's view, "_____."
Author X complicates matter further when she says "_____."
In making this observation, Author X urges us to "_____."
Author X's point is that "_____."
Author X reveals his thesis when he asserts that "_____."
Summarizing Begins with Reading
Read carefully and critically: don't take anything for granted!
Annotate the text, focusing on important details and ideas
Ask questions about the rhetorical situation
Look up unfamiliar words, references, and concepts
Analyze the meaning and significance of what you have read
Writing a Summary by Rianna Amolsch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://prezi.com/tj5do8vhc_pd/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy.