Guidelines for writing a SUMMARY with IN-TEXT
The purpose of a summary is to give the reader, in a about
1/3 of the original length of an article/lecture, a clear, objective picture of
the original lecture or text. Most importantly, the summary restates only
the main points of a text or a lecture without giving examples or details,
such as dates, numbers or statistics.
Skills practiced: note-taking, paraphrasing (using
your own words and sentence structure), condensing
Examples of acceptable paraphrases and unacceptable paraphrases (=
Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It
For a text, read, mark, and annotate the
original. (For a lecture, work with the notes you took.)
highlight the topic sentence
highlight key points/key words/phrases
highlight the concluding sentence
outline each paragraph in the margin
Take notes on the following:
the source (author--first/last name, title, date of
publication, volume number, place of publication, publisher, URL, etc.)
the main idea of the original (paraphrased)
the major supporting points (in outline form)
major supporting explanations (e.g. reasons/causes or
Organize your notes into an outline which includes main ideas and supporting
points but no examples or details (dates, numbers, statistics).
an introductory paragraph that begins with
including an in-text citation of the source and the author as well as a
reporting verb to
introduce the main idea. The reporting verb is generally in present
the end of your summary, double-space and write a reference
for the in-text citation (see #8 below), following APA guidelines.
In the article, ____________(author's last name) (year) argues
___________________________ (main idea/argument;
S + V + C).
Example: In his article, Serwer
(1997) describes how
Michael Dell founded Dell Computers and claims that Dellís low-cost,
direct-sales strategy and high quality standards accounted for Dellís enormous
book The Pearl, John Steinbeck (1945) illustrates the fight between
good and evil in humankind.
interview __________________ (first name last name) stated that
________________________________ (main idea/argument;
S + V + C) (personal communication, month day, year).
|| refute the claim
examples of frames:
to ___________________ (author's last name) (year),
____________________________________ (main idea; S + V + C).
(author's last name) (year) argues that
___________________________________________ (main idea; S + V + C).
If no author is given, use the title of the
"_____________________" (Title of the Article) (year), _________________________________ (main idea; S+V+C).
(topic/NP) has had a major impact on the_________________ (NP) of
_________________ (main idea; NP) (author's last name, year).
last name) article on __________________
(topic/NP) (year) discusses the _____________
(main idea; Noun Phrase) of _____________ (NP).
The main idea or argument needs to be included in this first sentence. Then
mention the major aspects/factors/reasons that are discussed in the
article/lecture. Give a full reference for this citation at the end of the
summary (see #6. below).
For a one-paragraph summary, discuss each supporting point in a
separate sentence. Give 1-2 explanations for each supporting point,
summarizing the information from the original.
For a multi-paragraph summary, discuss each supporting point in a
separate paragraph. Introduce it in the first sentence (topic sentence).
first major area in which women have become a powerful force is politics.
Support your topic sentence with the necessary reasons or arguments raised by
the author/lecturer but omit all references to details, such as dates or
discourse markers that reflect the organization and controlling idea of the
original, for example cause-effect, comparison-contrast, classification,
process, chronological order, persuasive argument, etc.
longer summary, remind your reader that you are paraphrasing by using "reminder phrases," such as
author goes on to say that ...
article (author) further states that ...
last name) also states/maintains/argues that ...
last name) also believes that ...
last name) concludes that
Restate the articleís/lecturerís conclusion in one sentence.
full reference for the citation (see the example below for the in-text citations
in #2). For citing electronic sources, please see
Citation of Electronic Resources.
Further illustrations: Please see the video
Tips on Summarizing on the
Ohio State Flipped ESL YouTube channel.
This video investigates the basic elements needed to create an effective one
sentence summary and a summary paragraph.
Serwer, A. (1997, Sept. 8). Michael Dell
turns the PC world inside out. Fortune,
Steinbeck, J. (1945). The pearl. New York: Penguin Books.
Christine Bauer-Ramazani, Saint Michael's
College. Last updated: June, 2017