Guidelines for using IN-TEXT CITATIONS in a SUMMARY (or RESEARCH PAPER)
Christine Bauer-Ramazani 

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): Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It

Before writing the summary:

  1. 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
  2. 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 effects)

Writing your summary--Steps:

  1. Organize your notes into an outline which includes main ideas and supporting points but no examples or details (dates, numbers, statistics).

  2. Write an introductory paragraph that begins with a frame, 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 tense.

  3. At the end of your summary, double-space and write a reference for the in-text citation (see #8 below), following APA guidelines.

    1. ARTICLE:

                In the article, ____________(author's last name) (year) argues (claims/reports/contends/maintains/states) that  ___________________________ (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 success.

  1. BOOK:

In his book The Pearl, John Steinbeck (1945) illustrates the fight between good and evil in humankind.

  1. INTERVIEW:

In an interview __________________  (first name last name) stated that ________________________________ (main idea/argument; S + V + C) (personal communication, month day, year).

Reporting Verbs:

STRONG ARGUMENT NEUTRAL INDICATING RESEARCH RESULTS COUNTERARGUMENT SUGGESTION CRITICISM
argue state show  refute the claim suggest criticize
assert note demonstrate argue against recommend  
claim report illustrate      
contend explain indicate      
maintain discuss point out      
insist illustrate (studies/authors) prove      
posit observe (studies/authors) found      

Other examples of frames:

  1. According to ___________________ (author's last name) (year), ____________________________________  (main idea; S + V + C).

  2. _______________ (author's last name) (year) argues that ___________________________________________  (main idea; S + V + C).    

  3. If no author is given, use the title of the article:
    According to "_____________________" (Title of the Article) (year), _________________________________ (main idea; S+V+C).

  4. _________________ (topic/NP) has had a major impact on the_________________ (NP) of _________________ (main idea; NP) (author's last name, year).
                                                                                          

  5. ________________'s (author's last name) article on __________________ (topic/NP) (year) discusses the _____________ (main idea; Noun Phrase) of    _____________ (NP).                                                                                     

  1. 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).

    1.  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. 

    2. For a multi-paragraph summary, discuss each supporting point in a separate paragraph.  Introduce it in the first sentence (topic sentence).

         Example:   The first major area in which women have become a powerful force is politics.

  1. 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 statistics.

  2. Use 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.

  3. In a longer summary, remind your reader that you are paraphrasing by using "reminder phrases," such as

    • The author goes on to say that ...
    • The article (author) further states that ...
    • (Author's last name) also states/maintains/argues that ...
    • (Author's last name) also believes that ...
    • (Author's last name) concludes that
  4. Restate the articleís/lecturerís conclusion in one sentence.

  5. Give a 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.

References

Serwer, A. (1997, Sept. 8).  Michael Dell turns the PC world inside out. Fortune, 76-86.

Steinbeck, J. (1945).  The pearl.  New York: Penguin Books.

© 2006  Christine Bauer-Ramazani, Saint Michael's College. Last updated: June 21, 2018