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What is the summary? What are the guidelines for writing a summary?

What is the summary? What are the guidelines for writing a summary?

Course: ba psychology

1 Answer

A summary is the synopsis or recap of the original text. Summary highlights the key points from the much longer subject which may be a text, speech, film, or event. Summary provides the gist of the subject. We have done the exercise of summarizing in school and college. We do this in all writing assignments. We present a summary of that novel, When we summarize a subject, we try to- keep the main theme, highlight the important events and then present the entire thing with a beginning, a middle and an end. It may not include much of a description of the characters in the novel except the hero, the villain and any other important character. Thus making summary is a skill. Summarizing is very important in academic writing and requires considerable skill.


First important thing to keep in mind is the audience, the person who is going to read the summary. The audience for whom the summary is made may be a common man, layman, professional, media personnel, children etc. The second is the assignment itself, the report which has to be summarized. We have to see whether an argument or a statement of the problem or supporting evidence is required. Summary can provide the background to the topic, set the stage and explain the evidence that is supporting the main theme.

All these should be very brief. In academic writing, an argument is the main idea, a “claim” or “thesis statement,” with evidence that supports the idea. For example, children taught by audio visual method show greater in-novativeness in their writing than those who are not taught by audio visual method. It requires supporting evidence.

Understanding the concept of argumentation is required for writing effective arguments. The argument should be made for a main point. Thus, first we should know the main point and then put forward the evidence to support that argument. By this we can focus on what we want to argue. The summary writing then may focus on the argument and then provide supporting evidence from the research conducted.

Pre-writing helps in writing effective summary. Preventing activities help in developing analysis of the report. It involves outlining, free writing and mapping. In pre-writing, we can include all the main points and later on edit it so that all
points get covered in the summary. Pre-writing helps in mapping what points should be covered and in what order. It would help in writing the report comprehensively.

Focusing on the main points makes it easy to understand the plot of the subject. It would help in getting the main theme or the title.

Focus on the elements relevant to the report. The report has to considered chapter by chapter and the basic issues should be highlighted in the summary.

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January 29, 2019