Writing Beginner

What Is a Summary In Writing? (Explained + 40 Examples)

In my 20+ years of writing essays, research articles, short stories, blog posts, and books, I’ve summarized thousands of times.

Here is my summary answer about “What is a summary in writing?”

A summary in writing is the craft of distilling vast oceans of text into droplets of essence, a skill as crucial as it is challenging . At the core, summary writing is the distillation of essential points from a larger text, preserving the original message and intent. It balances brevity and clarity.

As contradictory as it might sound, there is a lot more to say about summary in writing.

The Essence of Summarization

Dense forest clearing into a path, symbolizing summary writing's clarity -- What Is a Summary in Writing?

Table of Contents

Over the years, I’ve learned that a successful summary does two things well—it provides clarity to the reader and respects the original work’s integrity.

Brevity and clarity are the twin pillars of a good summary.

My mantra, “As short as possible and as long as necessary,” and a favorite quote I align with—attributed to Einstein—”Things should be as simple as possible, but no simpler,” encapsulate my approach to summaries.

Achieving this balance is more an art than a science, a dance between being concise and being clear.

My guideline—keeping things as short as necessary but as long as needed—is a testament to this balancing act.

It’s about not just shrinking text size but ensuring every word counts, every sentence conveys meaning, and the essence of the text is untouched.

Types of Summaries

Below are some common types of summaries you need to know:

  • Descriptive Summaries: These provide an overview of the main points of a text, without offering analysis or interpretation. Descriptive summaries focus on summarizing the content in a clear and concise manner, making them useful for providing an overview or introduction to a topic.
  • Analytical Summaries: Analytical summaries go beyond simply recounting the main points of a text; they also analyze and evaluate the content. These summaries often delve into the author’s arguments, evidence, and conclusions, offering insights into the text’s significance and implications.
  • Informative Summaries: Informative summaries aim to convey the most important information from a text, often condensing complex ideas into simpler language. These summaries are commonly used in academic writing, where the goal is to provide readers with a clear understanding of the text’s main points.
  • Critical Summaries: Critical summaries involve not only summarizing the content of a text but also critiquing it. Writers may highlight strengths and weaknesses, identify biases or gaps in the argument, and offer their own perspective on the text’s merits or limitations.
  • Abstracts: Abstracts are concise summaries of longer documents, such as research papers or articles. They typically include a brief overview of the purpose, methodology, results, and conclusions of the study, allowing readers to quickly grasp the key findings and significance of the research.

Crafting the Perfect Summary

Summarizing is not a random act but a structured process.

It starts with a thorough reading, understanding the text’s main arguments, themes, and nuances.

Then, identifying the core elements that are indispensable to the message.

The challenge is to weave these elements into a cohesive, shorter narrative that stands on its own while reflecting the original text’s spirit.

Personal Insights and Techniques

Through trial and error, I’ve honed specific techniques that aid in summarization:

  • Highlighting Key Points: As I read, I highlight or note down crucial information and standout ideas.
  • Structuring the Summary: I create a rough outline, deciding the order of points based on their relevance and the original work’s flow.
  • Rewriting with Precision: This step involves rewriting the highlighted points in my own words, ensuring clarity and conciseness without diluting the message.

Template for Writing a Summary

Crafting a summary can be simplified by following a structured template.

While each summary may vary in complexity and content, this general template provides a framework to guide your summarization process:

  • Introduction: Begin by introducing the text and its author, providing necessary context for the summary. Identify the main topic or thesis of the text and briefly outline its purpose and significance.
  • Main Points: Summarize the main points or arguments presented in the text, focusing on the most essential information. Use concise language and avoid unnecessary details or tangents.
  • Supporting Details: Provide supporting evidence or examples to reinforce the main points of the text. Select key quotations, statistics, or anecdotes that best illustrate the author’s ideas.
  • Analysis: Analyze the text’s content, identifying any underlying themes, patterns, or implications. Consider the author’s purpose, audience, and rhetorical strategies, and evaluate the effectiveness of their argument or message.
  • Conclusion: Conclude the summary by summarizing the overall message or takeaway of the text. Reflect on the significance of the text’s content and its relevance to the broader context or field of study.

Here is a great video on how to summarize in writing:

The Role of Experience in Writing Summaries

Experience plays a critical role in mastering summarization.

In my life, I’ve learned that every word in a summary must earn its place. This discernment comes from practice and familiarity with a wide range of texts.

It comes down to what words and ideas to leave in and what to leave out.

Experience has taught me when to cut deeper and when to allow a bit more space for explanation or narrative, always guided by the principle of making things as simple as possible but no simpler.

Original Research and Testing

My curiosity led me to conduct a series of experiments comparing different summarization techniques across various text types.

I assessed the outcomes based on reader comprehension, retention, and feedback.

The Impact of Testing Different Techniques

My research involved comparing various summarization strategies to identify the most effective approaches for different text types.

This hands-on testing revealed that the audience’s needs significantly influence the summary’s structure and content.

For instance, summaries intended for academic audiences prioritized accuracy and conciseness, while those for a general audience often leaned towards engaging narratives and essential takeaways.

Findings and Insights

One key insight from this research was the importance of adaptability.

A one-size-fits-all approach to summarization doesn’t work.

Tailoring the summary to the text type and intended audience increases effectiveness and satisfaction. Additionally, iterative testing highlighted the value of feedback in refining summaries.

Incorporating reader feedback into the summarization process can significantly enhance clarity and relevance.

40 Examples of Summaries

In the spirit of showing rather than telling, let’s dissect examples of summaries from various genres.

For brevity’s sake, I’ll categorize these examples and provide insights into what makes each effective.

Research Articles/Essays

  • The Impact of Climate Change on Coastal Ecosystems: Summarizes key findings on the degradation of coastal ecosystems due to rising temperatures, including potential long-term effects and mitigation strategies.
  • Technological Advancements in Renewable Energy: Details the latest advancements in solar and wind energy technologies, highlighting efficiency improvements and the path toward sustainable energy solutions.
  • Behavioral Economics and Consumer Decision Making: Explores how psychological factors influence economic decisions, offering insights into improving marketing strategies and consumer education.
  • The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare: Discusses the integration of AI in diagnostics and patient care, emphasizing potential benefits and ethical considerations.
  • Educational Reforms and Student Outcomes: Analyzes the impact of recent educational reforms on student performance and equity, suggesting further research directions and policy implications.
  • Microplastics in Marine Environments: Examines the sources, distribution, and ecological impacts of microplastics, proposing methods for reduction and cleanup.
  • Mental Health in the Workplace: Investigates the correlation between workplace environment and employee mental health, recommending strategies for creating supportive work cultures.
  • Sustainable Agriculture Practices: Reviews sustainable farming techniques and their effectiveness in promoting biodiversity, soil health, and food security.
  • The Influence of Social Media on Political Discourse: Evaluates how social media platforms have transformed political communication, voter behavior, and public opinion formation.
  • Advances in Alzheimer’s Research: Presents recent breakthroughs in understanding the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease, with a focus on potential therapeutic targets and preventive measures.

Work Reports

  • Annual Marketing Strategy Review: Summarizes the performance of last year’s marketing campaigns, key metrics achieved, lessons learned, and strategies for the upcoming year.
  • Quarterly Sales Report: Details sales performance by region and product line, comparing results against targets, analyzing trends, and suggesting actionable insights for improvement.
  • Customer Satisfaction Survey Analysis: Compiles findings from recent customer surveys, highlighting areas of strength and opportunities for service enhancement.
  • IT Infrastructure Upgrade Project Summary: Outlines the objectives, progress, challenges, and next steps in the company’s IT infrastructure overhaul, including budget and timeline updates.
  • Employee Training Program Evaluation: Reviews the outcomes of the latest employee training initiatives, assessing effectiveness in skill development and impact on performance.
  • Competitor Analysis Report: Provides an overview of key competitors’ strategies, market positioning, product offerings, and potential threats or opportunities.
  • Supply Chain Optimization Study: Summarizes findings from a study on supply chain efficiencies, identifying bottlenecks and recommending solutions for cost reduction and speed.
  • Risk Management Assessment: Evaluates the company’s exposure to various risks, including financial, operational, and reputational risks, proposing mitigation strategies.
  • Sustainability Initiatives Progress Report: Tracks the progress of corporate sustainability efforts, including environmental impact reductions, community engagement, and sustainability goals.
  • New Product Development Update: Offers a snapshot of the development stages, challenges encountered, market research findings, and estimated launch timeline for a new product.
  • The Echo of the Ocean : A novel about a marine biologist uncovering a groundbreaking discovery about sea life communication, while navigating personal challenges and ethical dilemmas.
  • Futures Past : A science fiction saga exploring the consequences of time travel on human history, ethics, and personal identity through intertwined narratives.
  • Mind Over Matter : A non-fiction exploration of the power of the human mind to overcome physical limitations, featuring real-life stories of resilience and scientific insights.
  • The Last Emperor’s Secret – Historical fiction set in ancient China, revolving around a palace conspiracy, hidden treasures, and the quest for truth.
  • Green Horizons : An environmental science book discussing innovative solutions to climate change, from renewable energy to conservation strategies, aimed at a general audience.
  • Heartstrings : A collection of short stories delving into the complexities of human relationships, love, loss, and redemption, across diverse cultures and situations.
  • Digital Frontiers : Examines the digital revolution’s impact on society, economy, and individual lives, offering insights into future trends and ethical considerations.
  • Culinary Journeys : A travelogue that takes readers on a gastronomical tour around the world, exploring the history and stories behind iconic dishes and ingredients.
  • The Art of Innovation : A guide to fostering creativity and innovation in the workplace, with case studies from leading companies and practical tips for teams.
  • Voices of the Forest : A fantasy novel featuring a young hero’s adventure in a mystical forest, battling dark forces to save their homeland with the help of enchanted creatures.

Short Stories

  • The Last Light : A poignant tale about a lighthouse keeper’s final night before the automation of his lighthouse, reflecting on the changes and constants in life.
  • Crossroads : Explores the moment a young man stands at a crossroad, literal and metaphorical, contemplating the diverging paths of his future.
  • Echoes of War : Follows a veteran’s struggle with returning to civilian life, haunted by memories of the battlefield, and his journey towards healing.
  • A Stitch in Time : A whimsical story about a seamstress who discovers her sewing machine can repair more than just clothes, mending broken hearts and dreams.
  • The Glass Forest : Details an explorer’s discovery of a mysterious forest where trees are made of glass, symbolizing beauty and fragility.
  • Shadows on the Moon : A science fiction piece about a colony on the moon dealing with the psychological effects of living in perpetual darkness and light.
  • Invisible Ties : Explores the unseen connections between strangers on a crowded subway, each carrying their own stories and struggles.
  • The Color of Autumn : Captures a painter’s attempt to paint the perfect autumn scene, reflecting on the impermanence of life and the enduring beauty of nature.
  • Whispers in the Wind : Tells the story of a small village where the wind carries voices from the past, and a young girl learns the history of her ancestors.
  • Ripples : A narrative about the impact of a single act of kindness, following its ripple effects through the lives of various people in a community.

The 5 Biggest Mistakes Writers Make When Summarizing

Summarizing is an art, but like any craft, it’s prone to pitfalls.

Here are the five most common mistakes writers make when summarizing, along with tips on how to avoid them.

Summarizing may seem straightforward, but it’s deceptively complex.

One of the biggest mistakes writers make is oversimplifying or overcomplicating the summary, leading to confusion or loss of crucial information.

Another common error is failing to capture the essence of the original text, resulting in a summary that misses the mark.

Additionally, inadequate understanding of the audience can lead to summaries that are either too technical or too simplistic for the intended readership. Lastly, neglecting to cite sources or provide proper attribution in summaries can result in accusations of plagiarism or intellectual dishonesty.

The 5 Biggest Mistakes

  • Oversimplifying or Overcomplicating: Striking the right balance between brevity and clarity is key.
  • Missing the Essence: Ensure the summary captures the core message and key points of the original text.
  • Audience Misalignment: Tailor the summary to the audience’s knowledge level and interests.
  • Lack of Attribution: Always cite sources and provide proper credit for ideas and information.
  • Ignoring Structure and Flow: A well-structured summary enhances readability and comprehension.

Final Thoughts: What Is a Summary In Writing?

Summarization is more than a writing skill—it’s a critical thinking exercise that challenges you to understand deeply, analyze critically, and communicate effectively.

In my two decades of writing, I’ve seen firsthand how a well-crafted summary can open doors to understanding, make knowledge more accessible, and bridge the gap between complex ideas and a broader audience.

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  • Grammar Guide

How to Write a Summary (Examples Included)

Ashley Shaw

Ashley Shaw

How to write a summary

Have you ever recommended a book to someone and given them a quick overview? Then you’ve created a summary before!

Summarizing is a common part of everyday communication. It feels easy when you’re recounting what happened on your favorite show, but what do you do when the information gets a little more complex?

Written summaries come with their own set of challenges. You might ask yourself:

  • What details are unnecessary?
  • How do you put this in your own words without changing the meaning?
  • How close can you get to the original without plagiarizing it?
  • How long should it be?

The answers to these questions depend on the type of summary you are doing and why you are doing it.

A summary in an academic setting is different to a professional summary—and both of those are very different to summarizing a funny story you want to tell your friends.

One thing they all have in common is that you need to relay information in the clearest way possible to help your reader understand. We’ll look at some different forms of summary, and give you some tips on each.

Let’s get started!

What Is a Summary?

How do you write a summary, how do you write an academic summary, what are the four types of academic summaries, how do i write a professional summary, writing or telling a summary in personal situations, summarizing summaries.

A summary is a shorter version of a larger work. Summaries are used at some level in almost every writing task, from formal documents to personal messages.

When you write a summary, you have an audience that doesn’t know every single thing you know.

When you want them to understand your argument, topic, or stance, you may need to explain some things to catch them up.

Instead of having them read the article or hear every single detail of the story or event, you instead give them a brief overview of what they need to know.

Academic, professional, and personal summaries each require you to consider different things, but there are some key rules they all have in common.

Let’s go over a few general guides to writing a summary first.

A summary should be shorter than the original

1. A summary should always be shorter than the original work, usually considerably.

Even if your summary is the length of a full paper, you are likely summarizing a book or other significantly longer work.

2. A summary should tell the reader the highlights of what they need to know without giving them unnecessary details.

3. It should also include enough details to give a clear and honest picture.

For example, if you summarize an article that says “ The Office is the greatest television show of all time,” but don’t mention that they are specifically referring to sitcoms, then you changed the meaning of the article. That’s a problem! Similarly, if you write a summary of your job history and say you volunteered at a hospital for the last three years, but you don’t add that you only went twice in that time, it becomes a little dishonest.

4. Summaries shouldn’t contain personal opinion.

While in the longer work you are creating you might use opinion, within the summary itself, you should avoid all personal opinion. A summary is different than a review. In this moment, you aren’t saying what you think of the work you are summarizing, you are just giving your audience enough information to know what the work says or did.

Include enough detail

Now that we have a good idea of what summaries are in general, let’s talk about some specific types of summary you will likely have to do at some point in your writing life.

An academic summary is one you will create for a class or in other academic writing. The exact elements you will need to include depend on the assignment itself.

However, when you’re asked for an academic summary, this usually this means one of five things, all of which are pretty similar:

  • You need to do a presentation in which you talk about an article, book, or report.
  • You write a summary paper in which the entire paper is a summary of a specific work.
  • You summarize a class discussion, lesson, or reading in the form of personal notes or a discussion board post.
  • You do something like an annotated bibliography where you write short summaries of multiple works in preparation of a longer assignment.
  • You write quick summaries within the body of another assignment . For example, in an argumentative essay, you will likely need to have short summaries of the sources you use to explain their argument before getting into how the source helps you prove your point.

Places to find academic summaries

Regardless of what type of summary you are doing, though, there are a few steps you should always follow:

  • Skim the work you are summarizing before you read it. Notice what stands out to you.
  • Next, read it in depth . Do the same things stand out?
  • Put the full text away and write in a few sentences what the main idea or point was.
  • Go back and compare to make sure you didn’t forget anything.
  • Expand on this to write and then edit your summary.

Each type of academic summary requires slightly different things. Let’s get down to details.

How Do I Write a Summary Paper?

Sometimes teachers assign something called a summary paper . In this, the entire thing is a summary of one article, book, story, or report.

To understand how to write this paper, let’s talk a little bit about the purpose of such an assignment.

A summary paper is usually given to help a teacher see how well a student understands a reading assignment, but also to help the student digest the reading. Sometimes, it can be difficult to understand things we read right away.

However, a good way to process the information is to put it in our own words. That is the point of a summary paper.

What a summary paper is

A summary paper is:

  • A way to explain in our own words what happened in a paper, book, etc.
  • A time to think about what was important in the paper, etc.
  • A time to think about the meaning and purpose behind the paper, etc.

Here are some things that a summary paper is not:

  • A review. Your thoughts and opinions on the thing you are summarizing don’t need to be here unless otherwise specified.
  • A comparison. A comparison paper has a lot of summary in it, but it is different than a summary paper. In this, you are just saying what happened, but you aren’t saying places it could have been done differently.
  • A paraphrase (though you might have a little paraphrasing in there). In the section on using summary in longer papers, I talk more about the difference between summaries, paraphrases, and quotes.

What a summary paper is not

Because a summary paper is usually longer than other forms of summary, you will be able to chose more detail. However, it still needs to focus on the important events. Summary papers are usually shorter papers.

Let’s say you are writing a 3–4 page summary. You are likely summarizing a full book or an article or short story, which will be much longer than 3–4 pages.

Imagine that you are the author of the work, and your editor comes to you and says they love what you wrote, but they need it to be 3–4 pages instead.

How would you tell that story (argument, idea, etc.) in that length without losing the heart or intent behind it? That is what belongs in a summary paper.

How Do I Write Useful Academic Notes?

Sometimes, you need to write a summary for yourself in the form of notes or for your classmates in the form of a discussion post.

You might not think you need a specific approach for this. After all, only you are going to see it.

However, summarizing for yourself can sometimes be the most difficult type of summary. If you try to write down everything your teacher says, your hand will cramp and you’ll likely miss a lot.

Yet, transcribing doesn’t work because studies show that writing things down (not typing them) actually helps you remember them better.

So how do you find the balance between summarizing the lessons without leaving out important points?

There are some tips for this:

  • If your professor writes it on the board, it is probably important.
  • What points do your textbooks include when summarizing information? Use these as a guide.
  • Write the highlight of every X amount of time, with X being the time you can go without missing anything or getting tired. This could be one point per minute, or three per five minutes, etc.

How Do I Create an Annotated Biography?

An annotated bibliography requires a very specific style of writing. Often, you will write these before a longer research paper . They will ask you to find a certain amount of articles and write a short annotation for each of them.

While an annotation is more than just a summary, it usually starts with a summary of the work. This will be about 2–3 sentences long. Because you don’t have a lot of room, you really have to think about what the most important thing the work says is.

This will basically ask you to explain the point of the article in these couple of sentences, so you should focus on the main point when expressing it.

Here is an example of a summary section within an annotation about this post:

“In this post, the author explains how to write a summary in different types of settings. She walks through academic, professional, and personal summaries. Ultimately, she claims that summaries should be short explanations that get the audience caught up on the topic without leaving out details that would change the meaning.”

What are annotation summaries?

Can I Write a Summary Within an Essay?

Perhaps the most common type of summary you will ever do is a short summary within a longer paper.

For example, if you have to write an argumentative essay, you will likely need to use sources to help support your argument.

However, there is a good chance that your readers won’t have read those same sources.

So, you need to give them enough detail to understand your topic without spending too much time explaining and not enough making your argument.

While this depends on exactly how you are using summary in your paper, often, a good amount of summary is the same amount you would put in an annotation.

Just a few sentences will allow the reader to get an idea of the work before moving on to specific parts of it that might help your argument.

What’s the Difference Between Summarizing, Paraphrasing, and Using Quotes?

One important thing to recognize when using summaries in academic settings is that summaries are different than paraphrases or quotes.

A summary is broader and more general. A paraphrase, on the other hand, puts specific parts into your own words. A quote uses the exact words of the original. All of them, however, need to be cited.

Let’s look at an example:

Take these words by Thomas J. Watson:

”Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t as all. You can be discouraged by failure—or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember, that’s where you will find success.”

Let’s say I was told to write a summary, a paraphrase, and a quote about this statement. This is what it might look like:

Summary: Thomas J. Watson said that the key to success is actually to fail more often. (This is broad and doesn’t go into details about what he says, but it still gives him credit.)

Paraphrase: Thomas J. Watson, on asking if people would like his formula for success, said that the secret was to fail twice as much. He claimed that when you decide to learn from your mistakes instead of being disappointed by them, and when you start making a lot of them, you will actually find more success. (This includes most of the details, but it is in my own words, while still crediting the source.)

Quote: Thomas J. Watson said, ”Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure—or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember, that’s where you will find success.” (This is the exact words of the original with quotation marks and credit given.)

A summary versus a paraphrase versus a quote

Avoiding Plagiarism

One of the hardest parts about summarizing someone else’s writing is avoiding plagiarism .

A tip to avoid plagiarism

That’s why I have a few rules/tips for you when summarizing anything:

1. Always cite.

If you are talking about someone else’s work in any means, cite your source. If you are summarizing the entire work, all you probably need to do (depending on style guidelines) is say the author’s name. However, if you are summarizing a specific chapter or section, you should state that specifically. Finally, you should make sure to include it in your Work Cited or Reference page.

2. Change the wording.

Sometimes when people are summarizing or paraphrasing a work, they get too close to the original, and actually use the exact words. Unless you use quotation marks, this is plagiarism. However, a good way to avoid this is to hide the article while you are summarizing it. If you don’t have it in front of you, you are less likely to accidentally use the exact words. (However, after you are done, double check that you didn’t miss anything important or give wrong details.)

3. Use a plagiarism checker.

Of course, when you are writing any summary, especially academic summaries, it can be easy to cross the line into plagiarism. If this is a place where you struggle, then ProWritingAid can help.

ProWritingAid's Plagiarism Report

Just use our Plagiarism Report . It’ll highlight any unoriginal text in your document so you can make sure you are citing everything correctly and summarizing in your own words.

Find out more about ProWritingAid plagiarism bundles.

Along with academic summaries, you might sometimes need to write professional summaries. Often, this means writing a summary about yourself that shows why you are qualified for a position or organization.

In this section, let’s talk about two types of professional summaries: a LinkedIn summary and a summary section within a resume.

How Do I Write My LinkedIn Bio?

LinkedIn is all about professional networking. It offers you a chance to share a brief glimpse of your professional qualifications in a paragraph or two.

This can then be sent to professional connections, or even found by them without you having to reach out. This can help you get a job or build your network.

Your summary is one of the first things a future employer might see about you, and how you write yours can make you stand out from the competition.

Your resume's summary

Here are some tips on writing a LinkedIn summary :

  • Before you write it, think about what you want it to do . If you are looking for a job, what kind of job? What have you done in your past that would stand out to someone hiring for that position? That is what you will want to focus on in your summary.
  • Be professional . Unlike many social media platforms, LinkedIn has a reputation for being more formal. Your summary should reflect that to some extent.
  • Use keywords . Your summary is searchable, so using keywords that a recruiter might be searching for can help them find you.
  • Focus on the start . LinkedIn shows the first 300 characters automatically, and then offers the viewer a chance to read more. Make that start so good that everyone wants to keep reading.
  • Focus on accomplishments . Think of your life like a series of albums, and this is your speciality “Greatest Hits” album. What “songs” are you putting on it?

Tips for writing a linkedin summary

How Do I Summarize My Experience on a Resume?

Writing a professional summary for a resume is different than any other type of summary that you may have to do.

Recruiters go through a lot of resumes every day. They don’t have time to spend ages reading yours, which means you have to wow them quickly.

To do that, you might include a section at the top of your resume that acts almost as an elevator pitch: That one thing you might say to a recruiter to get them to want to talk to you if you only had a 30-second elevator ride.

Treat your resume summary as an elevator pitch

If you don’t have a lot of experience, though, you might want to skip this section entirely and focus on playing up the experience you do have.

Outside of academic and personal summaries, you use summary a lot in your day-to-day life.

Whether it is telling a good piece of trivia you just learned or a funny story that happened to you, or even setting the stage in creative writing, you summarize all the time.

How you use summary can be an important consideration in whether people want to read your work (or listen to you talk).

Here are some things to think about when telling a story:

  • Pick interesting details . Too many and your point will be lost. Not enough, and you didn’t paint the scene or give them a complete idea about what happened.
  • Play into the emotions . When telling a story, you want more information than the bare minimum. You want your reader to get the emotion of the story. That requires a little bit more work to accomplish.
  • Focus. A summary of one story can lead to another can lead to another. Think about storytellers that you know that go off on a tangent. They never seem to finish one story without telling 100 others!

Summarize a spoken story

To wrap up (and to demonstrate everything I just talked about), let’s summarize this post into its most essential parts:

A summary is a great way to quickly give your audience the information they need to understand the topic you are discussing without having to know every detail.

How you write a summary is different depending on what type of summary you are doing:

  • An academic summary usually gets to the heart of an article, book, or journal, and it should highlight the main points in your own words. How long it should be depends on the type of assignment it is.
  • A professional summary highlights you and your professional, academic, and volunteer history. It shows people in your professional network who you are and why they should hire you, work with you, use your talents, etc.

Being able to tell a good story is another form of summary. You want to tell engaging anecdotes and facts without boring your listeners. This is a skill that is developed over time.

Take your writing to the next level:

20 Editing Tips From Professional Writers

20 Editing Tips from Professional Writers

Whether you are writing a novel, essay, article, or email, good writing is an essential part of communicating your ideas., this guide contains the 20 most important writing tips and techniques from a wide range of professional writers..

summary examples for essays

Be confident about grammar

Check every email, essay, or story for grammar mistakes. Fix them before you press send.

Ashley Shaw is a former editor and marketer/current PhD student and teacher. When she isn't studying con artists for her dissertation, she's thinking of new ways to help college students better understand and love the writing process. You can follow her on Twitter, or, if you prefer animal accounts, follow her rabbits, Audrey Hopbun and Fredra StaHare, on Instagram.

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summary examples for essays


Goals and Goal Setting

Goals Common to All RST Writers

Other Goals to Consider

Defining My Own Goals

Advice about Assignments

Getting Started: Listing Topics to Write about in the Tutorial

Narrative One: Personal Piece on a Significant Experience

Narrative Two: Academic Piece on a Significant Experience

Summary/Response One

Summary/Response Two

Tutorial Evaluation Postscript

On Using the Resources for Writers

Generating and Developing Ideas

Finding/Expressing Main Ideas

Showing v. Telling Sentences

Focusing Topic Sentences

Thesis Statements

Reading Strategies

Assessing Your Reading Strategies


Writing Effective Summary and Response Essays

Discourse Analysis Worksheet

Trade Magazines

Selecting Readings

A summary is a concise paraphrase of all the main ideas in an essay. It cites the author and the title (usually in the first sentence); it contains the essay's thesis and supporting ideas; it may use direct quotation of forceful or concise statements of the author's ideas; it will NOT usually cite the author's examples or supporting details unless they are central to the main idea. Most summaries present the major points in the order that the author made them and continually refer back to the article being summarized (i.e. "Damon argues that ..." or "Goodman also points out that ... "). The summary should take up no more than one-third the length of the work being summarized.

The Response:

A response is a critique or evaluation of the author's essay. Unlike the summary, it is composed of YOUR opinions in relation to the article being summarized. It examines ideas that you agree or disagree with and identifies the essay's strengths and weaknesses in reasoning and logic, in quality of supporting examples, and in organization and style. A good response is persuasive; therefore, it should cite facts, examples, and personal experience that either refutes or supports the article you're responding to, depending on your stance.

Two Typical Organizational Formats for Summary/Response Essays:

1. Present the summary in a block of paragraphs, followed by the response in a block:

Intro/thesis Summary (two to three paragraphs) Agreement (or disagreement) Disagreement (or agreement) Conclusion

Note: Some essays will incorporate both agreement and disagreement in a response, but this is not mandatory.

2. Introduce the essay with a short paragraph that includes your thesis. Then, each body paragraph summarizes one point and responds to it, and a conclusion wraps the essay up.

Intro/thesis Summary point one; agree/disagree Summary point two; agree/disagree Summary point three; agree/disagree Conclusion

Narrative Essay

How to write a summary.

Proficient students understand that  summarizing , identifying what is most important and restating the text (or other media) in your own words, is an important tool for college success.

After all, if you really know a subject, you will be able to summarize it. If you cannot summarize a subject, even if you have memorized all the facts about it, you can be absolutely sure that you have not learned it. And, if you truly learn the subject, you will still be able to summarize it months or years from now.

Proficient students may monitor their understanding of a text by summarizing as they read. They understand that if they can write a one- or two-sentence summary of each paragraph after reading it, then that is a good sign that they have correctly understood it. If they can not summarize the main idea of the paragraph, they know that comprehension has broken down and they need to use fix-up strategies to repair understanding.

Summary Writing Format

  • When writing a summary, remember that it should be in the form of a paragraph.
  • A summary begins with an introductory sentence that states the text’s title, author and main point of the text as you see it.
  • A summary is written in your own words.
  • A summary contains only the ideas of the original text. Do not insert any of your own opinions, interpretations, deductions or comments into a summary.
  • Identify in order the significant sub-claims the author uses to defend the main point.
  • Copy word-for-word three separate passages from the essay that you think support and/or defend the main point of the essay as you see it.
  • Cite each passage by first signaling the work and the author, put “quotation marks” around the passage you chose, and put the number of the paragraph where the passages can be found immediately after the passage.
  • Using source material from the essay is important. Why? Because defending claims with source material is what you will be asked to do when writing papers for your college professors.
  • Write a last sentence that “wraps” up your summary; often a simple rephrasing of the main point.

Example Summary Writing Format

In the essay Santa Ana , author Joan Didion’s main point is ( state main point ). According to Didion “… passage 1 …” (para.3). Didion also writes “… passage 2 …” (para.8). Finally, she states “… passage 3 …” (para. 12) Write a last sentence that “wraps” up your summary; often a simple rephrasing of the main point.

  • Provided by : Lumen Learning. Located at : http://lumenlearning.com/ . License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Authored by : Paul Powell. Provided by : Central Community College. Project : Kaleidoscope Open Course Initiative. License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Authored by : Elisabeth Ellington and Ronda Dorsey Neugebauer. Provided by : Chadron State College. Project : Kaleidoscope Open Course Initiative. License : CC BY: Attribution

Table of Contents

Ai, ethics & human agency, collaboration, information literacy, writing process, examples of effective summaries and paraphrases (mla style).

  • CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 by Joseph M. Moxley - University of South Florida

Sample Contextualizing for the Source

Being Fluent with Information Technology  explores why people need to understand and utilize information technology. Published by The National Academies in 1997, the book is written by the Committee on Information Technology and Literacy, including Lawrence Snyder, University of Washington, Chair; Alfred V. Aho, Lucent Technologies, Inc.; Marcia Linn, University of California at Berkeley; Arnold Packer, Johns Hopkins University; Allen Tucker, Bowdoin College; Jeffrey Ullman, Stanford University; Andries Van Dam.

Sample Quote

In Chapter 1, the Committee explores why people need to understand and utilize information technology, arguing that technological knowledge is especially crucial in the ever-changing workforce: “If the nation is to obtain the maximum benefit from its investments in information technology, a labor pool capable of using it appropriately is necessary” (Committee 7).

Sample Paraphrase

In Chapter 1, the Committee explores why people need to understand and utilize information technology, arguing that technological knowledge is especially crucial in the ever-changing workforce. Interestingly, the Committee notes that the U.S. won’t benefit from revolutionary new technologies unless the labor force is better trained (Committee 7).

Sample of “Qtd. In” Convention (use when your source cites another source)

According to the Committee on Information Technology and Literacy, information technology is a fundamental tool in the work place because “in today’s labor market employees can no longer enjoy a job for life” (7). On the educational front, Papert describes it best when he states that “computers can be means for educators to support the development of new ways of thinking and learning” (qtd. in Committee p.xiv). A democratic society will be better off when the majority of its citizens are informed about the system they live in.

Explanation: The Committee on Information Technology and Literacy cites page xiv from Papert’s text as follows:

Papert, Seymour. Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas . 2nd ed. New York: Basic Books, 1999. Print.

However, it would be dishonest for the reader of Being Fluent with Information Technology to act as if he or she read Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas . As a result, by using the “qtd. in” convention, he or she can indicate that this is a secondary quote, not a primary source.

Sample of “ Paraphrased In” Convention (for use when your source paraphrases another source)

According to the Committee on Information Technology and Literacy, information technology is a fundamental tool in the work place because “in today’s labor market employees can no longer enjoy a job for life” (7). On the educational front, Papert argues that educators can empower students by showing them new ways to think and learn (para. in Committee p.xiv). A democratic society will be better off when the majority of its citizens are informed about the system they live in.

Summary of Entire Work

This book outlines some of the major personal and business uses of information technology. It also makes suggestions about how to gain knowledge in the field, as well as the main points of training employees in information technology to make the use of computers most effective.

Sample Citation :

Committee on Information Technology Literacy. Being Fluent with Information Technology . Washington, D.C.: National Academies P, 1999. Print.

Other Resources to Read Reviews About the Book

  • National Academies Press Web site : Offers a complete online copy of the book as well as a brief description of its contents.
  • Amazon.com review : Offers online reviews of the book

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Flow – How to Create Flow in Writing

Inclusivity – Inclusive Language

Inclusivity – Inclusive Language


The Elements of Style – The DNA of Powerful Writing


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how to write a summary

A step-by-step guide to writing a great summary.

A summary of a literary work isn't just a plain-old synopsis. It's a valuable study tool, a foundational element of all kinds of essays, a common testing mechanism, and one of the basics of literary analysis. 

Whether you're in high school or college, developing a deep understanding of how and when to summarize a book or text is a valuable skill. Doing so might require a little more knowledge and effort than you'd think. 

That's why we're covering all aspects of summaries, from study tools to plot summaries, below.

What Is a Summary?

A summary is a brief overview of a text (or movie, speech, podcast, etcetera) that succinctly and comprehensively covers the main ideas or plot points. 

Sounds simple, right? Well, there are a lot of unique characteristics that differentiate summaries from other commentary, such as analyses, book reviews, or outlines. 

Summaries are: 

  • In your own words. It's important that you don't just copy and paste the writer's words (in fact, that's plagiarizing). Writing the key points of a work in your own words indicates your comprehension and absorption of the material. 
  • Objective. While a summary should be in your own words, it shouldn't contain your opinions. Instead, you should gather the main points and intentions of the writer and present them impartially. (If you include your opinions, it instead becomes an analysis or review.)
  • More than paraphrasing. Many students fall into the trap of simply paraphrasing—plainly restating the ideas or events of the work. (Is our definition starting to sound contradictory? We told you it wasn't straightforward!) Rather than recounting the events or ideas in a work chronologically or in the order they're presented, instead consider the broad scope of how they all contribute to the narrative or argument. 
  • Short. There are no strict rules regarding length, only that it is concise. It's largely dependent on the length of the text it summarizes: longer texts, longer summaries. It also depends on the assignment or objective. However, most are about one to two paragraphs in length. 
  • Comprehensive. Yes, it's another seemingly contradictory descriptor, but an important one. Summaries are comprehensive, meaning they cover all of the main plot points or ideas in a work (so they inherently contain "spoilers"). You should present those ideas in a way that condenses them into an inclusive, but not exhaustive, recounting in order to keep it short.  
  • Straightforward (even if the text isn't). A good summary should be easy to comprehend, presenting the reader with a simple but all-encompassing understanding of the work at hand. With complex texts, summaries can be particularly useful because they distill big, complicated ideas into a bite-sized package. 

When to Write a Summary

Like so many elements of literary analysis, summaries are misunderstood. We've already explained why they aren't as simple as most people think, but neither are their uses. 

Summary writing is a useful skill in a variety of circumstances, both in and outside the English and Language Arts classrooms. 

Readers, writers, teachers, and students can use summaries: 

  • As a study tactic. The ability to summarize a book or text indicates that you've absorbed and understand the material. Plus, writing down notes (as in a summary) is a great way to retain material. Try summarizing at the end of a book chapter, after each section of an article, or periodically in textbooks. Doing so will help you digest the material you've just read, confirming you understood and retained the information therein. Stopping frequently to summarize is most effective because you're less likely to forget important plot points or ideas. 
  • As an assignment. Teachers and professors often ask students to summarize a text as a test to confirm they read and understood the material. Before heading into class—especially if you have a test or quiz scheduled—try practicing summarizing the text. Write it down (rather than practicing it out loud or in your head) so that you can review your ideas and ensure you're presenting them succinctly and sensibly. 
  • As part of an essay. If you're referencing a book or article in your own paper, you might need to summarize the source as the foundation for your argument. In this case, your summary should be particularly short so the reader doesn't lose sight of your own argument and intention. Introduce the name of the work and its author, then use one sentence (two at most) to describe their objective and how it relates to your own. 
  • As part of a review. Summaries are very useful in an academic setting, but they have their place outside of it too. Whether you're on a book review site or just sharing a recommendation with a friend, being able to succinctly write a book summary (with or without spoilers) will help others to make their own judgements of a book. 

Your Step-by-Step Guide for How to Write a Summary

Step 1: read the work .

Summaries are often perceived as a workaround for reading the work itself. That's not a great strategy under most circumstances because you tend to lose a lot of the details and nuance of a work, but it's particularly impractical to do so when writing about the work. 

Remember, a summary is supposed to present your perception of the work as a whole. So in order to develop that perception, you have to first read the original text. 

Step 2: Take Notes 

As you read the work, simultaneously take notes. If you own the book, it might be helpful to add your notes to the margins or highlight passages that are particularly relevant or capture a key idea. If you don't own the book, try taking notes on your computer or in a notebook. You can still notate important passages by writing down the page and paragraph number or writing an abbreviated version of the quotation. Alternatively, try marking key passages with sticky notes or tabs. 

It might also be helpful to write out a short outline of the work as you go. While you won't want to use this verbatim (remember, you shouldn't just paraphrase the work), it can help you establish and remember the text's framework. 

Step 3: Identify the Author's Thesis Statement, Objective, or Main Point 

In some works, such as a journal article, a writer will provide a thesis statement. A thesis statement is a one-sentence synopsis of the author's argument and intention. A thesis statement can be really helpful in forming the backbone of your own summary, just as it forms the backbone of the essay. 

However, even when a thesis statement isn't present—like in a novel—the writer always has an objective or main idea. You should always identify this idea and use it to form the foundation of your summary. 

The main point might be apparent at the outset of the work. Other times, the author won't present it until the conclusion. Sometimes you might identify multiple objectives throughout the work. That's why it's important, as you read, to note any ideas that might be the  main  idea. Even those that aren't the  most  important will likely remain relevant. 

Step 4: Note Other Important Elements

If something stands out to you about the work and seems to play an important role in the text's overall narrative or structure, make a note about it. This could be a recurring theme, an incident in the storyline, or a deviation from the overall argument. 

As you identify and note important elements and moments in the work, the structure of your summary should begin to fall into place. 

Step 5: Prepare to Write Your Summary 

Once you've finished reading the work, review your notes and highlight the key points that came to light. Remember, your summary should be objective, so disregard any opinions you might have noted about the work. You should introduce the thesis or objective, briefly encapsulate the important ideas and moments from the work, and end with a conclusion that ties those ideas to the objective. Keep this structure in mind as you begin. 

Step 6: Begin by Introducing the Work 

As you begin, introduce the work, its author, and, if relevant, the context.

Depending on your situation—for example, if your teacher or professor has asked you to summarize a work as part of an assignment or quiz—this might seem redundant. However, it is standard practice to begin by introducing the work, even if the reader already knows what you're writing about. 

Example:  In  The Great Gatsby , F. Scott Fitzgerald... 

Step 7: Present the Thesis, Main Idea, or Central Argument

Once you've introduced the work, your priority is to clearly define the author's thesis, important point, or central argument. As mentioned above, sometimes the author presents this idea clearly and succinctly at the outset of their work; at other times, it's buried deep in the text. 

Regardless of how the main idea is presented in the work, it should be front and center in your summary. Some teachers might refer to this as a "topic sentence" or "introductory sentence." This is the central point around which you will construct the rest of your writing. As you progress, you'll highlight other ideas or occurrences that relate or contribute to this main idea, so it's important that your representation of it is easily understood. 

Example:  In  The Great Gatsby , F. Scott Fitzgerald uses the story of Jay Gatsby as a symbol of the social stratification, greed, and indulgence of 1920s America. 

Step 8: Briefly Discuss the Important Elements of the Work

After identifying the thesis or central argument, you should provide a brief overview of the work's other elements, ideas, and plot points. For the most part, the information you present throughout this section should bolster the thesis presented previously. Each sentence should serve as a supporting point for the topic sentence. Don't simply list ideas or plot points, but show how they're connected and inform the work as a whole. Of course, there may also be important elements of the work that are not directly tied to the main idea; it's ok to include these if you feel they are vital to understanding the work.

When writing the body, you should consciously and intentionally leave out unnecessary details. They tend to bog down your writing and lose the reader. 

Example:  The narrator, Nick Carraway, moves to New York's "West Egg," where he reunites with his cousin, Daisy, and her husband, Tom Buchanan. Fitzgerald clearly delineates social lines between West Egg (new money) and East Egg (old money), where Tom and Daisy reside. 
Nick attends a lavish party thrown by his neighbor, Jay Gatsby, and learns Jay formerly had a relationship with Daisy. The two reignite their forbidden affair. Tom reveals to Daisy that Gatsby earned his money illegally, through smuggling alcohol, and is actually a man of humble Midwestern origins. Daisy and Gatsby try to run away together, but Daisy accidentally runs over Tom's mistress. Tom, eager to exact revenge, convinces his mistress' husband that Gatsby was to blame in her death, and he murders Gatsby before committing suicide. Few of Gatsby's many friends attend his funeral.

Step 9: Write a Conclusion that Ties It All Together

Much like you introduce the author's major point at the outset of your summary, you should revisit it as you close out your writing. If you presented the author's main idea in the introduction, and then bolstered that main idea by recollecting plot points or important elements from the work, your conclusion should then reiterate how those elements relate to the main idea. 

Example:  Though Gatsby subscribed to the extravagance of his peers, his efforts to fit into the upper echelon of West and East Egg were negated by his humble origins; always out of place, he was rejected for his social class as much as his perceived crimes.  

Step 10: Edit

Before submitting your work, read it in full, and edit out any superfluous and redundant information. It's likely that unnecessary details snuck in as you were writing, and you might find that certain plot points just feel unnecessary within the scope of your finished product. 

In addition to editing for content, be sure to edit it closely for grammatical or spelling errors. Even if your summary is well thought out, its expertise is compromised if it's full of errors! 

How to Write a Plot Summary

The step-by-step guide to writing an effective summary, outlined above, applies to most summaries. However, each type has its own unique elements outside of those standard requirements. 

A plot or book summary, for example, should encapsulate the plot of a short story or novel. When writing one, there are unique strategies to follow.  

Dos of Writing a Plot Summary

  • Note plot points as the book or story unfolds. Especially in longer novels, it can be difficult to keep track of the twists and turns in the storyline. That's why we recommend taking notes as you read. 
  • Use online study guides for inspiration. Websites like SuperSummary provide in-depth summaries free of charge. While this is a good starting point when writing your own, it should only be for inspiration. Don't copy examples online (that's plagiarism!). 
  • Be sure to cover the three main arcs of every story: the exposition, climax, and conclusion. The exposition is the moment when the conflict or driving narrative is introduced. The climax is when that conflict comes to a head, and the narrative reaches its most dramatic moments. The conclusion is when the conflict is resolved or the story comes to an end. You should also include any inciting incidents (the first domino in a plot point).
  • Connect the dots. Throughout, you should demonstrate an understanding of how events and characters are related, rather than introducing each element as an independent variable. Remember, you should tie each plot point back to the main idea. 

Don'ts of Writing a Plot Summary

  • Don't just regurgitate the storyline. Rather than drone through the story plot point by plot point, you should highlight key moments in the narrative and direct them back to the author's objective. 
  • Avoid repetitive phrases like "then" or "next." A key indication you're just repeating the storyline point by point is utilizing a phrase like "then" or "next." While you should recount the major incidents of the narrative, it shouldn't feel so formulaic. 
  • Don't let it drag on. Books are long, but summarizing a book should still be short. While it depends on the assignment and the work in question, your summary should be 200 to 600 words, max.
Example :   In  The Great Gatsby , F. Scott Fitzgerald uses the story of Jay Gatsby as a symbol of the social stratification, greed, and indulgence of 1920s America.   The narrator, Nick Carraway, moves to New York's "West Egg," where he reunites with his cousin, Daisy, and her husband, Tom Buchanan. Fitzgerald clearly delineates social lines between West Egg (new money) and East Egg (old money), where Tom and Daisy reside. 
Nick attends a lavish party thrown by his neighbor, Jay Gatsby, and learns he formerly had a relationship with Daisy. When the two reignite their forbidden affair, disaster ensues. Tom reveals to Daisy that Gatsby earned his money illegally, through smuggling alcohol, and is actually a man of humble Midwestern origins. Daisy and Gatsby try to run away together, but Daisy accidentally runs over Tom's mistress. Tom, eager to exact revenge, convinces his mistress' husband that Gatsby was to blame in her death, and he murders Gatsby before committing suicide. Few of Gatsby's many friends attend his funeral.
Though Gatsby subscribed to the extravagance of his peers, his efforts to fit into the upper echelon of West and East Egg were negated by his humble origins; always out of place, he was rejected for his social class as much as his perceived crimes.

For an in-depth analysis of The Great Gatsby , check out the our study guide (we have an audio guide, too!).

How to Summarize an Article or Essay

The nature of an article or essay is quite different from a novel or short story, and in many ways, your summary should be too. The outline above remains the same, but the details are different. 

Here's what you should and shouldn't do when writing your article summary. 

Dos of Writing an Article Summary

  • Skim the original article first. To develop a basic understanding of the article and the writer's objectives, skim the content before reading it closely. Doing so will help you to identify some of the key points and then pay attention to the arguments around them when you read the article in full. 
  • Then read the article closely, marking key passages and ideas. Noting important ideas as you read will help you develop a deeper understanding of the writer's intentions.  
  • Note headings and subheadings, which likely identify important points. In articles and essays, the author often utilizes subheadings to introduce their most important ideas. These subheadings can help guide your own writing. 
  • Keep it short. The rule of brevity applies to article summaries too. In fact, because articles are usually short compared to novels or books, your text should be correlatively brief. And if you're utilizing the work as part of your own essay or argument, just a couple sentences will do.

Don'ts of Writing an Article Summary

  • Don't ignore the conclusion. When reading a long article or essay, it can be tempting to overlook the conclusion and focus on the body paragraphs of the article. However, the conclusion is often where the author most clearly outlines their findings and why they matter. It can serve as a great foundation for your own writing. 
  • Don't copy anything from the article directly—always paraphrase. If you copy any passages word-for-word from the article, be sure to identify them as quotations and attribute them to the author. Even this should be done sparingly. Instead, you should encapsulate their ideas within your own, abbreviated words.  
  • Don't forget to include proper citations. If you do include a direct quotation from the article, be sure to properly cite them. You can learn how to properly cite quotations in our Academic Citation Resource Guide . 
Example Summary of  "Gatsby as a Drowned Sailor" :  In her essay, "Gatsby as a Drowned Sailor," Margaret Lukens posits that a major, and often overlooked, motif in  The Great Gatsby  is that of the "drowned sailor." The novel, she points out, is immersed in nautical symbols and themes, particularly in the scenes surrounding Jay Gatsby. For example, Gatsby grew up on the shores of Lake Superior, now owns a house on the Long Island Sound, and supposedly spends much of his time on his boat. 
Lukens nods to the nautical imagery throughout Gatsby's lavish party, as well as Nick's interactions with Gatsby. Many of these, she argues, foreshadow Gatsby's death in his pool. Even his funeral is a testament to the motif, with the few attendees soaked to the skin with rain. Lukens presents a thorough case for the overarching nautical motif in  The Great Gatsby  and her argument that though Gatsby hooked a big one, ultimately it was "the one that got away." 

FAQs: How to Write a Book Summary  

How do you summarize without plagiarizing .

By its very nature, a summary isn't plagiarizing because it should be written in your own words. However, there are cases where it might be difficult to identify an appropriate synonym, and the phrase remains somewhat close to the original. In this scenario, just be sure to differentiate the rest of the phrase as much as possible. And if you need to include a direct quote from the work, be sure to appropriately cite it. 

How to write a summary and a reaction? 

In some cases, your teacher may ask you to write a summary and a reaction. Whereas a summary is objective, a reaction is a matter of opinion. So in this case, you should present the actions or ideas of the work, then respond to those actions and ideas with your personal thoughts. 

Why write a summary? 

A summary is a helpful tool many educators use to test their students' comprehension of a text. However, it is also a useful study tactic because recounting what you read can help you organize and retain information. 

summary examples for essays

Helpful Test

How to write a summary in 7 steps (with examples).

Summarizing may seem like a simple task, but it entails a lot more than just rephrasing sentences.

Crafting a well-crafted summary involves extracting the essential information from a text while maintaining its fundamental message.

Summarizing is a handy skill that can save you time, improve your attention to detail, and help you better understand complex topics.

These are some of the simple steps that can help you write a summary with confidence:

1. Read the text carefully

Before you even think about summarizing, it is important to read the text you want to summarize carefully.

Whether it’s an article, a book chapter, or any other piece of writing, take notes on the key ideas and important details.

Reading through the text multiple times is recommended, ensuring that you don’t miss anything essential.

2. Identify the main points

Now that you’ve thoroughly read the text, it’s time to determine the main ideas, arguments, or positions presented.

These are the key points that need to be included in your summary. Look for topic sentences, headings, or repeated information as clues.

Identifying the main points may be the most critical step, so be sure to take your time and reflect on what you’ve read.

3. Condense the information

Once you’ve identified the main points, it’s time to condense that information into a concise summary.

Focus on capturing the key ideas without including unnecessary details. Use your own words to explain the content, maintaining the original meaning.

You can condense the information further by grouping similar points together, using subheadings, or removing redundant information.

4. Organize the summary

Your summary should be structured in a logical manner. You can choose to organize it chronologically, by importance, or by following the structure of the original text.

Each paragraph should focus on a specific main point.

Be sure to create a clear introduction and conclusion that provide context and a summary of the overall message.

5. Use transitional phrases

To coherence and flow in your summary, make use of transitional phrases.

These phrases serve as connectors between different ideas and help provide a smooth transition between paragraphs.

For example, phrases such as “In addition,” “Furthermore,” or “On the other hand” can be used to introduce new points, provide additional information, or present contrasting ideas.

Using these transitional phrases will help you enhance the overall structure of your summary.

They act as signposts for your readers, guiding them through the logical progression of the ideas in your summary.

6. Check for accuracy

After completing your summary, thoroughly review it to ensure an accurate representation of the original text.

Take the time to carefully examine each sentence and paragraph, checking for any misinterpretation or omission of crucial details.

Additionally, if needed, conduct fact-checking to verify the accuracy of the information presented. Taking these steps will help ensure the integrity and reliability of your summary.

7. Revise and edit

Take a moment to review and revise your summary carefully. Ensure it is crystal clear, concise, and grammatically correct.

Craft it with finesse, eliminating any unnecessary words or sentences to maintain its brevity.

While doing so, consider adding a touch more detail to enrich its content and provide a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

Examples of Summaries

1. “the snowy day” by ezra jack keats.

“The Snowy Day” is a timeless children’s book written and illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats. The story follows a young boy named Peter who wakes up to a winter wonderland after a fresh snowfall. Excitedly, Peter ventures out into the snowy cityscape, exploring his neighborhood and engaging in various activities. From making footprints in the snow to creating snow angels and even trying to save a snowball for later, Peter’s adventures capture the joy and excitement of a snowy day. With its vivid illustrations and simple yet profound storytelling, “The Snowy Day” celebrates the beauty of winter and the wonder of childhood.

2. “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown

“Goodnight Moon” is a beloved children’s book written by Margaret Wise Brown. The story follows a young bunny as it prepares to go to sleep. Throughout the book, the bunny says goodnight to various objects in its room, such as the moon, stars, toys, and even the quiet old lady whispering “hush.” The rhyming text and gentle illustrations create a soothing atmosphere, making it a perfect bedtime story for little readers. “Goodnight Moon” has become a classic bedtime tale cherished by generations of children and their parents.

3. “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss

“Green Eggs and Ham” is a delightful children’s book by Dr. Seuss that tells the story of a persistent character named Sam-I-Am and his attempt to convince another character to try green eggs and ham. The main character, who initially refuses to try the strange dish, encounters Sam-I-Am in various locations, persistently offering him the unconventional meal. As the story progresses, Sam-I-Am presents multiple scenarios and locations where the green eggs and ham can be enjoyed. Eventually, the reluctant character agrees to try the dish and discovers that he actually enjoys it. The book teaches children about open-mindedness, trying new things, and not judging something without experiencing it firsthand.

How do you start a summary?

Here are a few examples of effective starting lines for a summary:

  • “In [title], [author] explores…”
  • “This [genre] [title] delves into…”
  • “With [topic] as its focus, [title]…”
  • “From the mind of [author], [title] takes readers on a journey…”
  • “Set in [setting], [title] follows the story of…”

Crafting the perfect opening line for a summary can differ based on the content and target audience. However you do it, try to encapsulate the essential elements and captivate the reader right from the start.

How short should a summary be?

A summary should be concise and succinct, capturing the main ideas without unnecessary details. It should aim to provide a clear and objective overview of the content.

Keep in mind that the length of a summary may vary depending on the specific requirements or context. Generally, a summary should be no more than one-third to one-fourth the length of the original text.

This ensures brevity while effectively conveying the essential information through numbered lists, bullet points, and contrast.

Summarizing is more than just rephrasing a piece of writing. It is a critical skill that requires attention to detail, an understanding of the material, and concise writing.

Following these simple steps will help you write a summary that is both informative and engaging.

Summarizing effectively takes practice, so don’t be discouraged if your first attempt isn’t perfect.

Keep reading and summarizing, and soon you’ll find that it becomes a natural and useful tool in your skillset.

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10 Best Tips For Writing A Good Summary

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How to Write a Summary | Guide & Examples

Published on 25 September 2022 by Shona McCombes . Revised on 12 May 2023.

Summarising , or writing a summary, means giving a concise overview of a text’s main points in your own words. A summary is always much shorter than the original text.

There are five key steps that can help you to write a summary:

  • Read the text
  • Break it down into sections
  • Identify the key points in each section
  • Write the summary
  • Check the summary against the article

Writing a summary does not involve critiquing or analysing the source. You should simply provide an accurate account of the most important information and ideas (without copying any text from the original).

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Table of contents

When to write a summary, step 1: read the text, step 2: break the text down into sections, step 3: identify the key points in each section, step 4: write the summary, step 5: check the summary against the article, frequently asked questions.

There are many situations in which you might have to summarise an article or other source:

  • As a stand-alone assignment to show you’ve understood the material
  • To keep notes that will help you remember what you’ve read
  • To give an overview of other researchers’ work in a literature review

When you’re writing an academic text like an essay , research paper , or dissertation , you’ll integrate sources in a variety of ways. You might use a brief quote to support your point, or paraphrase a few sentences or paragraphs.

But it’s often appropriate to summarize a whole article or chapter if it is especially relevant to your own research, or to provide an overview of a source before you analyse or critique it.

In any case, the goal of summarising is to give your reader a clear understanding of the original source. Follow the five steps outlined below to write a good summary.

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You should read the article more than once to make sure you’ve thoroughly understood it. It’s often effective to read in three stages:

  • Scan the article quickly to get a sense of its topic and overall shape.
  • Read the article carefully, highlighting important points and taking notes as you read.
  • Skim the article again to confirm you’ve understood the key points, and reread any particularly important or difficult passages.

There are some tricks you can use to identify the key points as you read:

  • Start by reading the abstract . This already contains the author’s own summary of their work, and it tells you what to expect from the article.
  • Pay attention to headings and subheadings . These should give you a good sense of what each part is about.
  • Read the introduction and the conclusion together and compare them: What did the author set out to do, and what was the outcome?

To make the text more manageable and understand its sub-points, break it down into smaller sections.

If the text is a scientific paper that follows a standard empirical structure, it is probably already organised into clearly marked sections, usually including an introduction, methods, results, and discussion.

Other types of articles may not be explicitly divided into sections. But most articles and essays will be structured around a series of sub-points or themes.

Now it’s time go through each section and pick out its most important points. What does your reader need to know to understand the overall argument or conclusion of the article?

Keep in mind that a summary does not involve paraphrasing every single paragraph of the article. Your goal is to extract the essential points, leaving out anything that can be considered background information or supplementary detail.

In a scientific article, there are some easy questions you can ask to identify the key points in each part.

If the article takes a different form, you might have to think more carefully about what points are most important for the reader to understand its argument.

In that case, pay particular attention to the thesis statement —the central claim that the author wants us to accept, which usually appears in the introduction—and the topic sentences that signal the main idea of each paragraph.

Now that you know the key points that the article aims to communicate, you need to put them in your own words.

To avoid plagiarism and show you’ve understood the article, it’s essential to properly paraphrase the author’s ideas. Do not copy and paste parts of the article, not even just a sentence or two.

The best way to do this is to put the article aside and write out your own understanding of the author’s key points.

Examples of article summaries

Let’s take a look at an example. Below, we summarise this article , which scientifically investigates the old saying ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’.

An article summary like the above would be appropriate for a stand-alone summary assignment. However, you’ll often want to give an even more concise summary of an article.

For example, in a literature review or research paper, you may want to briefly summarize this study as part of a wider discussion of various sources. In this case, we can boil our summary down even further to include only the most relevant information.

Citing the source you’re summarizing

When including a summary as part of a larger text, it’s essential to properly cite the source you’re summarizing. The exact format depends on your citation style , but it usually includes an in-text citation and a full reference at the end of your paper.

You can easily create your citations and references in APA or MLA using our free citation generators.

APA Citation Generator MLA Citation Generator

Finally, read through the article once more to ensure that:

  • You’ve accurately represented the author’s work
  • You haven’t missed any essential information
  • The phrasing is not too similar to any sentences in the original.

If you’re summarising many articles as part of your own work, it may be a good idea to use a plagiarism checker to double-check that your text is completely original and properly cited. Just be sure to use one that’s safe and reliable.

A summary is a short overview of the main points of an article or other source, written entirely in your own words.

Save yourself some time with the free summariser.

A summary is always much shorter than the original text. The length of a summary can range from just a few sentences to several paragraphs; it depends on the length of the article you’re summarising, and on the purpose of the summary.

With the summariser tool you can easily adjust the length of your summary.

You might have to write a summary of a source:

  • As a stand-alone assignment to prove you understand the material
  • For your own use, to keep notes on your reading
  • To provide an overview of other researchers’ work in a literature review
  • In a paper , to summarise or introduce a relevant study

To avoid plagiarism when summarising an article or other source, follow these two rules:

  • Write the summary entirely in your own words by   paraphrasing the author’s ideas.
  • Reference the source with an in-text citation and a full reference so your reader can easily find the original text.

An abstract concisely explains all the key points of an academic text such as a thesis , dissertation or journal article. It should summarise the whole text, not just introduce it.

An abstract is a type of summary , but summaries are also written elsewhere in academic writing . For example, you might summarise a source in a paper , in a literature review , or as a standalone assignment.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the ‘Cite this Scribbr article’ button to automatically add the citation to our free Reference Generator.

McCombes, S. (2023, May 12). How to Write a Summary | Guide & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved 14 May 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/working-sources/how-to-write-a-summary/

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So much is at stake in writing a conclusion. This is, after all, your last chance to persuade your readers to your point of view, to impress yourself upon them as a writer and thinker. And the impression you create in your conclusion will shape the impression that stays with your readers after they've finished the essay.

The end of an essay should therefore convey a sense of completeness and closure as well as a sense of the lingering possibilities of the topic, its larger meaning, its implications: the final paragraph should close the discussion without closing it off.

To establish a sense of closure, you might do one or more of the following:

  • Conclude by linking the last paragraph to the first, perhaps by reiterating a word or phrase you used at the beginning.
  • Conclude with a sentence composed mainly of one-syllable words. Simple language can help create an effect of understated drama.
  • Conclude with a sentence that's compound or parallel in structure; such sentences can establish a sense of balance or order that may feel just right at the end of a complex discussion.

To close the discussion without closing it off, you might do one or more of the following:

  • Conclude with a quotation from or reference to a primary or secondary source, one that amplifies your main point or puts it in a different perspective. A quotation from, say, the novel or poem you're writing about can add texture and specificity to your discussion; a critic or scholar can help confirm or complicate your final point. For example, you might conclude an essay on the idea of home in James Joyce's short story collection,  Dubliners , with information about Joyce's own complex feelings towards Dublin, his home. Or you might end with a biographer's statement about Joyce's attitude toward Dublin, which could illuminate his characters' responses to the city. Just be cautious, especially about using secondary material: make sure that you get the last word.
  • Conclude by setting your discussion into a different, perhaps larger, context. For example, you might end an essay on nineteenth-century muckraking journalism by linking it to a current news magazine program like  60 Minutes .
  • Conclude by redefining one of the key terms of your argument. For example, an essay on Marx's treatment of the conflict between wage labor and capital might begin with Marx's claim that the "capitalist economy is . . . a gigantic enterprise of dehumanization "; the essay might end by suggesting that Marxist analysis is itself dehumanizing because it construes everything in economic -- rather than moral or ethical-- terms.
  • Conclude by considering the implications of your argument (or analysis or discussion). What does your argument imply, or involve, or suggest? For example, an essay on the novel  Ambiguous Adventure , by the Senegalese writer Cheikh Hamidou Kane, might open with the idea that the protagonist's development suggests Kane's belief in the need to integrate Western materialism and Sufi spirituality in modern Senegal. The conclusion might make the new but related point that the novel on the whole suggests that such an integration is (or isn't) possible.

Finally, some advice on how not to end an essay:

  • Don't simply summarize your essay. A brief summary of your argument may be useful, especially if your essay is long--more than ten pages or so. But shorter essays tend not to require a restatement of your main ideas.
  • Avoid phrases like "in conclusion," "to conclude," "in summary," and "to sum up." These phrases can be useful--even welcome--in oral presentations. But readers can see, by the tell-tale compression of the pages, when an essay is about to end. You'll irritate your audience if you belabor the obvious.
  • Resist the urge to apologize. If you've immersed yourself in your subject, you now know a good deal more about it than you can possibly include in a five- or ten- or 20-page essay. As a result, by the time you've finished writing, you may be having some doubts about what you've produced. (And if you haven't immersed yourself in your subject, you may be feeling even more doubtful about your essay as you approach the conclusion.) Repress those doubts. Don't undercut your authority by saying things like, "this is just one approach to the subject; there may be other, better approaches. . ."

Copyright 1998, Pat Bellanca, for the Writing Center at Harvard University

English that goes straight to the heart

Summary Essay Examples

The summary essay is a brief account of the chief points of an essay. There’s no hard and fast rule about the length of the summary, but so much can be half of the original essay .

In this post, we have added the best 12+ Summary Essay Examples for you.

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Summary Essay

Summary Essay Examples #1

ESSAY: When we survey our lives and efforts, we soon observe that almost the whole of our actions and desires are bound up with the existence of other human beings. We notice that the whole of nature resembles that of social animals. We eat food that others have produced, wear clothes that others have made, and live in houses that others have built. The greater part of our knowledge and beliefs has been passed on to us by other people through the medium of a language that others have created. Without language and mental capacities, we would have been poor indeed comparable to higher animals.

We have therefore to admit that we owe our principal knowledge over the least to the fact of living in human society. The individual if left alone from birth would remain primitive and beast-like in his thoughts and feelings to a degree that we can hardly imagine. The individual is what he is and has the significance that he has not much in virtue of individuality, but rather as a member of a great human community, which directs his material and spiritual existence from the cradle to the grave. (193 words)

Rough Draft

  • Humans are social animals.
  • They depend on each other for necessities and social needs.
  • Humans use language to communicate with each other and further their mental development.
  • Humans are superior to animals as they live in societies that guide their material and spiritual existence.

TITLE: Man and society

SUMMARY: Human beings have their actions and desires bound up with society as they are social animals. They depend on each other for food and clothes and share their knowledge and beliefs, and use language created by others to communicate, which helps in their mental development. They are superior to beasts because they live in human society. An individual left alone since birth would grow utterly beast-like. Human society guides man’s material and spiritual existence. (76 words)

Summary Essay Examples #2

If you will, believe me, you who are young, yours is the golden season of life. As you have heard it called, so it verily is the seed-time of life in which if you do not sow or if you sow tares instead of wheat, you will arrive at little. And in the course of years when you come to look back if you have not done what you have heard from your advisers and among many counsellors there is wisdom you will bitterly repent when it is too late.

The habit of studies acquired at universities is of the highest importance in the afterlife. At the season when you are young in years, the whole mind is, as it were, fluid, and is capable of forming itself into any shape that the owner of the mind pleases to allow it or constrain it, to form itself into. The mind is then in a plastic or fluid state but it hardens gradually to the consistency of rock or iron, and you can not alter the habits of an old man. (180 Words)

Title: The Golden Season of Life / The Importance of Sowing Good Seeds

Youth is the golden and fertile time of life. If one does not listen to and act upon the advice of his superiors, he must eventually repent. Youth is a fluid state of mind and any good habits now will stand you in good stead later in life. Then the mind becomes rigid and no good habits are formed. (58 Words)

The golden season of life is the seed-time of life in which if you do not sow or sow tares instead of wheat, you will arrive at little. The habit of studies acquired at universities is of the highest importance in the afterlife, as the mind is fluid but hardens gradually to the consistency of rock or iron. (58 Words)

Summary Essay Examples #3

Variety is the spice of life – is it not? We all practically live and strive for having better food, but food remains insipid without the addition of spices. The only difference between a good curry and a bad curry lies in the presence or absence of spices. The absence of variety makes life drab and monotonous. A man working six hours a week will have his rest on Sunday. A man wearing a coat for five days will like a shawl on the sixth day. If a man lives in Calcutta for six years, he will like to spend a month outside. We hear that Tagore could not live in the same house for a long time.

He used to change his residence pretty often, which shows a poet’s longing for novelty. Life is many stringed instruments and we must give proper attention to all the strings. Ever since creation man has gone on from progress to progress by responding to new circumstances. So, for the development of civilization, new circumstances and a new environment are necessary. (179 Words)

Title: The Need for Change and Variety / Variety: The Spice of Life

Variety is the spice of life, and without it, life is dull and monotonous. To develop civilization, new circumstances and a new environment are necessary. Tagore was a poet who changed his residence often, showing his longing for novelty. Life is many stringed instruments and we must give proper attention to all the strings. (54 Words)

Summary Essay Examples #4

Everyone has continual control during his life with the variety of experiences known as art. Their experience ranges from the craft level found in the design and execution of the practical things of life to the more imaginative because less material level is required for the enjoyment of music, painting, sculpture, and literature. In the fine arts, human creativity is no longer concerned with producing an object which will be required for use anyhow, whether it is beautiful or not, but with providing a stimulus for the satisfaction of human emotion in its various levels of manifestation.

The majority of human beings since they are culturally underprivileged, are satisfied if their emotions are roused easily and mechanically by the more simple emotional easily identified sentimentalities that easily assimilate emotional reflexes-by dance, and music, by the identified references of cinema organ sentimentalities, by the picture with a story or easily assimilated moral, and by the simple violent plots of the cheap magazine. The culturally privileged demand a more complicated satisfaction. They require because they are educated on the aesthetic aspects of the arts. (180 Words)

Title:  The Power of Art / The Importance of Art Education

The most important idea is that art provides a stimulus for the satisfaction of human emotion and that the majority of people are satisfied with simple emotional sentimentalities, while the culturally privileged require a more complicated satisfaction due to their education in the aesthetic aspects of the arts. (48 Words)

Summary Essay Examples #5

The study of history depends more than any other branch of science or literature on the availability of many books. The history student nowadays is often discouraged or hampered by the lack of them, especially of those older standard works which have gone out of print. Even before the Second World War publishers were not willing to risk reprinting works often running into several big volumes for which the demand, was uncertain and the cost of production high. During the war air raids destroyed over a million books in one district of London alone, and reduced to ashes the entire stock of one firm which had specialized in historical works.

Since the war paper has been costly and scarce; the costs of printing and binding have risen sharply; and the demand, though greater, is still not large enough to make worthwhile the republication of many books which historians regard as essential. The main reason for this insufficient demand is the disappearance of the private library. Private libraries were common in Victorian Times but they no longer exist in modern small houses where there is no room for bookshelves. (190 Words)

Title: The Challenges of Historical Research in the Modern Era

The study of history is hindered by the lack of books, especially older standard works which have gone out of print due to the cost of printing and binding. The main reason is the disappearance of private libraries, which no longer exist in modern small houses. (46 Words)

Summary Essay Examples #6

Speech is a great blessing, but it can also be a great curse, for, while it helps us to make our intentions and desires known to our fellows, it can also, if we use it carelessly make our attitude completely misunderstood. A slip of the tongue. the use of an unusual or ambiguous word, and so on, may create an enemy where we had hoped to win a friend.

Again different classes of people use different vocabularies, and the ordinary speech of an educated man may strike an uneducated listener as showing pride; unwittingly we may use a word that bears a different meaning for our listener from what it does to men of our own class. Thus speech is not a gift to use lightly without thought, but one which demands careful handling. Only a fool will express himself alike to all kinds and conditions of men. (148 Words)

Title: The Blessing and Curse of Speech

Speech is a great gift, but it can also be a curse if used carelessly. Different classes of people use different vocabularies, and the ordinary speech of an educated man may strike an uneducated listener as pride. Careful handling of speech is essential, as only a fool will express himself alike to all people. (54 Words)

Summary Essay Examples #7

Man is the architect of his own fate. If he makes a proper division of his time and does his duties according he is sure to improve and prosper in life; but if he does otherwise, he is sure to repent, when it is too late and he will have dragged a miserable existence from day to day.

To kill time is as culpable as to commit suicide, but our life is nothing but the sum total of hours, days, and years. Youth is the golden season of life. In youth, the mind is pliable and soft and can be moulded in any form you like. If we lose the morning hours of life, we shall have to repent afterwards. It is called the ‘seed time of life’. If we sow good seeds, we shall reap a good harvest when we grow up. (142 Words)

Title: Youth: The Gloden Opportunity to shape your / Man is the Architect of his own Fate

Man is responsible for his own fate, and if he does not make proper use of his time, he will regret it. Youth is the golden season of life, and if we lose the morning hours of life, we will have to repent. (43 Words)

Summary Essay Examples #8

It is sometimes said that the pleasures of giving are peculiar to the rich, and no doubt the joy of giving is one of the greatest and purest that wealth can bestow. Still the poor also may be liberal and generous. The widow’s mite, so far as the widow is concerned, counts for as much as the rich man’s gold.

Moreover, as regards kindness and sympathy which are far more valuable than money, the poor can give as much as, perhaps even more than the rich. Money is not wealth. A proverb says: “A man’s true wealth is good that he does in the world”. When he dies, men will ask what property he has left behind, but Angels will inquire, “What good deeds hast thou sent before thee?” (130 Words)

Title: The Pleasure of Giving / Generosity Knows No Wealth

The poor can give as much as the rich, and kindness and sympathy are more valuable than money. A proverb states that a man’s true wealth is the good deeds he does in the world. (35 Words)

Summary Essay Examples #9

The lot of our Indian peasant is certainly a pitiable one. He labours under many disadvantages. In the first place, he is illiterate, and does not, therefore, care to know more than he has inherited from his ancestors. He laughs at his tiny piece of land from morning to evening and if the seasons favour him, earns what barely suffices to meet his daily demands. He does not grumble to pay his rent so much as he does for the loss of his plough cattle. He lives in debt over head and ears, yet he does not care to save anything for the morrow.

To ameliorate his condition, the supply of good plough cattle, the adoption of preventive measures to save the animals from diseases, and, last of all, primary education should engage the serious attention of the Indian Government. (138 Words)

Title: Illiteracy and its effect on Indian Peasant / The Pitiable Conditions of Indian Peasant

The Indian peasant is suffering from many disadvantages, such as illiteracy, poverty, and debt. To improve his situation, the supply of good plough cattle, preventive measures, and primary education should be addressed by the Indian Government. (36 Words)

Summary Essay Examples #10

The aim of culture and religion is the same. Men are all members of one great whole, and the sympathy which is in human nature will not allow one member to be different from the rest or to have perfect welfare independent of the rest. The expansion of our humanity to suit the idea of perfection that culture forms must be a general expansion. Perfection, as culture conceives it is not possible while the individual remains isolated. He must carry others along with him in his march towards perfection. Culture lays on us the same obligation as a religion which says that “to promote the kingdom of God is to increase and hasten one’s own happiness.

Culture is a harmonious expansion of all the powers which make the beauty and worth of human nature. Culture is not consistent with the over-development of any power at the expense of the rest. Here it goes beyond religion, as religion is generally conceived by us. (162 Words)

Title: Culture and Religion: The Two Sides of the Same Coin

Culture leading to perfection, like religion, complements rather than competes with the latter. Culture, like religion, demands perfection rather than the unification of everything. Culture means harmonious development of all faculties and not overdevelopment of any at the expense of others. Here it transcends religion in its emphasis on harmonious development. (50 Words)

The aim of culture and religion is the same: to expand humanity to suit the idea of perfection. Culture is a harmonious expansion of all the powers which make the beauty and worth of human nature, and is not consistent with the over-development of any power at the expense of the rest. It lays on us the same obligation as a religion to promote the kingdom of God is to increase and hasten one’s own happiness. (72 Words)

Summary Essay Examples #11

Perseverance is the very hinge of all virtues. On looking over the world, the cause of nine-tenths of the lamentable failures which occur in much of their history lies not in the want of talents, but in the manner of using them, in flying from object to object, in starting away at each little disgust, and thus applying the force which might conquer anyone difficulty to a series of difficulties so large that no human race can conquer them.

The smallest brook on earth by continuing to run has hollowed out for itself a considerable valley to flow in. Commend me, therefore, to the virtue of severance. Without it, all the rest are little better than fairy gold which glitters in your purse, but taken to the market proves to be state or cinders. (134 Words)

Title: The Importance of Perseverance / Perseverance: The Hinge of Virtues

Perseverance is the key to success, and severance is the virtue of severance. Without it, all the rest are a little better than fairy gold. (25 Words)

Perseverance is the key to all virtues and is the cause of many failures in history. It is the act of flying from object to object, starting away at each little disgust, and applying the force which might conquer anyone’s difficulty to a series of difficulties so large that no human race can conquer them. Without it, all the rest are little better than fairy gold which glitters in your purse, but when taken to the market proves to be state or cinders. (83 Words)

Summary Essay Examples #12

Films should contribute to human understanding and progress rather than hinder them antisocially. The excitement of gangsterdom is permissible so long as the antisocial quality of gangsterdom is not held up as something desirable. Frivolous gaiety may be introduced, but it should not be presented as the be-all and end-all, of living. Life can be made exciting and romantic provided it is not permanently distorted.

For there can never be much human progress if we distort things by pretending the world is much better than it actually is. Thus the attitude of a film to the grimmer side of life can not be worthwhile if it glosses it over, since that only confirms our backwardness. Nothing bad should be treated approvingly. The introduction of gangsterdom, war, idle luxury; slums unemployment, poverty, and their accompanying misery, crime, and disease, should not leave the audience complacent, but should if anything inspire them with a determination to end them. (159 Words)

Title: Films  -Entertainment or Distortion of Reality / The Impact of Films on Society

Films should contribute to human understanding and progress rather than hinder them antisocially, and should not gloss over the grimmer side of life, such as gangsterdom, war, idle luxury, and poverty. (31 Words)

Films should contribute to human understanding and progress rather than hinder them antisocially. Life can be made exciting and romantic, but it should not be permanently distorted. The introduction of gangsterdom, war, idle luxury, slums unemployment, poverty, and their accompanying misery, crime, and disease should not leave the audience complacent but should inspire them with a determination to end them. (60 Words)

Summary Essay Examples #13

A poor woman once came to the Buddha and begged him to revive her dead child. The holy man was touched by the woman’s great sorrow. Then he asked him to bring a handful of mustard seeds from a house where death had never entered. The sad mother started looking for mustard seeds from door to door. One said, our little child died last year. Another said I lost my father. The evening came.

He returned to Lord Buddha with a heavy heart and told him about the results of his search. Then the Buddha gently told him not to think of his own suffering, for suffering and death are common to all.

Title: The Buddha and the Grieving Mother / The Universal Experience of Suffering and Death

Summary:  A poor woman came to the Buddha and begged him to revive her dead child. He asked her to bring a handful of mustard seeds from a house where death had never entered. The mother searched for mustard seeds from door to door and returned to Lord Buddha with a heavy heart. The Buddha gently reminded her that suffering and death are common to all. (65 Words)

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How to Write an Essay Introduction (with Examples)   

essay introduction

The introduction of an essay plays a critical role in engaging the reader and providing contextual information about the topic. It sets the stage for the rest of the essay, establishes the tone and style, and motivates the reader to continue reading. 

Table of Contents

What is an essay introduction , what to include in an essay introduction, how to create an essay structure , step-by-step process for writing an essay introduction , how to write an introduction paragraph , how to write a hook for your essay , how to include background information , how to write a thesis statement .

  • Argumentative Essay Introduction Example: 
  • Expository Essay Introduction Example 

Literary Analysis Essay Introduction Example

Check and revise – checklist for essay introduction , key takeaways , frequently asked questions .

An introduction is the opening section of an essay, paper, or other written work. It introduces the topic and provides background information, context, and an overview of what the reader can expect from the rest of the work. 1 The key is to be concise and to the point, providing enough information to engage the reader without delving into excessive detail. 

The essay introduction is crucial as it sets the tone for the entire piece and provides the reader with a roadmap of what to expect. Here are key elements to include in your essay introduction: 

  • Hook : Start with an attention-grabbing statement or question to engage the reader. This could be a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or a compelling anecdote. 
  • Background information : Provide context and background information to help the reader understand the topic. This can include historical information, definitions of key terms, or an overview of the current state of affairs related to your topic. 
  • Thesis statement : Clearly state your main argument or position on the topic. Your thesis should be concise and specific, providing a clear direction for your essay. 

Before we get into how to write an essay introduction, we need to know how it is structured. The structure of an essay is crucial for organizing your thoughts and presenting them clearly and logically. It is divided as follows: 2  

  • Introduction:  The introduction should grab the reader’s attention with a hook, provide context, and include a thesis statement that presents the main argument or purpose of the essay.  
  • Body:  The body should consist of focused paragraphs that support your thesis statement using evidence and analysis. Each paragraph should concentrate on a single central idea or argument and provide evidence, examples, or analysis to back it up.  
  • Conclusion:  The conclusion should summarize the main points and restate the thesis differently. End with a final statement that leaves a lasting impression on the reader. Avoid new information or arguments. 

summary examples for essays

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to write an essay introduction: 

  • Start with a Hook : Begin your introduction paragraph with an attention-grabbing statement, question, quote, or anecdote related to your topic. The hook should pique the reader’s interest and encourage them to continue reading. 
  • Provide Background Information : This helps the reader understand the relevance and importance of the topic. 
  • State Your Thesis Statement : The last sentence is the main argument or point of your essay. It should be clear, concise, and directly address the topic of your essay. 
  • Preview the Main Points : This gives the reader an idea of what to expect and how you will support your thesis. 
  • Keep it Concise and Clear : Avoid going into too much detail or including information not directly relevant to your topic. 
  • Revise : Revise your introduction after you’ve written the rest of your essay to ensure it aligns with your final argument. 

Here’s an example of an essay introduction paragraph about the importance of education: 

Education is often viewed as a fundamental human right and a key social and economic development driver. As Nelson Mandela once famously said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” It is the key to unlocking a wide range of opportunities and benefits for individuals, societies, and nations. In today’s constantly evolving world, education has become even more critical. It has expanded beyond traditional classroom learning to include digital and remote learning, making education more accessible and convenient. This essay will delve into the importance of education in empowering individuals to achieve their dreams, improving societies by promoting social justice and equality, and driving economic growth by developing a skilled workforce and promoting innovation. 

This introduction paragraph example includes a hook (the quote by Nelson Mandela), provides some background information on education, and states the thesis statement (the importance of education). 

This is one of the key steps in how to write an essay introduction. Crafting a compelling hook is vital because it sets the tone for your entire essay and determines whether your readers will stay interested. A good hook draws the reader in and sets the stage for the rest of your essay.  

  • Avoid Dry Fact : Instead of simply stating a bland fact, try to make it engaging and relevant to your topic. For example, if you’re writing about the benefits of exercise, you could start with a startling statistic like, “Did you know that regular exercise can increase your lifespan by up to seven years?” 
  • Avoid Using a Dictionary Definition : While definitions can be informative, they’re not always the most captivating way to start an essay. Instead, try to use a quote, anecdote, or provocative question to pique the reader’s interest. For instance, if you’re writing about freedom, you could begin with a quote from a famous freedom fighter or philosopher. 
  • Do Not Just State a Fact That the Reader Already Knows : This ties back to the first point—your hook should surprise or intrigue the reader. For Here’s an introduction paragraph example, if you’re writing about climate change, you could start with a thought-provoking statement like, “Despite overwhelming evidence, many people still refuse to believe in the reality of climate change.” 

Including background information in the introduction section of your essay is important to provide context and establish the relevance of your topic. When writing the background information, you can follow these steps: 

  • Start with a General Statement:  Begin with a general statement about the topic and gradually narrow it down to your specific focus. For example, when discussing the impact of social media, you can begin by making a broad statement about social media and its widespread use in today’s society, as follows: “Social media has become an integral part of modern life, with billions of users worldwide.” 
  • Define Key Terms : Define any key terms or concepts that may be unfamiliar to your readers but are essential for understanding your argument. 
  • Provide Relevant Statistics:  Use statistics or facts to highlight the significance of the issue you’re discussing. For instance, “According to a report by Statista, the number of social media users is expected to reach 4.41 billion by 2025.” 
  • Discuss the Evolution:  Mention previous research or studies that have been conducted on the topic, especially those that are relevant to your argument. Mention key milestones or developments that have shaped its current impact. You can also outline some of the major effects of social media. For example, you can briefly describe how social media has evolved, including positives such as increased connectivity and issues like cyberbullying and privacy concerns. 
  • Transition to Your Thesis:  Use the background information to lead into your thesis statement, which should clearly state the main argument or purpose of your essay. For example, “Given its pervasive influence, it is crucial to examine the impact of social media on mental health.” 

summary examples for essays

A thesis statement is a concise summary of the main point or claim of an essay, research paper, or other type of academic writing. It appears near the end of the introduction. Here’s how to write a thesis statement: 

  • Identify the topic:  Start by identifying the topic of your essay. For example, if your essay is about the importance of exercise for overall health, your topic is “exercise.” 
  • State your position:  Next, state your position or claim about the topic. This is the main argument or point you want to make. For example, if you believe that regular exercise is crucial for maintaining good health, your position could be: “Regular exercise is essential for maintaining good health.” 
  • Support your position:  Provide a brief overview of the reasons or evidence that support your position. These will be the main points of your essay. For example, if you’re writing an essay about the importance of exercise, you could mention the physical health benefits, mental health benefits, and the role of exercise in disease prevention. 
  • Make it specific:  Ensure your thesis statement clearly states what you will discuss in your essay. For example, instead of saying, “Exercise is good for you,” you could say, “Regular exercise, including cardiovascular and strength training, can improve overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.” 

Examples of essay introduction 

Here are examples of essay introductions for different types of essays: 

Argumentative Essay Introduction Example:  

Topic: Should the voting age be lowered to 16? 

“The question of whether the voting age should be lowered to 16 has sparked nationwide debate. While some argue that 16-year-olds lack the requisite maturity and knowledge to make informed decisions, others argue that doing so would imbue young people with agency and give them a voice in shaping their future.” 

Expository Essay Introduction Example  

Topic: The benefits of regular exercise 

“In today’s fast-paced world, the importance of regular exercise cannot be overstated. From improving physical health to boosting mental well-being, the benefits of exercise are numerous and far-reaching. This essay will examine the various advantages of regular exercise and provide tips on incorporating it into your daily routine.” 

Text: “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee 

“Harper Lee’s novel, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ is a timeless classic that explores themes of racism, injustice, and morality in the American South. Through the eyes of young Scout Finch, the reader is taken on a journey that challenges societal norms and forces characters to confront their prejudices. This essay will analyze the novel’s use of symbolism, character development, and narrative structure to uncover its deeper meaning and relevance to contemporary society.” 

  • Engaging and Relevant First Sentence : The opening sentence captures the reader’s attention and relates directly to the topic. 
  • Background Information : Enough background information is introduced to provide context for the thesis statement. 
  • Definition of Important Terms : Key terms or concepts that might be unfamiliar to the audience or are central to the argument are defined. 
  • Clear Thesis Statement : The thesis statement presents the main point or argument of the essay. 
  • Relevance to Main Body : Everything in the introduction directly relates to and sets up the discussion in the main body of the essay. 

summary examples for essays

Writing a strong introduction is crucial for setting the tone and context of your essay. Here are the key takeaways for how to write essay introduction: 3  

  • Hook the Reader : Start with an engaging hook to grab the reader’s attention. This could be a compelling question, a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or an anecdote. 
  • Provide Background : Give a brief overview of the topic, setting the context and stage for the discussion. 
  • Thesis Statement : State your thesis, which is the main argument or point of your essay. It should be concise, clear, and specific. 
  • Preview the Structure : Outline the main points or arguments to help the reader understand the organization of your essay. 
  • Keep it Concise : Avoid including unnecessary details or information not directly related to your thesis. 
  • Revise and Edit : Revise your introduction to ensure clarity, coherence, and relevance. Check for grammar and spelling errors. 
  • Seek Feedback : Get feedback from peers or instructors to improve your introduction further. 

The purpose of an essay introduction is to give an overview of the topic, context, and main ideas of the essay. It is meant to engage the reader, establish the tone for the rest of the essay, and introduce the thesis statement or central argument.  

An essay introduction typically ranges from 5-10% of the total word count. For example, in a 1,000-word essay, the introduction would be roughly 50-100 words. However, the length can vary depending on the complexity of the topic and the overall length of the essay.

An essay introduction is critical in engaging the reader and providing contextual information about the topic. To ensure its effectiveness, consider incorporating these key elements: a compelling hook, background information, a clear thesis statement, an outline of the essay’s scope, a smooth transition to the body, and optional signposting sentences.  

The process of writing an essay introduction is not necessarily straightforward, but there are several strategies that can be employed to achieve this end. When experiencing difficulty initiating the process, consider the following techniques: begin with an anecdote, a quotation, an image, a question, or a startling fact to pique the reader’s interest. It may also be helpful to consider the five W’s of journalism: who, what, when, where, why, and how.   For instance, an anecdotal opening could be structured as follows: “As I ascended the stage, momentarily blinded by the intense lights, I could sense the weight of a hundred eyes upon me, anticipating my next move. The topic of discussion was climate change, a subject I was passionate about, and it was my first public speaking event. Little did I know , that pivotal moment would not only alter my perspective but also chart my life’s course.” 

Crafting a compelling thesis statement for your introduction paragraph is crucial to grab your reader’s attention. To achieve this, avoid using overused phrases such as “In this paper, I will write about” or “I will focus on” as they lack originality. Instead, strive to engage your reader by substantiating your stance or proposition with a “so what” clause. While writing your thesis statement, aim to be precise, succinct, and clear in conveying your main argument.  

To create an effective essay introduction, ensure it is clear, engaging, relevant, and contains a concise thesis statement. It should transition smoothly into the essay and be long enough to cover necessary points but not become overwhelming. Seek feedback from peers or instructors to assess its effectiveness. 


  • Cui, L. (2022). Unit 6 Essay Introduction.  Building Academic Writing Skills . 
  • West, H., Malcolm, G., Keywood, S., & Hill, J. (2019). Writing a successful essay.  Journal of Geography in Higher Education ,  43 (4), 609-617. 
  • Beavers, M. E., Thoune, D. L., & McBeth, M. (2023). Bibliographic Essay: Reading, Researching, Teaching, and Writing with Hooks: A Queer Literacy Sponsorship. College English, 85(3), 230-242. 

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Related Reads:

  • What is an Argumentative Essay? How to Write It (With Examples)
  • How to Paraphrase Research Papers Effectively
  • How to Cite Social Media Sources in Academic Writing? 
  • How Long Should a Chapter Be?

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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Common Writing Assignments

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These OWL resources will help you understand and complete specific types of writing assignments, such as annotated bibliographies, book reports, and research papers. This section also includes resources on writing academic proposals for conference presentations, journal articles, and books.

Understanding Writing Assignments

This resource describes some steps you can take to better understand the requirements of your writing assignments. This resource works for either in-class, teacher-led discussion or for personal use.

Argument Papers

This resource outlines the generally accepted structure for introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions in an academic argument paper. Keep in mind that this resource contains guidelines and not strict rules about organization. Your structure needs to be flexible enough to meet the requirements of your purpose and audience.

Research Papers

This handout provides detailed information about how to write research papers including discussing research papers as a genre, choosing topics, and finding sources.

Exploratory Papers

This resource will help you with exploratory/inquiry essay assignments.

Annotated Bibliographies

This handout provides information about annotated bibliographies in MLA, APA, and CMS.

Book Report

This resource discusses book reports and how to write them.


This handout provides suggestions and examples for writing definitions.

Essays for Exams

While most OWL resources recommend a longer writing process (start early, revise often, conduct thorough research, etc.), sometimes you just have to write quickly in test situations. However, these exam essays can be no less important pieces of writing than research papers because they can influence final grades for courses, and/or they can mean the difference between getting into an academic program (GED, SAT, GRE). To that end, this resource will help you prepare and write essays for exams.

Book Review

This resource discusses book reviews and how to write them.

Academic Proposals

This resource will help undergraduate, graduate, and professional scholars write proposals for academic conferences, articles, and books.

In this section



Interview Summary

Ai generator.

summary examples for essays

So you were tasked by your teacher to do an interview summary report or essay. Or maybe your superior asked you to. Or maybe it’s just a plain hobby you want to do. Either way, this task is not the easiest thing to accomplish. Aside from conducting interviews with your sources, you need to summarize the essential information you’ve got from them– something that might takes time since you might have acquired a lot of information. This might need a lot of time and energy , but with proper planning and organization, you can achieve writing a good summary report.

  • Meeting Summary Examples
  • Objective Summary Examples

What is an Interview Summary Essay?

But first let’s ask: what does an interview essay or report mean? It’s not something you get to hear on a daily basis, and not something you hear anywhere else. Basically, it is an essay that look into different perspectives on a certain issue, or subject by using proof from interviews with different kinds of people. You get to ask questions to people and listen to their opinions and answers. These kinds of essays can be seen widely in magazines and newspapers. They will interview celebrities, socialites, politicians, and ordinary people. Here are some sample questions that can be asked to your interviewee:

Sample Interview Essay Questions

  • How have standards of beauty changed over the years?
  • What makes a piece of art beautiful to you?
  • Are there any striking examples of beauty in art?
  • How does the absence of beauty affect people?
  • How important are strong family ties to you? Are strong family ties more or less important that close friendships?
  • How have family roles changed from the past?
  • What would growing up in an ideal family environment look like? Do you think that anyone grew up in an ideal family environment?
  • What are the most common reasons for friendships to fall apart?
  • What separates true friends from acquaintances?
  • How much legal protection should journalists have?
  • What kinds of corruption are found in journalism?
  • Now anyone can be a journalist. Is this a good or bad thing? Why?
  • What characteristics are important for a journalist to have?

The beauty of interview summary essays or report is that your sources are actual people, not from books or studies. You get also to touch a lot of topics and get to hear and know the different opinions of different people. To make your report or essay more meaningful and special, you can write about your family, friends, the people you look up to, etc. about a certain topic that you both could relate.

The Interview Process

summary examples for essays

  • How do I do my interview? I don’t know where to start.  These are the most common questions a novice would ask when they haven’t tried to do this type of exercise before. If you are going to interview a stranger, it might seem intimidating since you don’t know what sorts of questions they might answer. But don’t focus on this, there are most people who would love to answer your questions. Just pick a good question to make your interview interesting for them. One type of good questions to ask are something they can relate. For example, if you’re interviewing a teacher, ask her opinion about corporal punishment. Is it an effective way to discipline students? Arguable topics like this one are a bit touchy, so try to change your wording so you don’t sound accusing or offensive.
  • It’s a good idea to interview your interviewee in person. You can see their facial expressions and the way they speak and behave. You can also establish a warm acquaintanceship with your interviewee if they can see you. However, if it is not possible, a phone or e-mail interview can do. The difference between a personal and phone interview is that confusion will take place in phone interviews. One person might not understand what the other is saying and which results to less effective communication. They’re might be a possibility you may get your facts wrong because one didn’t understand what the other is talking about.
  • Now that you’ve formulated your questions, you’re ready to do the interview with your sources. You’ve sat down with them, asking if it’s okay to record the interview. This part is very crucial. Some interviewees might get angry about being recorded without permission. Ask first your sources if it is alright to record the interview. If not, don’t force them to say yes to your request. Bring a pad and pen to jot down their words.
  • So you’ve started asking your interviewee some questions. Remember to ask one question at a time. Give them time to think and explain their answers. Don’t rush them or else their answers won’t sound so authentic. If they don’t understand your questions, elaborate your questions.
  • Ask for follow-up questions when needed. If you want your interviewee to elaborate or explain clearly their answers, you can. Don’t be shy to do so as this will clear up any confusions.
  • During the interview, don’t forget to take note of the following: their names, your questions, and their answers in quotations.

Student Interview Reflections Example

Student Interview Reflections Example

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Interview B/W Daughter And Father Essay Example

interview summRY 4

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Summary Report Example

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Interview Summary Example

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Public Administration and Law Enforcement Example

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The Writing Process

Once you are done with your interview, only the half portion of your work is finished. Now comes the trickier part of the task. The first thing you need to do is the analyze the answers of your sources. Ask yourself these types of questions:

  • What type of reason is this?
  • How does this reason compare to other reasons?
  • How important is this reason? Is this a valid one?
  • What do you think of this reason? Is it valid?

Organize your notes  logically. Arrange your notes from:

  • most important to least information
  • positive reason then negative
  • the opinions you agree then disagree
  • the uninteresting ones then to interesting

Outlining your interview summary

  • Now that your notes are filtered properly with the important details that you need are highlighted, it’s time to start writing your paper. The interview summary can be written in a question and answer (Q&A) format or in a narrative form . Write down the information you need to include in each section of your paper. Make sure this information is vital in presenting an adequate summary of what you learned during your interview.
  • Your summary report or essay should be informative. Put necessary details. If you are having difficulty in starting your summary, just write a rough draft. You can still revise your work later.
  • Don’t forget to consult the guidelines your instructor or superior if they required you to follow. You may need to include information about how and where the interview took place. Be sure to include all the information required of you in your finished work.
  • When inserting direct quotes from the interview, follow the proper citation. Paraphrase the information given to you by your sources; restructure their words into your own to avoid plagiarism issues.

Your Summary Must Include…

Introduction:  Decide how you will introduce your essay. Your introduction may have the question you asked. Your opening might want to describe a situation which relates to your question. Example: In your introduction, open with a scenario about approaching a not-so good looking person and that person needs help from you. You are debating if he/she is worth helping or not. You may also use description, statistics, and/or questions in your opening (describe how people usually perceive standards of beauty and end with the question you asked in your interview). You could also begin with a dictionary definition, or a reference to a movie, T.V. show, song, or quote.

Body: List the reasons in order. The body of your essay should follow the order of reasons that you put together from your notes.

Conclusion: Your conclusion must be respond from all the information you’ve gathered .  Conclude your summary with a paragraph or two explaining which point-of-view is the most valid, and why. Expound on these answers.

Now that you have gathered enough information and wrote your summary, it’s time for you to submit your paper. Once you’re used to it, writing an interview summary is an enjoyable and easy experience for you to try.


Text prompt

  • Instructive
  • Professional

10 Examples of Public speaking

20 Examples of Gas lighting

How To Write a LinkedIn Summary (With Examples)

How To Write a LinkedIn Summary (With Examples)

  • Smodin Editorial Team
  • Published: May 14, 2024

Are you one of the hundreds of job seekers looking to make a lasting impression on recruiters and potential employers? It can be disheartening to feel like you’re just another number in a sea of graduates who are ready to start their careers.

But you don’t have to feel that way anymore!

Writing a compelling LinkedIn summary can make all the difference in how potential employers and connections see you. It’s not just about listing your job titles and responsibilities, it’s also about crafting a narrative that showcases your personality, achievements, and aspirations.

With a compelling LinkedIn summary, you can make yourself stand out. And crafting them can be really fun – especially with the help of a good writing tool like Smodin AI Writer !

Before you get started, though, there are a few things to remember:

  • Always start with a good opening line or ‘hook.’
  • You can relax and have fun with your summary! It doesn’t have to be overly formal.
  • Always write in the first person and write as you would speak.
  • Try to avoid blocks of text by breaking your summary up into paragraphs or sections.

Think you’re ready? Great! Then, it’s time to get typing and have the perfect summary on your LinkedIn profile with these tips below.

1. Express Your Passion

You can start your LinkedIn summary by expressing what it is that drives you in a professional context. Share what excites you the most about your work and the impact you want to make through it.

Whether you want to solve complex problems, foster innovation, or help others succeed – you should make sure to let your passion shine.

This is a great way to open your summary since it shows who you are in a professional context – and where you could potentially fit within a company. For employers, this also helps them to see whether you would be an asset to their particular organization.

2. Define Your Current Role

Next, you’ll want to define your current role and responsibilities. Just be sure to do this as simply as possible without too much technical jargon. In this context, simple is always best.

For example, you can explain exactly who you’re helping, what type of problems you’re solving, and the overall impact of your work. This will help hiring managers understand where your strengths lie and decide whether you would be a good fit for a specific role in their company.

You can also use this to highlight relevant skills you may have for the industry you’re working in – or the one you want to work in.

3. Describe Your Professional History

As you’re writing your summary, you’re going to want to take your readers on a journey through your professional background. Of course, this should highlight your achievements, important transitions, and significant milestones. Basically, anything that could potentially make you stand out against the ‘average Joe.’

It’s also a good idea to connect the dots between your past experiences with your current role and how they have shaped where you are now. A proven track record of your skills and value within a specific role or industry highlights your worth to employers.

If you have any unrelated roles or have been through a few career pivots, you can also frame these as valuable learning experiences.

4. Talk About Your Achievements

So now it’s time to brag (just a little) about what you’ve achieved in a professional context in your LinkedIn summary. Although it’s important not to come across as arrogant, you don’t want to diminish your accomplishments! Instead, you’re going to want to list your achievements clearly and directly.

Perhaps you’ve surpassed your sales targets or led a successful project. If you have, then you’re going to want to include that in your LinkedIn summary! If you’ve been given any awards or recognition for your work, this is a good time to mention them.

5. Show off Your Personality

Authenticity is key for a good LinkedIn summary. You want people to get to know who you are – not just what you do. By sharing things like anecdotes, personal stories, or even some humor, you can show off your personality and your voice.

By staying true to who you are, you can set yourself apart from the crowd. After all, nobody wants to read a LinkedIn summary that is just a repeat of someone else’s! Although there is a formula you can follow to write your summary, you don’t want to lose who you are in a generic post.

So, no matter what you do, just remember to be yourself and have fun with it!

6. Explain What You Like Outside of Work

So, you’ve spoken about your professional journey thus far. But that’s only one aspect of who you are! This is just another component of showing off your personality. And it gives potential employers a glimpse into who you are outside of the workplace.

Share a few personal details about your hobbies and interests, for example. Plus, if you do any volunteer work, then you can share about that, too!

If you can relate these to your professional strengths – even better! It will show how your hobbies enrich your personal perspective and contribute to your professional success.

7. Issue a Call to Action

You should always end your LinkedIn summary with a call to action. With this, you can invite readers to connect with you, explore job opportunities, or learn more about your work. You can also make it easier for them to follow up on this. You can do this by linking to relevant resources or providing them with the necessary contact information.

When you’re done, you’ll be left with a LinkedIn summary full of passion. Not only that but it will also be filled with authenticity and compelling storytelling. Remember, the story is all about you ! And by using this guide and a great writing tool like Smodin Writer , you can create a powerful narrative that attracts attention and opens doors for new opportunities.

LinkedIn Summary Examples for Recent Graduates

If you have recently graduated and you don’t have much (or any) professional experience, then don’t panic! There are plenty of ways to work around your lack of experience and still write an amazing summary!

1. Software Engineer LinkedIn Summary

As a recent graduate with a degree in Computer Science, I am passionate about leveraging technology to solve real-world problems.

My coursework focused on software development, algorithms, and database management. This has provided me with a strong foundation in coding and problem-solving.

During my internships, I contributed to developing scalable web applications and learned more about the importance of collaboration in agile professional environments.

Now, I’m eager to start a new career where I can apply my technical skills to innovate and create incredibly impactful solutions.

2. Graphic Designer LinkedIn Summary

Armed with a degree in Graphic Design and a creative mindset, I am really driven by the power of visual storytelling.

Through my coursework and freelance projects, I learned to master design principles, typography, and Adobe Creative Suite.

My internship experiences helped to expose me to client collaboration and project management. In turn, this refined my ability to transform everyday concepts into compelling visuals and works of art.

I’m excited to join a dynamic team where I can bring my ideas to life and make more meaningful connections through visual communication.

3. Data Science and Analytics LinkedIn Summary

I am a recent graduate with a degree in Statistics from Cornell University and an innate fascination for data-driven insights.

I’m extremely passionate about finding patterns and trends that encourage decision-making in today’s data-driven world.

During my studies, I specialized in data visualization and predictive modeling techniques. I also gained valuable hands-on experience with statistical software like R and Python.

Ultimately, my goal is to use my analytical skills to my advantage. I’m ready to solve complex problems to help drive business success through actionable insights.

4. Social Media Strategist LinkedIn Summary

Creative communications graduate with a knack for crafting compelling narratives and super-engaging content.

Through my studies and several internship roles, I’ve honed my skills in social media marketing, content creation, and community engagement for multiple brands.

I thrive in fast-paced environments where I can blend my creativity with data-driven strategies to boost brand awareness and improve audience engagement.

I’m excited to join a team of like-minded individuals and bring fresh ideas, unique perspectives, and approaches to the world of digital marketing.

5. Human Resources Professional LinkedIn Summary

Human resources graduate who is passionate about fostering a more inclusive workplace and supporting employee growth and development.

With a strong foundation in HR principles and labor laws, I’m eager to apply my knowledge to help your business recruit top talent, streamline HR processes, and drive your overall organizational success.

During my internship with Business X, I gained practical experience in multiple facets of HR. These include employee relations, performance management, and implementing strategies like diversity initiatives.

I am fully committed to promoting diversity, equity, and, above all else, inclusion in all aspects of HR practices.

6. Financial Analyst LinkedIn Summary

I am a recent cum laude finance graduate with a keen interest in financial markets and investment analysis.

I am equipped with strong quantitative skills and a solid understanding of financial principles. This enables me to analyze data, evaluate investment opportunities, and provide strategic financial recommendations based on performance.

During my studies, I became proficient in financial modeling, portfolio management, data analysis, and risk assessment. Now, I’m ready to start a new journey within a career where I can contribute to informed decision-making and help businesses achieve financial success.

LinkedIn Summary Examples for Attracting Recruiters

For some of you, having job experience isn’t a problem. Instead, you want to attract hiring managers and get them to notice your LinkedIn profile above all the other candidates so you can secure your dream job.

Well, if that’s the case, then here are a couple of examples that you can draw inspiration from to make sure you stand head and shoulders above the rest.

7. Experienced Marketing Manager LinkedIn Summary

Seasoned marketing professional with a track record of driving brand awareness and boosting customer engagement.

My expertise spans digital marketing, content strategy, campaign management, and social media management with a focus on data-driven decision-making.

Within my role, I have successfully led cross-functional teams to execute unique integrated marketing initiatives and optimize overall performance metrics.

I am known for my strategic mindset and creative problem-solving, and I thrive in fast-paced environments where I can drive results and inspire teams to go above and beyond. I am all about exceeding expectations.

8. Professional Sales Executive LinkedIn Summary

Hi! I’m John, and I’m an accomplished sales leader with over two years of experience in improving revenue growth and building better client relationships.

I excel in developing strategic sales plans and negotiating complex contracts, and I can easily identify market opportunities for brands and businesses.

I have a natural ability to understand client needs and tailor individual solutions to unique problems. This has resulted in consistently exceeding sales targets and fostering long-term partnerships for businesses.

As a passionate advocate for incredible customer service and success, I’m seeking new opportunities to utilize my expertise and boost business growth.

LinkedIn Summary Examples for Career Transitions

So you’ve managed to graduate and secure yourself a position. But that doesn’t always guarantee you’re going to be happy in the role you’ve chosen! For example, if you studied finance, you may not want to be an accountant, right? Rather, you might want to work in financial planning for a business or show off your skills as an investment banker.

When you’re trying to make a switch, you can use these two handy examples below to get you started:

9. Transitioning Project Manager LinkedIn Summary

Professional project manager transitioning from the finance sector to renewable energy.

With a background in leading cross-functional teams and managing complex projects, I bring a wealth of transferable skills in stakeholder management, as well as budgeting and planning.

I have been inspired by the potential for sustainable innovation. Now, I’m excited to apply my strategic mindset and problem-solving abilities. I’m excited to use them to implement impactful initiatives in the renewable energy sector.

I am committed to continuous learning and growth, which translates into my eagerness to embark on this new career path.

10. Changing Careers to a UX Designer LinkedIn Summary

Experienced educator transitioning to a career in User Experience (UX) design.

With a background in instructional design and a passion for human-centered solutions, I believe I bring a unique perspective to the field of UX.

Through coursework and self-directed learning, I have achieved proficiency in wireframing and prototyping. I also have a good understanding of user research methodologies.

My ability to empathize with diverse user groups and translate insights into intuitive design sets me apart. This is why I’m keen to combine my creative skills with my analytical mindset to create more impactful user experiences.

What If I Don’t Have Much Work Experience?

Don’t worry if you’re light on experience! You can still put your best foot forward in your LinkedIn summary by highlighting your academic achievements. You can also mention any cool projects and internships you’ve tackled.

Consider any relevant skills you’ve gained in those experiences, like problem-solving or teamwork.

Here’s another tip: Try to sprinkle in some keywords from job descriptions related to your dream job. It will help your profile pop up in search results!

How Can I Make My Summary Stand out From Other Fresh Graduates?

To make your LinkedIn bio stand out from other job seekers, personalize it with your unique experiences and aspirations. You can also share specific examples of projects, internships, or coursework that will show off your skills and passion for your field.

Of course, you should always use engaging language and storytelling to grab your reader’s attention. As we mentioned above, including keywords related to your industry in your LinkedIn summary can optimize your searchability. So, don’t forget to add a few!

Should I Include Personal Interests or Hobbies in My Summary?

You should absolutely include your personal interests or hobbies in your LinkedIn summaries. This can jazz up your profile and give folks a peek into your life outside work, which can help to ‘humanize’ your profile. Just remember to only include hobbies that are relevant and add some ‘pizzazz’ to your professional image.

So, if your interests align with your career goals or show off cool traits like your creativity, then go ahead and add them in. It’s all about adding that personal touch!

How Long Should My LinkedIn Summary Be?

LinkedIn summaries should always be short and to the point. But what do we mean by a concise summary? Well, it should be around three to five small paragraphs that have around three sentences each.

By keeping your summary short, you can avoid waffling or having walls of text for recruiters to read. It will also force you to include only the most relevant information!

Final Thoughts

Crafting a LinkedIn summary that stands out can be trickier than it seems. That’s because it’s more than just listing job titles. It’s also about creating a narrative that shows off your personality and achievements.

Luckily, by following a few simple guidelines, you can create an interesting LinkedIn summary that sets you apart from your peers. Just don’t forget to add in a few personal interests and a call to action to wrap it all up! So, what are you waiting for?

It’s time to get typing with the help of Smodin.


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  4. College Essay Format: Simple Steps to Be Followed

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  6. Sample Summary Writing Task—Grade 7 Summary of an Article

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  1. Summary Writing

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  1. How to Write a Summary

    Table of contents. When to write a summary. Step 1: Read the text. Step 2: Break the text down into sections. Step 3: Identify the key points in each section. Step 4: Write the summary. Step 5: Check the summary against the article. Other interesting articles. Frequently asked questions about summarizing.

  2. What Is a Summary In Writing? (Explained + 40 Examples)

    A summary in writing is the craft of distilling vast oceans of text into droplets of essence, a skill as crucial as it is challenging. At the core, summary writing is the distillation of essential points from a larger text, preserving the original message and intent. It balances brevity and clarity. As contradictory as it might sound, there is ...

  3. How to Write a Summary: The Complete Guide

    Even if your summary is the length of a full paper, you are likely summarizing a book or other significantly longer work. 2. A summary should tell the reader the highlights of what they need to know without giving them unnecessary details. 3. It should also include enough details to give a clear and honest picture.

  4. How to Write a Summary, Analysis, and Response Essay Paper With Examples

    In your own words, write down one sentence that conveys the main idea. Start the sentence using the name of the author and title of the article (see format below). Continue writing your summary by writing the other underlined sentences in your own words. Remember that you need to change both the words of the sentence and the word order.

  5. Writing a Summary

    A summary should include all of the main points or ideas in the work but avoid smaller details or ideas. You don't want to provide every aspect of the plot or smaller points in your summary. Your summary should be written using your own words. Present the main ideas objectively, avoiding your own opinion and thoughts about the work.

  6. Writing Effective Summary and Response Essays

    Writing Effective Summary and Response Essays. The Summary: A summary is a concise paraphrase of all the main ideas in an essay. It cites the author and the title (usually in the first sentence); it contains the essay's thesis and supporting ideas; it may use direct quotation of forceful or concise statements of the author's ideas; it will NOT usually cite the author's examples or supporting ...

  7. How to Write a Summary

    When writing a summary, remember that it should be in the form of a paragraph. A summary begins with an introductory sentence that states the text's title, author and main point of the text as you see it. A summary is written in your own words. A summary contains only the ideas of the original text. Do not insert any of your own opinions ...

  8. How To Write a Summary: 5 Easy Steps

    1. Read and take notes. First things first: Read or watch the original work you'll be summarizing. While you do, take brief pauses and explain to yourself what you just read or watched. As the main ideas start becoming clear to you, take notes. This will make the writing process easier. 2.

  9. How to Write a Summary: 4 Tips for Writing a Good Summary

    Videos. Instructors. With a great summary, you can condense a range of information, giving readers an aggregation of the most important parts of what they're about to read (or in some cases, see). A well-written summary provides a basic understanding of a piece of literature, media, or history.

  10. Examples of Effective Summaries and Paraphrases (MLA Style)

    Summary of Entire Work. This book outlines some of the major personal and business uses of information technology. It also makes suggestions about how to gain knowledge in the field, as well as the main points of training employees in information technology to make the use of computers most effective. Sample Citation:

  11. How to Conclude an Essay

    Step 1: Return to your thesis. To begin your conclusion, signal that the essay is coming to an end by returning to your overall argument. Don't just repeat your thesis statement—instead, try to rephrase your argument in a way that shows how it has been developed since the introduction.. Example: Returning to the thesis Braille paved the way for dramatic cultural changes in the way blind ...

  12. How to Write a Summary

    How to Write a Plot Summary. The step-by-step guide to writing an effective summary, outlined above, applies to most summaries. However, each type has its own unique elements outside of those standard requirements. A plot or book summary, for example, should encapsulate the plot of a short story or novel.

  13. How To Write A Summary in 7 Steps (With Examples)

    These are some of the simple steps that can help you write a summary with confidence: 1. Read the text carefully. Before you even think about summarizing, it is important to read the text you want to summarize carefully. Whether it's an article, a book chapter, or any other piece of writing, take notes on the key ideas and important details.

  14. How To Write a Summary in 8 Steps (With Examples)

    5. Write the summary. You can start your summary with the author's name and the title of the text. For example, you can use some variation of, "According to Martin Somers in 'The Child and the Wolf,'" to introduce your text. Then, include the thesis of the author in your first sentence.

  15. How to Write a Summary

    Table of contents. When to write a summary. Step 1: Read the text. Step 2: Break the text down into sections. Step 3: Identify the key points in each section. Step 4: Write the summary. Step 5: Check the summary against the article. Frequently asked questions.

  16. PDF Luc Writing Center "How to Write a Summary Response Essay"

    Since most summary response essays in UCWR 110 are 2-5 pages long, remember to briefly summarize the author's overall argument while focusing on how it supports their main point in roughly half of your essay (Example: in 2 1-2 pages if the limit is 5). If you have two paragraphs per page (See "The Essay Paragraph Equation"), this means ...

  17. Ending the Essay: Conclusions

    For example, an essay on Marx's treatment of the conflict between wage labor and capital might begin with Marx's claim that the "capitalist economy is . . . a gigantic enterprise ofdehumanization"; ... Don't simply summarize your essay. A brief summary of your argument may be useful, especially if your essay is long--more than ten pages or so. ...

  18. How to Write an Essay Outline

    An essay outline is a way of planning the structure of your essay before you start writing. It involves writing quick summary sentences or phrases for every point you will cover in each paragraph, giving you a picture of how your argument will unfold. You'll sometimes be asked to submit an essay outline as a separate assignment before you ...

  19. Best 12+ Summary Essay Examples

    Summary Essay Examples #1. ESSAY: When we survey our lives and efforts, we soon observe that almost the whole of our actions and desires are bound up with the existence of other human beings. We notice that the whole of nature resembles that of social animals. We eat food that others have produced, wear clothes that others have made, and live ...

  20. How To Write a Summary in 5 Steps (With Examples)

    Format your summary into sentences that make up paragraphs. Get started by writing down the main points of the text in your own words. Make sure to write down these main points as they were presented by the author of the text, meaning that you should write them in chronological order. 4. Add in supporting points.

  21. How to Write an Essay Introduction (with Examples)

    Here are the key takeaways for how to write essay introduction: 3. Hook the Reader: Start with an engaging hook to grab the reader's attention. This could be a compelling question, a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or an anecdote. Provide Background: Give a brief overview of the topic, setting the context and stage for the discussion.

  22. Common Writing Assignments

    This handout provides information about annotated bibliographies in MLA, APA, and CMS. These OWL resources will help you understand and complete specific types of writing assignments, such as annotated bibliographies, book reports, and research papers. This section also includes resources on writing academic proposals for conference ...

  23. Report Writing Format with Templates and Sample Report

    2. Follow the Right Report Writing Format: Adhere to a structured format, including a clear title, table of contents, summary, introduction, body, conclusion, recommendations, and appendices. This ensures clarity and coherence. Follow the format suggestions in this article to start off on the right foot. 3.

  24. How to write a discussion text

    Video summary. Newsround presenter Leah Boleto explains how discursive writing requires an understanding of the difference between facts and opinions, and how to use connecting phrases and statistics.

  25. Interview Summary

    Write down the information you need to include in each section of your paper. Make sure this information is vital in presenting an adequate summary of what you learned during your interview. Your summary report or essay should be informative. Put necessary details. If you are having difficulty in starting your summary, just write a rough draft.

  26. 8 Director Resume Examples & Writing Guide for 2024

    Some examples of relevant skills for a director resume include: Strategic planning and execution. Team leadership and motivation. Budget management and financial analysis. Stakeholder management and communication. Project management and prioritization. Data-driven decision making.

  27. How To Write a LinkedIn Summary (With Examples)

    Well, if that's the case, then here are a couple of examples that you can draw inspiration from to make sure you stand head and shoulders above the rest. 7. Experienced Marketing Manager LinkedIn Summary. Seasoned marketing professional with a track record of driving brand awareness and boosting customer engagement.