How to write a good summary (2023)

An abstract is a shorter description of a longer article, covering all the important points but not too much detail. It's used for an overview, so people can get an idea of ​​what the longer paper entails without reading or looking at it first.

See summaries everywhere, from book covers to product descriptions and online review sites. However, no matter how many summaries you've read, it can still be difficult to write your own when needed.

In this quick guide, we explain how to write a resume like a pro. We share some brief examples and list the steps. But first, let's look at the big question:

What is a summary?

In fact, a summary is a general term used to describe anywritingthat briefly explains or "summarizes" a larger work, such as a novel, scholarly article, film, or television program. Summaries are usually short, from a sentence or two to a paragraph, but if you're summarizing a huge piece of work, like all seven Harry Potter books, they can span several pages.

Resume writing is like a highlight reel, showing only the best parts and ignoring what isn't strictly necessary. A summary example ofvillageit would mention major plot points, such as Polonius' murder, but would not mention details irrelevant to the plot, such as Polonius's "be true to yourself" monologue.

The key to writing summaries is sticking to the facts; Doesnotinclude opinions, analysis or biases. If written for commercial purposes, like Netflix recaps, it can be intentionally compelling and hide spoilers. However, foracademic worksand more formal writing, summary writing leans towards the facts and the clinic.

Summaries appear in many different formats and forms, including book reports and other school documents. Scholars use abstracts all the time for research papers whenwrite a summary, which is essentially a summary of an entire research paper.

Really, everyone needs to know how to write a resume at one time or another. Even finding a job requires you to summarize your own professional background and work experience. learning to write agood summary of LinkedIncan help you land your dream job!

Examples of summaries: what makes a good summary

Let's look at some summary examples of famous works to see what makes a strong summary.

NoIMDb, the summary of the 2008 filmThe Dark Knightit's just one long sentence:

When the menace known as the Joker wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, Batman must accept one of the greatest psychological and physical tests of his ability to fight injustice.

Immediately, you'll notice that specific events from the movie are omitted and replaced with a general explanation of what's going on. The main characters are mentioned, at least the protagonist and antagonist, and some descriptions are made about the types of events, such as "psychological and physical tests".

However, details are lacking. Summarizing a two-hour movie in a single sentence requires large strokes; there is only room for the essentials.

However, most abstracts are more than one sentence long, such as this example of a multi-paragraph abstract for a novel.Matar um MockingbirdofSparkNotes.

As you can see, this summary is approximately one page long. It's also much more detailed, mentioning minor characters and adding more context to plot events. Even so, condensing 281 pages into one requires a lot of clipping, so each key event is only given a sentence or two, consisting of only the information you need to know.

How to write a resume in 4 steps

A escrita abstrata usa o mesmoimportant tips for good writing. If you want to know how to write a summary yourself, we've broken the process down into 4 basic steps.

1Read or view source material

The first step is pretty obvious: read or watch the subject you are writing a summary about.

If you're doing a similar book or article report, there's always a temptation to skip this step and just rely on other people's summaries. However, we do not recommend it. To begin with, how can you trust the author of this summary? What if they simply wrote their summary based on someone else's summary as well? Also, you might miss some key points or events that the other summary missed.

The only safe way to write an abstract is to read or view the source material yourself. Otherwise, you are likely to miss something essential.

2Make a list of key points

Then comes thesketch phase, where you list the points you should include in your summary. The number of items listed depends on the length of the abstract and the source material. If you're running out of time, start cutting back on items that are lower priority.

It always helps to use memory first. The most significant events will have left an impact on you, so using what you remember is a good filter for what's vital. However, learn to separate what is really necessary and what is just personal preference. Just because you fell in love with a minor character doesn't mean they're worth mentioning in the recap.

To fill in the gaps of what was lost, you may need to re-read or visualize your source material. Feel free to skim through it to save time; you only need to trace the significant points, not reread every word.

Here's a tip: For longer pieces, divide the source into sections and make a separate list for each section. For example, if you are summarizing a research paper, you could write different lists for the Methods, Results and Conclusion sections respectively. This is optional, but helps you organize everything for bigger jobs.

3Write the summary in your own words.

Then write the first draft of your abstract following the lists you made in the previous writing step. If you're summarizing a book, movie, or other media, it's best to use chronological order (even if the story is told out of order).

The key here is to use your own words. While you can copy the occasional direct quote into your abstract, it's best to use the original language to personalize it. Also, consider the perspective of someone who has never read or seen the source material. Do you have all the relevant points they need to understand what's going on?

Here's a tip:Pay close attention to transitions. Summaries are naturally fast-paced, where sentences often jump from one event or point to another in quick succession. For a reader, this can be very shocking.

To make your summary writing easier to understand, use lots of transitional words and phrases, such asalthough,as a result, youNonetheless. You will find a more complete list in ourword and phrase transition guide.

4Edit and cut the unnecessary

finally comes therevisionphase, where you reread your summary and correct any mistakes or odd words. When writing summaries, also be careful with unnecessary information; every word is crucial, so removing unnecessary information gives you more room to develop your main points.

Grammarly can save you a lot of time in this step. Grammarly flags any grammar and spelling mistakes you make as you type and gives you quick recommendations on how to fix them. This frees you up to focus on more important aspects of abstract writing, like the points you are trying to make.

Grammarly even helps withconciseness, which is an integral part of abstract writing. If you're using five words to say what can be said in two, Grammarly tells you so you can correct it. That way, your summaries can be as short and compact as possible, just as abstract writing should be!

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