How to Write a Summary of the Text

May 7th, 20116:23 am


How to Write a Summary of the Text

How to Write a Summary of the Text

1. A summary is a clear concise orderly retelling of the contents of a passage or a text and is ordinarily about 1/3 or 1/4 as long as the original. The ability to get at the essence of a matter is important.

The first and most important step in making a summary is reading the passage thoroughly. After it:

a) write out clearly in your own words the main points of the selection. Subordinate or eliminate minor points;

b) retain the paragraphing of the original unless the summary is extremely short. Preserve the proportion of the original;

c) change direct narration to indirect whenever it is possible, use words instead of word combinations and word combinations instead of sentences;

d) omit figures of speech, repetitions, and most examples;

e) don’t use personal pronouns, use proper names;

f) do not introduce any extra material by way of opinion, interpretation or appreciation.

Read the selection again and critisize and revise your words.

  1. Give a summary of the text. For this and similar assignments the following phrases may be helpful. Try and use the ones that are most suitable for the occasion.

3.  a) At the beginning of the story (in the beginning) the author describes (depicts, dwells on, touches upon, explains, introduces, mentions, recalls, characterizes, critisizes, analyses, comments on, enu­merates, points out, generalizes, makes a few critical remarks, reveals, exposes, accuses, blames, condemns, mocks at, ridicules, praises, sings somebody’s praises, sympathises with, gives a summary of, gives his account of, makes an excursus into, digresses from the subject to de­scribe the scenery, to enumerate, etc.);

b) The story (the author) begins with a/the description of, the mention of, the analysis of, a/ the comment on, a review of, an account of, a Summary of, the characterization of, his opinion of, his recollection of, the enumeration of, the criticism of, some / a few critical remarks about, the accusation of, the /his praises of, the ridicule of, the generalization of, an excursus into.

c) The story opens with …

d)The scene is laid in…

e) The opening scene shows…

f)     We first meet him (her) as a student of… (a girl of 15)


  1. Then (after that, further, further on, next) the author passes on to..(goes on to say that…, gives a detailed description (analysis etc.) of digresses from the subject, etc.). For the rest see the verbs in list la).
    1. a) In conclusion the author describes … (See list la)

b) The author concludes with … (See list lb)

c) The story ends with … (See list lb)

d)To finish with the author describes … (See list la)

e)    At the end of the story the author draws the conclusion (comes to the conclusion) that…

f)     At the end of the story the author sums it all up (by saying…)

g) The concluding words are …

REPORTING VERBS: agree, analyse, announce, apologize, comment on, complain, continue, critisize, demand, deny, explain, insist, inform, offer praise, promise, refuse, suggest.

There are several paragraphs in the text. Look at each and try to summarize the main point or points in one or possibly two sentences.

Now try to join these sentences with the appropriate linking words or phrases to produce a more coherent, flowing summary.

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