How Do You Write a Summary

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We have less and less time and therefore hardly read complete texts. A good summary offers a solution. But how do you write a good summary that shows the essence of a text?

Step 1: Mark the most important passages

First check the most important parts of your text: introduction and conclusion. You can copy and paste all passages that are important to you to a new document. For example, if you write a summary of a report, you'll find the purpose of the text and the central question from the introduction. From the lock you get the main findings and recommendations. In the middle section you select the most important supporting facts and arguments.

Step 2: organize your information

Step 2 for writing a good summary is to logically organize the selected pieces of information. In the summary you choose a different order than in the text itself. First the core and the conclusions and only then the most important substantiation.

Step 3: Write the summary

You have the information complete and are ready to write your summary. Emphasize what is relevant to the reader: main points and outcomes. Do you find it difficult to break free from the written text? Try to imagine how you would explain the main points orally to an interested layman.

Step 4: make it clear

Now that you've started writing your summary, it's important to make it clear and to keep it clear. Use typographical means that increase the overview: subheadings, numbering, lists. This makes the summary clearer for both the reader and yourself.

Step 5: check your summary

Reread your summary: does the reader understand everything without consulting the main text? Does the core information come out at the beginning? And very important: have you made the right trade-off between completeness and brevity? Keep it as short as possible: a summary of half an A4 for a short report, one or two A4s for a longer text.


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