Good summary

A good summary is not too long, not too short but have enough essential information of the original text.

What are included in a good summary?

  • The original text with full name of title of the article, name of the author(s).
  • Main point of the text that the author(s) stated in the original.
  • A variety of reporting verbs: You cannot repeat one word so many times. It’s not an effective summary.
  • Transitions: It helps the flow of the paragraph go smoothly. Avoid using “Firstly”, “Secondly” because they are too basic. Try to use more transitional phrases such as “Moreover”, “Furthermore”, “Eventually”, “Consequently”, and so on.
  • Avoid redundancy. A summary paragraph needs to be concise, so get rid of many unnecessary words that can make your sentences longer and more complicated.
  • Don’t copy exact sentences from the original text. You need to paraphrase or integrate quote to summarize.
  • A 7-to-10-sentence-long paragraph is suitable for a summary.
  • You don’t need to include your opinion in the summary.

The coming in-class essay requires a summary paragraph, so I hope this post will help you to write an appropriate summary. Don’t forget the purple handout about summarizing frame and the source for writing summary paragraph from Blackboard.

Good luck!



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