Students are often tasked with writing summaries of the articles they read. It’s a very technical and often daunting process. However, such writing helps students understand academic writing better and enhance their analytical skills and logic.
Still, a small summary can take a long time to make. So, you can have two options. You can read a myassignmenthelp review and order a summary from professional writers. Or, you can learn the main principles of summary writing here and do it yourself. It’s your choice. So, let’s see the five simple steps on how to summarize an article.
- Read it
The first step seems obvious, though it is not that simple. There are many different ways one can read an article. Not all of them are perfect for creating a summary. So, before you start, make time to read the piece twice. Indeed, the two-times read is essential for a thorough analysis. The first read is solely for getting to know what this article is about, how it is perceived, and what it pursues. In other words, you make your first impression of the article. You may either like it and find the article useful or not. Now, it’s your job to understand why it is so.
Only then should you move on to the analysis. Hence, follow-up readings should contain a share of criticism and skepticism. You should break down the main ideas and arguments. Sometimes it’s better to make notes and remarks. These notes will guide you in the first drafts.
- Mention the main ideas
A summary should contain the main ideas of the analyzed text. That’s where your main focus lies. However, you don’t need to overanalyze them. Your job as a writer is to outline them and explain how the author supports those statements. This way, you show how well you’ve understood the text and the message it was trying to convey. You should start with the research question and then narrow it down to the main argument, and the author makes to support or argue the thesis statement.
- Explain the meaning of the article
Each article carries a certain meaning. It should add value to the field it relates to. After the breakdown of the main ideas, you should move to the general perception of the article. Explain what meaning it adds to the field, how it works with other articles on similar topics (if applicable), and what this research has discovered.
Remember, you have to be neutral in your overview. It should not contain criticism or approval. A summary should simply explain the article’s purpose and details of its content. Thus, you should not add personal opinions or make comparisons with similar works. Your job is to discuss the article as it is, giving it a thorough and honest analysis.
- Summarize it by following the traditional body structure
A summary should have an intro, main body, and conclusion. It is just like in any other academic text. However, unlike other articles, the text must be much shorter. So, you have one or a few sentences per argument. It’s not much, but you surely can work with it. Also, the original article’s length will determine how many paragraphs or sentences you should have.
For example, if the article is five pages or less, you can fit the main body into one paragraph. In such a case, the analysis of the main ideas should take a sentence each, plus the supporting details. Of course, such precision is a lot for some students. Fortunately, you can write several drafts and then ask professional writing services to help you cut them. Just make sure to read some of these essaywriter reviews to choose right.
An introduction and conclusion should take another one-two sentences. The intro should have a thesis statement you want to argue in the main body. Remember that it should be your thesis and not one from the article. A conclusion should summarize your discussion of the thesis and provide a complete answer.
Last but not least, students should give their summary a good final look. An editing process should start with the overall facts you mention in the summary. Thus, look at how accurate you were in mentioning names, dates, and other important information. Missing such bits of data is unacceptable and will affect your final grades.
Secondly, read your summary and compare your text to the original one. Your summary should be too close in style or format to the original text. So, make sure you don’t just copy the sentences. Instead, you better explain the main ideas and arguments in your own words, providing them with personal analysis. Besides, close copying of the original text may give you trouble with the plagiarism check.
Lastly, proofread your summary looking for errors, inconsistencies, and other mistakes. The summary should also be properly cited and well-written. Each sentence should logically follow the other, creating a coherent and consistent text.