How Do You Summarize?


Quick Answer

A person can summarize by expressing the main points of a topic, article, speech, conversation, performance or other type of communication. Summaries may consist of detailed outlines, or they may simply give a quick overview of the basic idea being communicated.

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Full Answer

When writing a summary, one should avoid adding too much detail, as it may be confusing to the reader or listener who may not yet be aware of the full story. Share only the most relevant parts of the information and the most cogent arguments, painting a vivid picture that allows the material to stand on its own as a general reference point. If a summary is done well, it can be a helpful guide to the material being summarized, and it can enhance the understanding of the entire experience or story.

Student essays sometimes include a summary page that offers a small glimpse into the main topics of the whole essay. A summary page helps to focus the reader's attention on the essay's most important ideas. In addition, a summary page may also include references to source material from which the author gathered some of his opinions, as well as direct quotes and passages included in the essay

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