Producing the Summary
Summary writing requires you to focus on structure and content. And writing a summary challenges a writer to convey the main ideas of a text in as few words as possible.
The following steps show how to condense a text's ideas into an accurate summary:
Read the text quickly for general meaning
Re-read the text carefully, and write gist statements in the margin
Locate the text's main divisions / parts
Summaries typically range from 100-250 words in length. The order and the proportions of the summary can usually follow that of the text. However, if the text has a delayed thesis, you may rearrange to begin with the thesis. By this I mean that if you are summarizing an open-form piece of writing (a piece of writing in which the thesis usually comes at or near the end), you should still begin with the main idea.
When writing a summary, follow the structure below:
Begin your summary by writing a sentence that contains the author's
name, the title of the article, and the main idea of the article.
Writing complete sentences, summarize the rest of the important ideas in the article; this will most likely include the supporting details (the details that support the main idea).
It is a good idea to use direct quotations from the text when summarizing, but use them sparingly, one or two at most in a 100-250 word summary. The summary should be written, for the most part, in your own words. If you use groups of words from the text, then you must quote them.