How to Summarize a Text?

Summarizing a text means telling the core concept and main points in 50-100 words. It should show the crux of the discussion in the main writing piece without losing the main point. It shouldn’t overemphasize any idea, though.

Summarizing helps the reader to understand the purpose of any write-up. It should be devoid of any elaborating points for support, examples, or details. Abridgment shouldn’t be confused with paraphrasing, as the latter can be larger than the original text without excluding points.

When you present the crux of the work, you need to start with a similar sentence in the main article. You would have explained the write-up in 4 to 5 paragraphs to present your ideas and improve readability. Pick out the main idea of those paragraphs and show it in the final paragraph without diluting your thoughts or points.

When you write academic research, you want to show the other work to substantiate your point. In such a case, providing a quote or link would justify your work in the summary. You can also summarize some other person’s work in 100 words and substantiate your piece by supporting or putting forth an argument.

Let me explain to you the steps involved in writing a good summary.

4 Tips on How to Summarize a Text


1. Read the text carefully

Initially scan through the article or research thesis or dissertation and form a clear idea of what it tries to convey. Then read the introduction and conclusion to understand what the author tried to do and what outcome did he get? 

After that, read the subheadings and check whether you understand the text completely? Otherwise, go through a similar text to understand it further.

2. Break the text into different headings: 

To make the text understandable and attractive, present the whole idea into various subheadings. If needed, consider adding subheaders under the main headings of the write-up. 

In the case of research work, it would be several headings. Write one word for each paragraph in the margin to completely comprehend the idea to carve out a summary. However, a summary should not be more than 1/4th of the whole text.

3. Pick out significant points

After the first two steps, you need to pick out the vital points to keep the summary short. You need not extract the points from every paragraph. Write the final 100 words of the text thoughtfully, taking note of the main points. 

Ask a question, what is the principal purpose of the discussion? You will get the idea around which you need to create a summary.

4. Write a Summary: 

Having done the first three things, you would have got the main points in your hand that helps you to write a perfect summary. Run plagiarism checks to ensure you have presented your views based on your understanding of the text.


Summary of a text can be done with the help of above mentioned four easy steps, without losing the objective of the text. The summary must include and cover all the main points and core message that the writer wants to convey with the help of the text. 

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