. The main purpose of such a simplification is to highlight the major points from the genuine (much longer) subject, e.g. a text, a film or an event. The target is to help the audience get the gist in a short period of time.

It starts with a lead, including title, author, text type and the main idea of the text. It has a clearly arranged structure and is written in a logical, chronological and traceable manner. In contrast to a résumé or a review, a summary contains neither interpretation nor rating. Only the opinion of the original writer is reflected – paraphrased with new words without quotations from the text. Unlike a retelling, a summary has no dramatic structure and is written in present tense or historic present. Because summaries should be significantly shorter than the original, minor facts have to be left out. In summaries only indirect speech is used and depictions are avoided. Summaries of books or dissertations present the major facts in common scientific language and should be about from a half up to one page long.

*How to write a summary
** Read the text
** Formulate the main statement
** Reread the text and underline important ideas and arguments according to the main statement
** Introduce the author and title of the work in the opening sentence
** Mention the important facts in chronological order
** Check that your summary reflects the original conclusion

ummary in nonfiction

Nonfiction summaries serve to familiarize the reader with an entire work’s subject matter in a short space of time. They are written in a balanced and objective way, mirroring the genre’s aim to portray actual events from the author’s point of view. Generally, nonfiction summaries do not offer analysis or assessment.

Summarizers use their own words to write the shortened versions and draw on the original make-up of the pieces to structure the distillations. They exclude superfluous examples, descriptions and digressions. The opening sentence should introduce the topic, and the final sentence should sum up the theme, taking into account the knowledge gained from the body of the text.

In recent years, a summarizing industry has sprung up. Leading companies in this field are [ getAbstract] and [] . These firms focus mainly on business literature. They adhere to the nonfiction guidelines mentioned above, but also provide numerical ratings and evaluations of the titles covered. Shorter, more concise nonfiction summaries are called abstracts. They are approx. 5 pages, thus longer than scientific abstracts.


* cite book
title = Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself into Print
last = Browne & King
publisher = Harper Resource
location = New York
year = 2004
pp = 12, 117

*cite book
title = Character & Viewpoint
first = Orson Scott
last = Card
publisher = Writer's Digest Books
location = Cincinnati, OH
year = 1988
a summary is a stament that berofly reapeats the main idea oftne as the essay
*cite book
title = The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing
first = Evan
last = Marshall
publisher = Writer's Digest Books
location = Cincinnati, OH
year = 1998
pp = 143-165

*cite book
first = Peter
last = Selgin
title = By Cunning & Craft: Sound Advice and Practical Wisdom for fiction writers
publisher = Writer's Digest Books
location = Cincinnati, OH
year = 2007
p = 38

ee also

*Style (fiction)
*Mode (literature)
*Abstract (summary)

External links

* [ How to write a summary]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • summary — sum·ma·ry / sə mə rē/ adj: done immediately, concisely, and without usual formal procedures; esp: used in or done by summary proceeding compare plenary sum·mar·i·ly /sə mer ə lē/ adv Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster …   Law dictionary

  • Summary — Sum ma*ry, a. [Cf. F. sommaire. See {Sum}.] 1. Formed into a sum; summed up; reduced into a narrow compass, or into few words; short; brief; concise; compendious; as, a summary statement of facts. [1913 Webster] 2. Hence, rapidly performed;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • summary — [sum′ə rē] adj. [ME < ML summarius < L summa,SUM] 1. that presents the substance or general idea in brief form; summarizing; concise; condensed 2. a) prompt and without formality; expeditious [summary punishment] b) hasty and arbitrary [a… …   English World dictionary

  • summary — (adj.) early 15c., from M.L. summarius of or pertaining to the sum or substance, from L. summa whole, gist (see SUM (Cf. sum)). Sense of done promptly is first found 1713. The noun meaning a summary statement or account is first recorded c.1500,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Summary — Sum ma*ry, n.; pl. {Summaries}. [F. sommaire, or L. summarium. See {Summary}, a.] A general or comprehensive statement; an abridged account; an abstract, abridgment, or compendium, containing the sum or substance of a fuller account. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • summary — [adj] concise, to the point arbitrary, boiled down*, breviloquent, brief, compact, compacted, compendiary, compendious, condensed, cursory, curt, hasty, in a nutshell*, laconic, perfunctory, pithy*, recapped, rehashed, run down, run through,… …   New thesaurus

  • summary — adj pithy, compendious, *concise, terse, succinct, laconic Analogous words: *brief, short: *quick, prompt, ready, apt: compacted or compact, concentrated (see COMPACT vb) Antonyms: circumstantial …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • summary — ► NOUN (pl. summaries) ▪ a brief statement of the main points of something. ► ADJECTIVE 1) dispensing with needless details or formalities. 2) Law (of a judicial process) conducted without the customary legal formalities. DERIVATIVES summarily… …   English terms dictionary

  • summary — ▪ I. summary sum‧ma‧ry 1 [ˈsʌməri] noun summaries PLURALFORM [countable] a short statement that gives the main information contained in a document, plan etc or the main things that happened at an event, without giving all the details: • Here is a …   Financial and business terms

  • summary — {{Roman}}I.{{/Roman}} noun ADJECTIVE ▪ accurate, apt, clear, cogent (esp. AmE), excellent, fair, good, useful ▪ Is that a fair summary of the situa …   Collocations dictionary

  • summary — [[t]sʌ̱məri[/t]] summaries 1) N COUNT: oft N of n A summary of something is a short account of it, which gives the main points but not the details. What follows is a brief summary of the process... Here s a summary of the day s news... Milligan… …   English dictionary

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