How to Write a Summary Essay

Updated: November 1, 2022
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How to Write a Good Summary Essay?

Do you remember how you searched for an answer to the “how to write a college application essay?”. If you’re reading this article, the previous attempt was successful, and your college teacher has asked you to write a summary essay by Monday morning. In this case, we assure you that you’re in the right place and that with our tips and guides, you can easily manage your summary essay.

Of course, we understand that some of you at the current moment may not know anything about the summary essay, and that’s why without any interruption, we get right down to the definition of the summary essay.

What Is a Summary Essay?

A summary essay is a unique form of academic writing where you will point out the main ideas of some other text or research. In simple words, it’s an explanation of a book, article, or some research shortly and logically to make your readers understand an author’s main idea. But, make sure to distinguish a summary essay from other academic papers since you should not include any of your ideas or themes in this type of essay.

The whole point of the summary essay is to provide your readers with a summary of the original piece of writing and not to add your vision on the discussed topic. You can imagine that you’re writing a detailed paraphrase of the author’s paper.

How to Start a Summary Essay?

If your teacher has asked you to write a summary essay, but you need to know from where you should start the writing process of your paper, this section might be beneficial. You need to remember that your summary essay is one particular piece of writing, and you need to follow some special tips that will help you to start your summary essay correctly and, as a result, receive the desired result. So here is some valuable information that will help you in this matter.

  • Read the author’s work carefully. Since you’re writing a summary essay, you must take this step seriously. Your total understanding of the described work is necessary for creating a good summary essay, so if you need to read the material several times, you should do it.
  • Provide some information about the author. Another important step is adding some information about the author, and the paper itself. But only add necessary facts. This needs to be only the vital information like facts about the author of the history of writing the essay.
  • Start with some main ideas. After that, you can start to provide your readers with some central ideas of the author’s paper. Try to highlight some central ideas of the whole paper in the introduction of your summary essay. After that, you will be able to describe secondary thoughts during the following parts of your summary essay.

How to Structure a Summary Essay?

Structuring your paper is another excellent part of the writing process. Like any other academic paper, your summary essay should be structured in the proper form. A good structure will significantly help you explain all of the author’s ideas and will greatly facilitate the writing process for yourself. However, there is some good news since the structure of a summary essay is even more straightforward than a regular essay, and now you will find out why.

Summary Essay Introduction

Like any other piece of academic writing, you will have to begin your summary essay from the introduction. In this structural part, you will have to add all the necessary information regarding the author, and what preceded the writing of his work. Of course, it’s essential to write a few words about the main idea of the author’s work. But it would help if you remembered that the introduction to your summary should be no longer than an average paragraph, so keep that in mind.

After you finish introducing the general information about the author and his paper, you can start to describe the main ideas and theses. Here you will find some valuable tips.

  • Divide the body into small paragraphs. For sure, there will be more than one idea. That’s why you will have to divide your body into separate sections and deal with every idea separately. It will not only help you to finish your body faster, but it will also help you to make sure you understand the author’s views.
  • Correct the length. Also, you can correct the size of your body according to the number of authors’ ideas that need to be summarized. Refrain from writing a long summary essay body—better focus on describing the main ideas and author’s points. You need to know that the summary essay is a type of paper where you must focus on quality, not quantity.
  • Avoid any personal comments. We understand that students are usually used to describing their ideas and reading experience. But you always need to remember that if in any other type of essay it is allowed, in your summary, it’s better to avoid this.

Summary Essay Conclusion

We understand your astonishment after you read the heading of this paragraph, but the point is that the conclusion in the summary essay is optional. You see, the fact is that during your body and introduction, you should already describe all the author’s main ideas.

Since you already know that the summary essay does not require adding your conclusion to the related problem. That’s why the decision is usually optional in such types of papers. To avoid any conclusion, we recommend you consult about this point, and he will provide you with detailed instructions.

Summary Essay Example

We are already approaching the end of our summary essay guide, and we have provided all the necessary information in our article. This information should help you create your summary essay, despite the complexity of the described subject. However, we understand that sometimes it’s not enough to tell about the correct completion of the task. Sometimes it’s even more essential to observe a detailed and reliable example of the completed job.

That’s why in this section, we’d like you to present some points showing the importance of instances of a summary essay, and we’ll also provide you with one.

  • It helps you to avoid mistakes. The first and foremost point of using the example of a summary essay for your research is evident. Let’s say that even with the most detailed guide, there might be some points you can misunderstand or do not understand. And that’s when the summary essay example is coming for help.
  • We are speeding up the writing process. Another great advantage of using examples during your summary essay writing process is speeding up the writing process of your paper. Be sure that after reading our model, you will easily manage even the most complex topics.
  • You are improving the quality of your paper. With the help of our examples, you will be able to improve the quality of your paper. No matter what subject you’re writing your essay on, once you understand the essence of this type of paper, it will no longer cause any difficulties for you.

Do and Don’t

In our last section, we’d like to provide you with the previous tips that will help you make your summary essay perfect, even if you write it for the first time. In this section, we’ve collected the most common mistakes that you should avoid in this type of paper and vice versa advice which you better follow. So let’s start with what you should do.

  • Use only present tense. The first thing you need to know is that you are allowed only to use the present tense in a summary essay. Using the past or present tense will be considered a huge mistake. So you need to take this into account before starting the writing.
  • Citations are necessary. Sources are required for this type of essay. Hence, make sure to add them correctly.

What you are not allowed to do:

  • Do not add your comments. The first thing that you should remember about summary essays is that you should not add any thoughts. Your task is to describe an author’s work, and that’s it.
  • Make the essay brief. Your task is to provide the main ideas of the author. We assure you that you can do that via a standard A4 paper sheet.
George Lynch
George Lynch
Literature, Psychology, Religion
Experience: 3+ years
I’ve been enjoying academic writing since day one in college. Today, having a full-time job, I’m still looking forward to writing essays and research papers online for others.
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