A summary condenses the author’s main purpose and support so that someone else gets the information as it was intended and you avoid sounding as if you’re making it up. You will need a text a pen and paper analytical skills organizational skills and a friend – optional, who, what, why, when, where and how questions.

Step 1 – Scan the text and make notes on paper read closely to absorb the author’s tone and central ideas and then comb back through to clarify points.

Step 2 – Outline the main idea of each section in your own words include only meaningful details and proofs, organizing them from most to least important.

Step 3 – Develop a thesis summarizing the main points of the piece be sure to include the author’s name and the title of the work right away avoid using your own opinions or interpretations no matter how familiar the subject may be.

Step 4 – Arrange the information to clearly support the author’s points adding details to each section improve the flow of ideas with transitions that connect sections.

Step 5 – Be sure that sources are cited properly paraphrase and don’t use the author’s words if you can help it make sure you haven’t wandered off topic ask who what why when where and how questions to be sure you have represented the author’s work faithfully.

Step 6 – Correct your grammar punctuation and spelling dignify your work and that of your subjects with the care good scholarship demands.

Step 7 – Ask a hypercritical friend to read your work be receptive and not oversensitive if they can’t identify your main points you need to revise did you know more than half of students say that their schoolwork requires daily writing you.

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