Rules for summarizing

Summary Cheat Sheet

ACCURACY

· No editorializing! No opinion!

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BREVITY

· No minor details

COMPLETENESS

· Include all major ideas

USE YOUR OWN WORDS

· No word theft, unless unavoidable

USE LOGICAL ORDER

· Try to mimic the order and proportions of the original

CLARITY

· Not so general that it becomes meaningless

CREDIT TO THE AUTHOR

· Include publication information: name, title, date, page, publication…

Never include your own opinion! Your job is to shrink the original, not to add anything.

If an article is well-written, it will have a thesis statement and topic sentences in each paragraph. Scan for these to help you find the main points.

Rules for summarizing

Write the introductory sentence, which you will put as the 1st sentence of your summary.

This MUST include:

Reference information (author’s name, name of the article, name of the publication, date, page)

A thesis or general idea statement

Sample Introductory Statements

In her 2009 TED talk The Danger of A Single Story, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie explains that knowing only one story about a group of people leads to stereotyping.

In his essay, “Harmony”, from his book One Story One Song, Richard Wagamese says that to bring harmony back to our lives we need to find a balance with nature.

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