Summary – Concept, types, how to summarize and examples

We explain what a summary is and the types of summary that exist. Also, the steps to perform one and a summary example.

Summaries are condensed forms of a text or speech.

What is a summary?

When talking about a summary, reference is made to a text of variable length, always tending to the brief, in which the ideas of a larger and / or more complex text are synthesized or abbreviated. It is customary for an abstract to be 25% the size of the original.

Summaries are condensed forms of a text or speech, which means the selection of your most central, vital or important material, and the discard of everything that is superfluous, decorative or supplementary. They are normally carried out with the intention of:

  • Provide a sample or an appetizer of the content of any book (such as the texts of the back covers).
  • Allow the researcher to learn the main points of an article (such as the abstracts academic articles).
  • Summarize the information in a text in a series of notes for later reading (as in class notebooks).
  • Provide the core of information generated over an extended period of time (as in bank account statements).
  • Check, as an exercise, the reading ability of school students.

The same way, summarizing is often a fundamental study technique: allows us to check that we fully understood the text, since we can choose which are its main ideas and which are disposable ideas.

Summary types

An executive summary seeks to create interest in the dynamics of a future company.

We can identify different types of summary:

  • Executive Summary. It is a type of summary widely used in the financial and business world, which seeks to interest the person who reads it in the dynamics of a future company or organization, giving the most relevant points of it.
  • Bibliographic summary. It is the summary that is made of a book, a work of literature or a dissertation, even a scientific book, either for informative purposes, or simply for a file in a library, in a digital bookstore or a book classification system.
  • Press summary. A press summary or informative summary is usually made, in which the news of the day is synthesized, choosing them based on their importance for public opinion (or editorial criteria), in the large media such as TV.

How does a summary?

To correctly make a summary we can be guided by the following steps:

  • Read the original text fully. This is essential to make the summary: you cannot summarize what is unknown, nor can you summarize a text by reading it over, because we will ignore which are the main ideas and which are the secondary ones.
  • Separate the text into paragraphs. Once separated, mark the main, secondary and supplementary ideas in each paragraph, using a different highlighter for each category. If necessary, take notes in the margin or on a separate sheet of paper.
  • Transcribe the underlined. Copy the main and secondary ideas only in your notebook, and try to order them to form a single paragraph with them.
  • Rewrite the paragraph. Rewrite the paragraph with the primary and secondary ideas in order, but this time try to do it in your own words.
  • Check what is written. Reread your final text and eliminate the things that remain. Add it a title and summary book information (author, title, publisher) somewhere.

Summary example

Summary of the news:

“Argentine” dinosaurs: our ambassadors with the whole world now with their own book

The territory of what today constitutes the South American nations of Argentina and Chile, was populated hundreds of millions of years ago by dinosaurs, such as the Patagotitan mayorum, discovered in Chubut. Although there are many books and documentaries about dinosaurs, few focus on the findings of this region, which paradoxically is very abundant in fossils.

For this reason, Federico Kukso, a science journalist, decided to publish the book together with the paleoartist Jorge González End of the world dinosaurs (B de Blok, 48 pages, 299 pesos). In this book for boys, “Argentine” dinosaurs are detailed and represented in a possible natural habitat, similar to the current one in Patagonia, and answers important questions such as why were there so many dinosaurs in the Argentine area? How do you know what color a dinosaur was? And other curiosities that will satisfy the curiosity of adults and children alike.

This book will be presented on Saturday, July 7 at 5:30 p.m. at the Cultural Center of Science (Godoy Cruz 2270, Library Room), in Buenos Aires.