Summary Essay: Prove Your Understanding by Summarizing

Basically, a summary essay is an essay that addresses the main points of a much larger work in a much shorter work. This requires concise writing and an intricate understanding of the article about which the summary essay is being written.
In the most basic sense, a summary essay is written so that the reader gets the main points and ideas of a much larger work without investing the time to read the original work. It is important, in a summary essay, that you represent the points and general tone of the original article or text. You must remain true to the original essay without offering interpretation or judgment. It is simply recounting information in a much condensed form.

How to Write a Summary Essay

Clearly the first and most important step for your summary essay is to intimately understand the original article. Taking notes on the reading is usually a good idea. Even though a small amount of interpretation is inevitable, you need to minimize this and simply relate the facts and points of the article. This cannot be stressed enough: do not add personal examples and interpretations.
Another important thing to remember when a summary essay is being composed is that often times a summary essay is assigned in order for you to prove a competent level of comprehension. In either case, you need to show an intimate level of understanding of the original text. The introduction of a summary essay begins by presenting the original text. The thesis will be a summary of the entire text. This is usually very tough and takes a great deal of crafting by you. The body of a summary essay will then present the points without offering an opinion and only covering minor points. Again, do not include the opinions of you. The conclusion to a summary essay is usually non-existent. There is actually no use for it, as the summary essay will end when the original is done being summarized. There is no need to add anymore.



  • Give information about original essay
  • Thesis is a one sentence summary


  • Covers specific points
  • Offers no personal interpretation


  • None needed
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