College Paper Help: How To Summarize

Summarizing content for the most part is a simple process that involves completing a few steps. The main idea is to provide a summary of written content that highlights important points or what you thought was most significant. Because it is a summary you are not necessarily writing a story or telling someone what something is about. You share what you feel are pivotal areas that have meaning. In some cases it is a matter of knowing which points to mention and how to write the content into your own words instead of just copying it word for word.

Basic Structure to Work Toward for Your Paper

Most summaries are roughly a page in length and include and introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction has the main idea or thesis that is main point you are working to summarize. This section may give additional details about what you are summarizing such as the author name, source, and background details. Be mindful of your guidelines as you may be required to follow APA or MLA formatting.

Next, your body paragraphs will include condense details including paraphrases of the content you are summarizing. You want to include what is important but leave out personal ideas. The idea is to present what you came across but in your own words instead of copying. Be sure to understand this concept; you should not include personal ideas as you use your words but you are giving your own interpretation of what you have observed.

In some cases you may not have a conclusion or be required to state one. It is simply a summary of what you observed but if your guidelines state you need to include one, you should do so. Try to review what you have observed through your summary, but avoid presenting new ideas.

Additional Ways to Get Help with Your Paper

You can read papers written by others to get a general idea of what to expect. Your instructor may provide samples and you can get a custom sample through a professional writing service. There are handbooks that provide additional insight on how to write a summary. Before you get started writing it is important to read over your content carefully before you start writing. Be concise when selecting points to mention and be sure to paraphrase your content to avoid plagiarism.