Summary writing is an important skill that all of us need to have as summarising improves our reading skills as we pick out the main ideas of a reading. It also helps with vocabulary skills as we paraphrase a reading, altering the vocabulary and grammar as we do so.

10 Important tips for summaries

1. Read the question carefully and locate key words/relevant main ideas that answer the question specifically. (underline them)

2. A summary is written in your own words. Do not lift the whole phrase from the passage. Good to use synonyms of key words. Check if you can put the new choice of word back in the sentence without changing the meaning.

3. A summary contains only the ideas of the original text. Do not insert any of your own opinions, interpretations, deductions or comments into a summary.

5. Write down only the key support points for the main topic and do not include minor detail.

6. There is no need for an introduction or conclusion.

7. Organise and sequence points cohesively by connecting your ideas with complex sentences rather than simple or compound structures.

A simple sentence has the most basic elements that make it a sentence. It consists of only one clause, with a single subject and predicate.
An example: This dress is too expensive.

compound sentence is a sentence that has at least two independent clauses joined by a comma, semicolon or conjunction.
An example: I really need to go back early as I am expecting a visitor.

A complex sentence is a sentence that contains an independent clause and one or more dependent clauses. An independent clause can stand alone as a sentence, but a dependent clause even though it has a subject and a verb is not able to stand alone.
An example: When I am done with my work, I will go to bed.
– ‘When I am done with my work’ – dependent clause which is not able to stand alone
– ‘I will go to bed’ – independent clause which can stand alone.

8. Make sure the spelling, punctuation and grammar are correct.

9. Write in continuous writing and not in point forms.

10. Do not write a narrative, or in the first person, or in any other inappropriate form.