A summary restates the essential contents of a text in a much more limited number of words than the original text. Summarising a text involves presenting the main ideas in alternative wording and leaving out most examples and minor points.

Early in your summary, you should provide a short statement that lets the reader know what the reviewed text is about and what the aim or purpose of the text is. You should then give an overview of the main points of the text and outline the key evidence supporting the author’s claims or arguments. There is no need to recount all the data or evidence offered by the author; instead, present the information that is most compelling and convincing. Make sure you have presented enough material for your reader to be able to follow the logic of each important argument or section.

You should roughly follow the original text’s order of presentation and its chain of argument. Your summary should give the same relative emphasis to each area of the original text. This helps provide your reader with an accurate view of the original text.

You will need to use reporting verbs to help to communicate your summary of the text. Reporting verbs are words like argues, states and claims. Here are some ways they can be used:

Sommers (2002) argues that…..
Joling and Pitel (2008) describe the situation as…..
The authors believe that…..
The research indicates that…..