Writing a summary is one of the critical skills in academia, yet most students find it darn hard to summarize. What can be easier, it seems? You’ve read the article (or better still – wrote it yourself!), you understand every word, but when it comes to writing a short text giving the gist of it, your mind goes blank? That’s a typical story.
The main difficulty here is to give a clear and objective picture of the initial text while keeping your opinions, hot takes, vivid details, and examples out of it. This is indeed quite a challenge, whether you are the author of the original or not. However, there are a few tricks and tools to help you write an excellent concise summary – and do it quickly. From honing your own summarizing skills to outsourcing – find tips on all ways of coping in the post below.
How to Write a Great Summary Yourself
First, let’s look into the process of summarizing. What’s the procedure if you want to write this assignment yourself? There are five key steps:
- Read the text first time
Read the text and identify its central theme and idea. What is it about? What does it say about it? (For example, the article is about polar bears, and it says they are endangered because of climate change). If the text is long – such as a scholarly article or a book – you might want to take some notes during your first reading.
- Read again, breaking the text into sections
As a rule, the text will be conveniently structured as it is. Books are divided into chapters, articles have thematic sections, while essays and other shorter pieces are broken into paragraphs. Better still, if the initial text has a plan or a table of contents attached – it’s a great start for your summary. However, if not, divide the text into thematic blocks yourself, notice when the topic changes, and make an outline.
- Identify the topic and key ideas of each paragraph/section/chapter
Now try to sum up what is said in each of the sections. Pay close attention to headings and topic sentences – they usually tell what the crux of each section is. A tip: a topic sentence, as a rule, is the first sentence of each paragraph or the next one after the transition sentence. Make quick, bullet-point notes.
- Writing the summary
Now expand on each item of the plan or your outline. Use your notes, but now write in complete sentences. Resist the temptation to get back and lift entire phrases from the text. Instead, write in your own words.
- Checking against the article
Now put your summary and the original side by side and scan them quickly to make sure you didn’t miss anything essential. Amend your summary if necessary. Don’t forget to proofread before submitting it for grading (or publishing)!
How to Choose Your Text Summarizer Tool
As you can see, despite the text you get as the result of your copious efforts being short and slender, you can spend quite a lot of time fiddling with this task. Each word in the resume is worth its weight in gold! Therefore, if you are in a hurry, you might want to cut some corners. In that case, what are your options?
First of all, there are automated AI-powered summarizing tools. They are an excellent option for well-structured medium-sized and longer texts. For example, for 2,000 words+ scholarly pieces, an automated article summarizer tool works wonders. With some editing, you can have a decent summary on your hands.
However, if the initial text is too short (under 1,000 words), you will probably be better off just going through it and giving the gist of it to the best of your ability. For such cases, I would recommend summarizing yourself.
Automated tools might not be as good for very long texts, such as entire books, because there is just too much to parse: examples, digressions, and complex structure. Nothing beats the human brain to that – at least yet. You can still get around it by outsourcing your summarizing to a professional writer. That will cost you a few bucks but save you oodles of time. Read on to learn about each option in detail.
Choosing the Best Summarizer Tool Online
Even though you can easily find a summary maker free online just by googling it, not all summarizers are created equal. I’d recommend something hosted on a reputable resource along with other writing tools. That would signify a sophisticated AI working behind the scenes and powering the entire toolbox. The reason is simple: the more data you feed into the AI, the more competent it gets. Even better if the website has a specialization (say, academia, technical writing, creative fiction, etc.). That’s another great sign since AI will be trained for a specific purpose on similar topics.
This summarizer tool from WowEssays is an excellent example of an AI developed for academic purposes and diligently fed with appropriate content since the website is targeted at students. If you need to summarize your thesis or some other lengthy project, look no further. It is also a great summary maker for articles if you want to compress the text before reading it. Copy and paste the original text into the window, hit “Send,” and enjoy the concise version in seconds.
Up Your Game: Professional Summary Maker
Although automated summarizers win when time is of the essence, and you don’t have a minute to lose, they are still imperfect. You will need to check the result against the original and edit it yourself for optimum outcome. That is why, if you need more than a quick fix but a coherent and eloquent piece, you’d better turn to professional essay writers for that.
Despite their rather niche names, services like We Papers or WriteMyEssays are pretty versatile. They handle any writing task, be it calculations, drafting an essay, editing your business report, or summarizing your dissertation. As a rule, they employ a large team of writers – each one an expert in their own specific field of study. All you have to do is request a kind of help you need by completing the order form and describing the assignment in a few words, for example, “Write my paper summary as a three-paragraph piece, roughly 500 words in length” or “Write my essay about Renaissance music using 5 sources.”
Which service to choose is up to you – each has its stronger points and tradeoffs. However, if you ask me where to look for essay services reviews, I’d say GlobaLearn has the most complete catalog. Go there to find a perfect writing service, whether you need a summary or a thesis written from scratch.
Read on the Fly: Summary Maker for Books
The automated summary and the professional writer are still viable options if you need to summarize long books. However, to feed the text into the free automated summarizer, you must first acquire a copy, which makes the whole enterprise not free on balance. When you need an annotated bibliography of several dozen titles, including pricy university editions, the sum can crop up to an excessive amount. Another downside is that automated summarizers usually fall short when applied to engaging prose, failing to grasp the main idea if it is expressed creatively through comparison or a parable. That is why you will be better off enjoying the book as the author intended or hiring an essay writer to prepare summaries for you if you are short on time.
However, you might want to look for a summarizer to make long texts shorter and easier to digest. We live in a busy, fast-paced world, and slow reading is a luxury we rarely can afford, especially if we talk about non-fiction literature, such as professional or self-help books. What are the options, then?
If you want to enjoy storytelling on the go, it’s better to subscribe to a service, such as Blinkist. It offers a library of books retold for you in minutes instead of hours. However, if you are looking for free options, there is a whole genre of podcasts that summarize the plot of books and films, cutting out all the boring bits. For example, Baking a Murder by Stephanie Soo, Overdue, or Worst Bestsellers.
As you can see, technology makes the world around us faster, but it also helps us move along with it at the appropriate speed. Whether you need to make a quick summary of an academic article or get the gist of the latest bestseller – there is a tool for everything!