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How to Start a Summary

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Written by
Dr. Simon Robbins
  • Icon Calendar 18 May 2024
  • Icon Page 1281 words
  • Icon Clock 7 min read

When students get assignments to retell specific studies, they ask themselves how to start a summary. Basically, this question arises not only because learners may not have the necessary knowledge but also because they need guides as a starting point. Unfortunately, many summaries must be rewritten because students use irrelevant guides to meet standards. Therefore, this article covers a technique on how to start a summary and write a high-quality paper.

General Aspects of Summary Writing

Summary writing is a skill that all researchers need to master. Basically, a summary is one of the types of papers that require students to write in their own words. Also, the beginning of summaries is an essential section because a writer needs to understand a source under discussion. In this case, the information on how to start a summary covers an introductory paragraph, including two subsections: general details and article-specific information.

How to start a summary

Summary Writing Format

A good summary captures the essence of the original text while being concise and clear. Your summary should provide enough information for someone to understand the main points or ideas of the text without reading the entire it. Hence, the summary writing format must follow:

  1. Introduction: Start your summary with a brief introduction that provides context for the topic.
  2. Main Idea: Identify the main message or thesis statement of the original text.
  3. Key Points: Highlight the most important points or arguments presented in the article.
  4. Supporting Details: Include key supporting details that contribute to the overall understanding.
  5. Conciseness: Keep sentences concise and focused, avoiding unnecessary details.
  6. Order: Organize the points in a logical order to enhance readability.
  7. Eliminate Redundancy: Remove redundant information while ensuring the core message is covered.
  8. Critical Information: Emphasize critical information that significantly impacts the main idea.
  9. Conclusion: Summarize the overall message or conclusion of the original text.
  10. Word Count: Keep the summary within a specified word count, following any length restrictions.

Starting Summaries

The first subsection of introductory paragraphs contains general details concerning authors and study topics. When writing an article review, summaries should begin by presenting the names and surnames of authors. In this case, writers must provide names of authors in full forms by considering a method on how to start a summary. If there are multiple authors, instructors should consult students for further directives. Next, learners must mention titles of articles being summarized. In turn, the article’s titles must be written in a format that conforms to chosen paper formats regarding the inclusion of a source’s title in the essay’s text. As a result, such details inform readers about the necessary information concerning articles.

Ending of Summaries

The remaining information in the first paragraph is specific to articles in cases of summaries. For example, students may provide background information that places studies into a specific context under discussion. In this case, readers need to be aware of general topics of interest. Then, writers have to state research questions immediately after this part. Various important pieces of information covering the technique of how to start a summary are critical because they present specific aspects of general topics, meaning the focus of studies. Moreover, the concluding statement in the first paragraph is the study hypothesis. In turn, this sentence should provide much detail on approaches to investigating research questions. Upon completion of this paragraph, readers must have a complete picture of research scopes.

Plagiarism-Free Paper Example

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10 Steps of Starting a Summary

  1. Find an article needed to be summarized.
  2. Note the author(s) of this article and its title.
  3. Read this article.
  4. Find the main idea of an article.
  5. Outline key points that support an idea of a discussed article.
  6. Start a summary with an introductory sentence about an article by mentioning the name and surname of the author (s), including the title.
  7. Write about the main message in the article made by the author(s).
  8. Cover supporting points found in the article.
  9. Include relevant details to the topic used by the author(s).
  10. Conclude with a final sentence that covers the main idea of the article.

Simple Example of Starting a Summary

The article “How to Start a Summary” by Alex Turner covers the main rules of writing. In particular, the author states …”Point 1″… . For example, …”Detail 1″… . Then, Turner argues that …”Point 2″… . In this case, …”Detail 2″… . Further on, the author presents …”Point 3″… . In turn, …”Detail 3″… . As a result, Turner’s article describes that …”Main Idea”… .

In this case, “Point X” means an idea X made by the author(s), while “Detail X” covers arguments provided by the author(s) to support “Point X.” Besides, “Point X” and “Detail X” can take several sentences. Then, “Main Idea” must include all the points provided in a summary by using from one to two sentences to make a final claim made by the author(s).

Note: Writing a summary means using ideas presented by the author(s) of the article without adding new concepts or opinions. However, students must use their own words or paraphrase information, explaining what the author(s) intended to deliver to readers. Also, the typical word count of a summary is about 100-150 words with a length of about 5-10 sentences, but it may depend on specific instructions.

Guidelines on How to Start a Summary

Guidelines govern the authorship of the summary example. Firstly, scholars must avoid direct quotations, minimizing their use, because summaries should be dominated by paraphrasing. Basically, the essence of writing summaries is to reproduce researchers’ works by using different words. It demonstrates that writers know how to start a summary because students need to read and understand sources. Also, in-text citations accompany direct quotes. Secondly, learners should avoid wordiness and use scientifically accurate language. In turn, eliminating wordy statements enables students to reduce the length of summaries.

Word Choice

The choice of words employed by students must maintain the same meaning as original texts to ensure that there are no statements that are characterized by ambiguity. Because the length of summaries is related to purposes, they may be written for different reasons. In this case, purposes dictate the length of the introduction parts and the completed summary. Hence, writers must include enough information to meet rules on how to start a summary.

Conclusion on How to Start a Summary

Correct techniques on how to start a summary have been discussed in much detail. Notably, the nature of the research paper or article review may cause some slight variation from presented structures. Qualitative studies have propositions in place of hypotheses that may modify outlined structures. Also, the rest of such a structure covers methods, results, discussion, and conclusion, where only critical details are mentioned.

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