To summarize an essay, article, or book, you should not include your own thoughts on the matter, but describe the essay as objectively as possible. Use important quotations by the author and any important words, phrases, or terms should be put in quotation marks. You can model your summary on the structure of the original.
A summary is intended to highlight the main points of another writer's work. Although written in your own words, the summary does not include your opinions of the piece you are considering. Since the summary eliminates those details that are not needed to convey the major points, it is naturally shorter than the original. In general, a summary is from one fourth to one half the length of the original. When writing a summary, the way you mark your text can help.
When marking text:
When you summarize, you might try following these steps:
Use one or several of these strategies to help you understand a new word.
Context: Try to figure out the meaning of the word by using clues in the rest of the sentence, the context in which you read the word.
Sound: Try to sound out or pronounce the word. Sometimes hearing it aloud helps you recognize the word.
Structure: Look at the structure of the word. See if there are any word parts such as prefixes, roots, and suffixes that provide clues to the word’s meaning.
Dictionary: If the preceding strategies don’t help, if you are unsure, or just want to check your guess, look up the definition in the dictionary.
Context clues help you figure out the meaning of a new word. It is the most common method of unlocking the meaning of unknown words.
Context means how a word is used in a sentence or paragraph.
Words can be defined directly in a sentence or sometimes a sentence can offer a hint that enables the reader to figure out what the word means.
Definition or Synonym
Many times new words are often directly defined as they are introduced in a text.
When oxygen diffuses into the blood in external respiration, most of it enters the red blood cells, or erythrocytes, and unites with the hemoglobin in these cells, forming a compound called oxyhemoglobin.
When oxygen diffuses into the blood in external respiration, most of it enters the erythrocytes, red blood cells, and unites with the hemoglobin in these cells, forming a compound called oxyhemoglobin.
Some words or terms are not directly defined. The author gives many details that illustrate the meaning of the word.
Example: There is a third form of governmental structure, a confederation. The United States began as such, under the Articles of Confederation. In a confederation, the national government is weak and most or all the power is in the hands of its components, for example, the individual states. Today, confederations are rare except in international organizations such as the United Nations.
The reader can figure out that a confederation is a weak federal power from the clues
Sometimes an author gives lots of examples to explain a word. He likes to eat citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruit.
In some cases, a word is easily understood when compared with something else.