What is summarising?
Summarising involves taking the main ideas from a piece of text and rewriting them in your own words to make them much shorter. A summary gives an overview of a topic.
Tips for summarising
- Look at the text quickly to get the gist – this is known as an active reading strategy. Look through the text to get some clues eg titles, introductions, first sentences and final paragraphs are good place.
- Now read it through carefully and note the high levels in the text. The high level is information about the general situation or general idea ie not the detailed information..
- Write notes somewhere (not on the text) and draw mind maps.
- You could also highlight the main ideas in the text you want to summarise – don’t include minor details. Alternatively split the text into paragraphs and then get two columns on a page – put the original text on one side and in the right hand column make your own very shot notes of the main ideas/themes in each paragraph.
- Combine these ideas together in your own words
- Don’t use your own opinion or add extra information.
- It takes practise – the more you do the easier it will get.