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How to summarise

To create / write a good summary, you should read the article or text a number of times to develop a clear understanding of:

  • the author's ideas and intentions
  • the meaning and details
  • the force with which the ideas are expressed.

Writing a summary

Use the following steps to write a summary.

Step 1

  • Write notes in point form using keywords; this will make it easier to express the ideas in your own words.

Step 2

  • Write the summary directly from your notes without re-reading the passage.

Step 3

  • Refer back to the original to ensure that your summary is a true reflection of the writer's ideas.


  • Topic sentences provide a quick outline of the main idea(s) presented in a paragraph.
  • When summarising a chapter or article, the introduction and conclusion should provide a good overview of the content.


Read for meaning



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