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Writing out the idea.

Steps to Writing

A summary is much shorter than the original length of a text. The text may be an entire article or a paragraph from a source. For example, you may be asked to write one page summary for a long article as part of an annotated bibliography assignment. Most often, you will need to write summaries of  key parts of sources as part of a scholarly paper or literature review.
Writing a summary is a process of selecting main ideas and eliminating less important ideas while still presenting a good view of the whole text.
1. Read! Preview the article then follow up with a close critical reading of the text.  (For more on active reading, click here)
2. Find and note the main argument/idea/thesis. This step is important because it helps you decide which details to include. (Describe in your own words).
3. Find and note details that support the main idea or purpose.
4. Highlight important details by finding key words and phrases in your notes (words that cannot be replaced with synonyms).
5. Decide which ideas can be left out (usually specific examples, statistics, quotations).
6. Link remaining ideas together to write a summary that gives a “picture” of the whole. 
7. Proofread to eliminate direct quotes, copied phrases, and  extra words wherever you can. (Using “active voice” – subject + verb – is helpful).