What Is Summarizing?

A brief restatement of the main ideas from a source using your own words.

Characteristics of Summarizing:

  • Provides a complete overview of main ideas
  • Doesn’t include every detail
  • Is concise
  • Is objective
  • Is shorter than the original source
  • Uses different words than the original souse
  • Uses a different sentence structure than the original source
  • Credits original source
  • Uses a signal phrase at the beginning of the summary

When to Summarize:

  • When you want to provide an overview of the key points in the original source instead of specific details/examples
  • When only main the ideas are needed

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Test Your Understanding of Summarizing:

This article contains the following quotation:

“In a study of Australians with psychiatric service dogs, the participants reported their dogs “making” them leave the house or get out of bed, “reminding” them about medication, “sensing” their emotions and nudging them to bring them back to the present or blocking contact with a person they feared. For almost half the participants, their dog led them to need less mental health care, because they were hospitalized less often, made fewer suicide attempts, or needed less medication (Ehrenfeld).”



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MLA in Minutes by Sami Lange; Vicki Brandenburg; and Leila Palis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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