Summary Essay: Best Tips and Tricks for Writing

Some students consider a summary essay a simple task to do, while others spend a lot of time looking for the main ideas in the source text. Why does this happen? The reason is that in order to make the process of writing a summary essay quick and effective, you need to know which steps you should take. Remember that an A-grade summary essay is always a result of the careful work with the text. Want to demonstrate your brilliant writing skills? Then, find out what a summary essay is and which peculiarities it has compared to other essay types.

What is a Summary Essay: Learn the Definition

There are a lot of different essay types. Every time you are assigned to write a certain type of essay, you are supposed to make sure you know what makes it different from others. As you understand, the first step you should take when writing a summary paper is to conduct the research to find a detailed answer to the question “What is a summary essay?”

If to answer in simple words, this is a kind of work where you should convey your own understanding of the author's ideas and share your thoughts with the reader who hasn't read the discussed literary work. The main purpose of crafting a summary essay is to tell the reader what the source text is about in a clear manner so that it seems to him/her that he/she has read it or watched a film on his/her own. It means that it is very important to make your summary bright and vivid.

How to Start a Summary Essay

Do you wonder how to start a summary essay? It will be logical to start with some prehistory of the creation of the literary work or a movie you are going to summarize. However, this is not the only one way to get started. You can ask an interesting question, and it is better to make it a bit intriguing for the reader to feel attracted to the topic you have prepared.

An effective method to write a hooking introduction is to find some original quotes or provide interesting facts about the author or the text itself. Choose any of the ways mentioned above to catch the attention of your reader. A good way to check whether your introduction really sounds attractive is to read it aloud to somebody and listen to the feedback.

Summary Essay Format You Should Stick to

A good summary essay should be formatted the right way. Otherwise, you can forget about the desired A-grade. What is the summary essay format? Check how it must look like checking the correct structure below:

  1. Introduction: 1 short paragraph that should contain a thesis statement (1-2 sentences), and a summary of the source, which may include background information.
  2. The Main Body: 2-4 paragraphs are usually written. Cover all major points and ideas. Bear in mind that you are supposed to use your own words for conveying the meaning of the text. Does this mean you need to express your opinion? No, your task is to provide a top-notch quality summary.
  3. The Conclusion: You are supposed to include 1 paragraph of the conclusion only in case your supervisor asks you to do this. One of the distinctive features of the summary essay is that it doesn't include the conclusion.

Summary Essay Outline: Tips on How to Write It the Right Way

A summary essay outline is of the utmost importance for your A-grade paper. Make it detailed and informative. Even if the teacher hasn't asked you to write a plan, you should craft it to make your life easier. Believe, that the process of writing a summary paper will become much more organized if there is an outline in front of you. Have a look at the paper outline, which you can use as a sample when working on your academic assignment.

  • The title of the text and the name of the author (For example, “Flowers for Algernon” Daniel Keyes);
  • An introductory part: provide some background information;
    • A strong thesis statement: “It's amazing how people of high moral principles and equally high sensitivity, who never allow themselves to take advantage of a man born without hands, feet or eyes, how they easily and thoughtlessly amuse themselves over a man born without a clever mind.
  • The Main Body:
    • A description of the main character's features;
    • An identification of the problem that the author wanted to draw the reader's attention to;
    • Depicting the main events that matter for the understanding of the main idea;
    • Providing illustrative examples from the text that can help the reader look at the characters the same way as you depict them.
  • Conclusion (not obligatory);
  • References: Include the works cited.

10 Summary Essay Topics: Pick Yours!

Choose among the most interesting summary essay topics from the list:

  1. A summary of “Robinson Crusoe.”
  2. “Emma” by J. Austen
  3. A summary of “Jane Eyre.”
  4. Choose a novel by J. London
  5. Summarize an interesting post of the Internet blogger
  6. Choose an article in the famous newspaper and summarize it
  7. Provide a summary of the film “ Song of Two Humans.”
  8. Write a summary of “Mad Max.”
  9. A summary of one of the works of Th. Hardy
  10. Write a summary of “Kim” written by Kipling

We wish you luck in your writing and hope our advice will come in handy!