Summary Writing

Summary Writing = Precis Writing

A summary or precis is the shortened form of a passage.

A good summary should be complete in itself. It should be able to convey the ideas expressed in the original passage so that a reader who does not have enough time to read the original one should have no trouble getting the message.

Here are some features to keep in mind while writing a summary.

1. A summary should be brief, clear and precise. However, there shouldn’t be a number of disjointed simple sentences.

2. A good summary should give ideas, facts or points in the order in which they appear in the original.

3. The original passage may contain pieces of conversation. When you summarise it, all the sentences given in the direct speech should be changed into indirect.

4. The summary should be in the writer’s own words. As far as possible, avoid using the vocabulary used in the original.

5. Also note that a summary shall not contain points not mentioned in the original.

6. If the passage is in poetry, express its ideas in prose.

7. Write the precis in simple language. Avoid lengthy sentences containing many clauses.

8. Don’t use phrases such as ‘the writer says’, ‘I think’ or ‘in my opinion'.

9. The summary or precis of a passage has to be expressed in the fewest and clearest words possible.

10. In a summary, you should mention only important points and leave out all unnecessary details.

Let us put some of these rules to practice. Here is a paragraph describing the author’s visit a town.

Note how the entire paragraph can be reduced to one sentence if we weed out all the unnecessary details.

Let us look at the following examples.

The bent old lady with the tattered sari slowly shuffled across the crowded road.

SUMMARY : The old lady crossed the road.

He crawled slowly, sometimes on his stomach, sometimes on his side, weaving himself a path through the heather down to the stream. Once there, he decided that he had ample cover and started to run. But he had erred, for bullets were soon whistling past him. He dropped flat on the ground, counted up to a hundred and then began crawling again. He moved tortuously and as silendy as he could to his camp at the foot of the hill.

SUMMARY : Very stealthily, he moved towards the foothill camp.

Summary writing can be of two types.

TYPE – 1 : You could be asked to condense the number of words of the whole passage to about one-third its length.

TYPE – 2 : You could be given a specific question and given a specific number of words in which to limit your answer.

Modern summary writing is generally concerned with the second type. Hence we will study this in greater detail.

Related Links :

  1. Precis Writing
  2. Summary Writing
  3. Two Types of Summary Writing
  4. Precis Writing
  5. Two Types of Precis Writing
  6. Fantastic Feelers
  7. The Long Return Home
  8. The Hero
  9. Devil-Fish
  10. Indian Folk Theatre
  11. Not Such A Little Woman
  12. Father William by Lewis Carroll
  13. The Complaint of The Camel by Charles Edward Carryl
  14. My Shadow By Robert Louis Stevenson
  15. The Rock and The Bubble by Louisa May Alcott
  16. In The Forest by Sarojini Naidu
  17. The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
  18. A Humourous Poem
  19. Narrative Composition
  20. Descriptive Composition
  21. Short Story Writing
  22. Picture Composition
  23. Argumentative Essay
  24. Speech Writing
  25. Report Writing
  26. Features of Report Writing
  27. Notices
  28. Advertisements
  29. Types of Advertisements
  30. Features of An Advertisement

Summary Writing

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