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Writing Summaries
Author: ADMIN (ukstudent at gmail dot com)
Published: Wed, 27-Jul-2005
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Writing Summaries. Article by University of Delaware Writing Center

A Good SUMMARY of an entire source (paragraph, article, etc.)

Clearly identifies the author and source of the material, preferably in the first sentence.
Periodically indicates that a long summary is still the material of another author by inserting phrases like "He goes on to point out. . ." "The article also maintains that. . . ," etc.
Begins with the author's main point and contains only the key supporting details.
Expresses the author's words or ideas in your own words, but does not include your own opinions about the author's ideas or about the subject under discussion.
Quotes directly from the work only if absolutely necessary.
Preserves, as much as possible, the order, balance and proportion, and emphasis of the original work. (In order to preserve the author's emphasis, you may occasionally have to change his/her order.)

Other Important Issues to Consider When Summarizing

When summarizing only a portion of a work for inclusion in a research or term paper, make sure that the material clearly relates to the point you are making; make sure that the material serves your purpose.
A paraphrase or summary of someone else's writing can rarely stand alone; it must be explained or interpreted by your own words. It is also important that you not distort the author's original meaning by omitting or changing his/her ideas when you paraphrase or summarize.
DO NOT LEAVE YOURSELF OPEN TO ANY CHARGE OF PLAGIARISM - In general, the citation of the author's name or the title of his/her work in your text signals to your reader that you are starting to use source material. If the name or title is not cited in your text, readers may not be aware that a new source has been introduced until they reach the parenthetical note or superscript. The reader may not know where your thoughts have ended and the author's have begun. If you do not cite your author by name or mention the title of the source, be certain to use your own voice to provide continuity between quotations: "One study reports..." "Other researchers indicate...."

Copyright for this article belongs to University of Delaware Writing Center

This document was re-printed with the kind permission of Gilda Kelsey. Original Source of the article is located here: http://www.english.udel.edu/wc/handouts/writing_summaries.html

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