WRITING SUMMARIES Steps in Writing a Summary 1) Read the passage carefully. Identify the author’s main point. Underline the thesis if it appears in the passage and you can clearly recognize it. 2) Reread. As you read, divide the passage into sections or stages of thought. Label each section (introductory narrative; thesis statement; first main point; etc.). Underline key ideas. 3) Write a one-sentence summary of each main point or stage of thought. 4) Write the thesis or main point of the entire passage (you may use a direct quote if the thesis is stated succinctly in the passage). 5) Write the first draft of your summary by combining the thesis (#4 above) with the summaries of the various sections or stages of thought (#3 above). 6) Check the passage again to be sure you have not left out any important points. 7) Revise your summary. Be sure you start by identifying the author and title of the passage. Add signal phrases (“Jones argues…”) and transitional words and phrases where necessary and combine sentences where doing so will make your summary
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