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How to Write a Summary Essay | Outline, Format, and Structure

 Summary essay

Imagine knowing the details of a book without going through the process of reading the whole thing. That would be time-saving, energy-saving, and very beneficial. Whether it is a professional summary or a personal summary it provides you with an explanation of the contents of a text giving you the ability to discuss the aspects with other people.

As a college student, you will be required to write a couple of summary essays. It is crucial to develop the art of understanding a document enough to restate its important details in your own words. Different students learn to comprehend a text by making summaries of every sentence in a paragraph. This summary helps them understand what the whole paragraph is about and they do so with the whole document.

Summaries are conducted for different reasons such as keeping notes to help you remember, composing a literature review of other people’s documents, and as a summary essay assignment to show your understanding. The main purpose of a summary is to help the reader know what the original document or media is about.

Our article today is dedicated to summary essays. We are going to learn what is a summary essay, how to write a summary essay, summary essay outline, format, and even structure. Our homework help will meet all your paper requirements for the task.

What is a summary essay?

A summary essay can easily be defined as a piece of academic writing that aims to issue a brief and intentional overview of the arguments, main points, and ideas of the original text. The source is longer and could be an article, speech, newsletter, book, or even a research paper. A summary essay is purposed at helping the readers comprehend what the original text is about by condensing all the important details. The following are characteristics of a summary essay to apply in your assignment writing

  1. Conciseness – it presents important details in fewer words
  2. Unbiased – it should be neutral and lacking of personal opinions
  3. Intentional – only include crucial information. Focus on the main points that aid the readers to understand.
  4. Clarity – Do not use complicated language. Make sure anybody who has not read the source can easily grasp its context.
  5. Coherence – be organized. You can stick to the original outline to write the summary essay.
  6. No critique or analysis – do not offer personal thoughts just state the author’s purpose.
  7. Acknowledgment – Give credit where it is due. Mention the author and reference source.

How to write a summary essay

You can follow the steps below to successfully summarize your essay.

  1. Go through the original text

To summarize a text you first have to be familiar with its contents. Go through the source and understand what are the arguments, main points, and evidence presented by the author.

  1. Recognize main points

When reading the text make sure you note the thesis statement, main points, and back-up evidence such as statistics, quotes, or examples provided.

  1. Focus on key information

Pick out phrases or sentences that assist you in capturing the context of the main point. This helps you create a flow for your essay.

  1. Outline

Use the outline from the source in your summary essay. This helps you get organized, make sense, and maintain connection and flow. You can use paragraphs or sections to almost matching with the original.

  1. Compose the introduction

Use this section of the essay to make proper introductions. Briefly mention the author’s name, title of the source, and any other information that is relevant and circumstantial. Explain what the author was looking to achieve y writing the text.

  1. Write a summary of every section

When writing the body of your summary ensure you are clear and intentional. Go through each paragraph summarizing the main ideas in every section following the original outline. Follow the areas you highlighted as a guide and do not forget the backup evidence.

  1. Implement transitional sentences or phrases

Phrases such as ‘In addition” or “furthermore” are important when moving from one section of the summary essay to the next. They allow your essay to flow smoothly and the readers will know when the shift is happening.

  1. Prioritize

Do not forget the length of the essay. You will be able to only choose essential points. The idea is to fill the summary essay with necessary details that make contributions to the essay.

  1. Maintain objectivity

The reason we summarize a text is not to make any changes to the original text. You are meant to express the author’s ideas without giving any opinions whatsoever or offering biased interpretations.

  1. Conclude

Take time to remind the readers about the aim of the summary essay. Mention the main point again and the impacts of the original text. Resell the author’s intentions and the accomplishments they were working towards.

  1. Proofread and cite sources

Go through the summary essay after you finish writing it. Confirm the connection with the original document.  The summary should be clear, easy to understand, and accurate. Cite all the reference materials in the original paper using the right citation style.

Summary essay structure

Below is the structure of the summary essay. The structure should be able to relay all the main points of the original document.

  1. Introduction
  • What is the title of the original text? Who is the author? What is the text about/
  • Briefly describe everything about the original text’s purpose, thesis statement, and main topics.
  1. Summarize the main ideas
  • The summary will have as many sections as the main points in the source.
  • Start each section with a topic sentence that states the main point of discussion.
  • Briefly summarize the main point
  • Include the evidence
  • In other cases, you could give examples or other details that support the main point
  1. Conclusion
  • Summarize all the main points that were discussed in your summary essay.
  • Explain the benefit of the source and its relevance
  • How can the ideas impact changes and what are the benefits
  1. Citation
  • Cite all the references from the original document using the requested citation style.
  1. Proofreading and editing
  • Go through your essay to check the clarity and accuracy
  • Make grammatical, punctuation and check for spelling mistakes, and make necessary corrections.

Summary essay format

This is a guideline in the arrangement of the summary essay. An essay format is made up of an essay outline, title page, citations, conclusion, and structure.

The requirements for a successful essay formatting are correct citations, title page, citation page, structure, and capitalization of texts. Below we are going to cover the MLA and APA citation styles. We will briefly differentiate the two.

  1. In-text citations
  • MLA – For in-text citations use parentheses and write the author’s last time together with the page number.
  • APA – As for APA all we need is the author’s last name with the year of publication and maybe the page number.
  1. References sources/ citation page
  • MLA – end your summary essay with a citation page where you will list all the works cited alphabetically using the author’s last names as a guide.
  • APA – should contain a reference page with all the sources cited and written in an alphabetical manner using the author’s last names.
  1. Format the titles
  • MLA – Use italics to write the title of works such as books, films, and articles
  • APA – Write the title in italics using title case and capitalize the first letter.
  1. Author’s name
  • MLA – Write the first name followed by the last name as it appears in the original text
  • APA – start with the last name followed by the initials of the first and middle name
  1. Spacing and margins
  • MLA- the whole summary essay is double-spaced with each margin at one inch
  • APA- The paper is also double-spaced except for the reference page where hanging indents are used for formatting
  • MLA- If a Digital Object Identifier exists, put it in the citation
  • APA- the availability of a DOI means it gets included in the case it is missing a put URL.

Summary essay outline

  1. Introduction
  • Mention title and author
  • Write the context and purpose of the original work
  1. Summarize the main points
  2. Main point A
  • What is the idea or the argument in the first point and the evidence
  1. Main point B
  • State the second main idea and backup evidence
  1. Conclusion
  • The main points in the essay should be summarized
  • re-state the purpose and context of the source
  • How can the work be implemented?
  1. Citation
  • Include every citation present in the original text

To conclude

Writing a summary essay comes with guidelines and rules. You will have to learn how to write the summary essay using the guide above. The process is easy because all you have to do is understand the source. You can visit us at and you will get more information about summary essays. For instance, you can access samples of summary essay examples and even learn about summary statement example essays from our experts. Contact us today and utilize our codes. We are available 24/7. Don’t let your thesis project devastate you while you can hire our thesis writing help at affordable prices.

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