The summary of a passage is the passage in its shortened form. In a summary, we only express the main ideas. And to keep it short, we must express those ideas in as few words as possible.

What is a good summary?

A good summary must be complete in itself. It must contain all the important information in the passage so that a reader, who doesn’t have time to read the original passage, will have no difficulty in understanding what the passage is about.

The summary should be brief, clear and precise. That said, it should not be a number of disjointed simple sentences. You can use linking expressions to connect the ideas.

Give ideas, facts or points in the order in which they are given in the original passage.

If the original passage contains sentences in direct speech, it must be changed into indirect speech in the summary.

The summary must be written in the writer’s own words. As far as possible avoid using the same words that appear in the original passage.

A summary must not contain anything that is not in the original.

How to summarize a given passage?

Read the given passage carefully and try to understand what it means. If you don’t understand it by reading it once, read twice or thrice until you know the details.

Try to find out what the passage is about. Sometimes you will also need to find a suitable title for the summary.

After reading the passage prepare an outline summary containing all the important points.

Prepare your summary with the help of the outline. Do not refer to the original.

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