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Most pupils have to write a summary in school, for example, from a text, a book or an event. By writing a summary, the students should learn to put the contents of a topic in a nutshell.

Different functions

In principle, summaries can fulfill different functions. Essentially, however, it is about informing the reader in a concise and concise way about a topic and its contents and thus providing it with an overview.

In addition, scientific papers begin with a summary. In this context, the abstract is referred to as an abstract and contains a brief and compact overview of the following contents, the theses, the core questions, the arguments and the most important results.

Instructions and tips for writing a summary

Now, of course, the question arises, how a summary is written, which points have to be considered and which tips are there for writing a summary. First of all, it makes sense to summarize the most important contents or the course of action in key words.

A summary is not about showing every little detail, it’s about creating a compact overview. Keyword listing helps identify what content and aspects are important to understanding and what details can be omitted. A summary is structured according to the instructions for most written works in an introduction, a main part and a trailer.

The introduction lists the most important information so that the reader knows what the summary is about.

The main part then contains the actual summary, in which the contents are presented briefly and compactly. However, the author should limit himself to the essentials. That is, it gives the reader all the information he needs to understand the subject and get his own picture. Details that are not relevant to understanding are not described.

The final part may indicate stylistic or linguistic characteristics, the intentions of the author of the origin or the effect of the work.

Linguistically and stylistically, a summary is short, precise, factual, informative and neutral. This means that the author does without judgments, judgments or linguistic embellishments.

The tense

The tense in which a summary is written is always the present, that is, the present form. In addition, a summary is structured chronologically. This means that it follows the timeline in which the respective work is written.

If a book is summarized that contains time jumps or flashbacks, the contents must be arranged so that the summary shows the plot in a comprehensible way. It is also important that the author writes in his own words.

This means that the author should not write a summary in which passages are copied from the original text or constantly use quotes, but he should try to reproduce the contents in his own words.

A successful summary is based on a few key principles:

This includes the principle of fidelity, which means that the author writes neutrally and without judgment and does not distort the summary by his own view or attitude.

In addition, the principles of brevity and relevance apply.

The author should focus on the essentials and pay attention to meaningful information in a short and concise form. In addition, the principle of coherence plays a role, which states that even a summary should be an interestingly written, coherent text.

In addition, the principle of addressee orientation is very important.

This principle is based on the fact that the author does not require a certain previous knowledge, but should write his summary in such a way that it is understandable and comprehensible for as many readers as possible.