What is the purpose of a summary?
A summary informs the reader of what the article is about. It describes the thesis (or main idea) and summarizes the supporting arguments that develop that idea. Unlike a review, it does NOT analyze, evaluate, or critique.
Pay attention to verb tense. Summaries are generally written in the present tense, while results and findings are often given in the past tense.
Cite your Source
“Can’t See the Forest for the Trees”
A summary should move from a statement of the general purpose to the specific ideas used to develop that purpose. There is an expression: “Can’t see the forest for the trees.” It refers to becoming too focused on the details and missing the “big picture.” You want to give an accurate description of the forest as a whole and quickly go over the main characteristics of the types of trees that comprise it (the key examples used to illustrate the main idea).