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ECE 5246 - Digital Image Processing

This guide provides support for the research assignment.

Grammar and Plagiarism Checker

Questions to Answer and Concepts to Consider

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.

Pre-writing Stage

  • Read the article and make notes. Do you understand what you are summarizing?  What is the main purpose (thesis)?  What are the main points that support the thesis? 
  • Use your own words to be sure that you really understand what you have read.
  • Re-read the article and break it up into sections or “stages of thought.” 
  • Summarize each section and indicate how it relates to the main idea.
  • Remember your purpose and intended audience when you design your summary.

Writing Stage

Pay attention to verb tense. Summaries are generally written in the present tense, while results and findings are often given in the past tense.


  • Start with a summary or overview of the article which includes the author’s name and the title of the article.
  • Finish with a thesis statement that states the main idea of the article.

Body Paragraphs

  • Your summary should be about one third the length of the original article.
  • The number of paragraphs in your summary depends on the length of the original article.
  • Start each body paragraph with a topic sentence.
  • Each paragraph should focus on a separate main idea.
  • Describe just the most important details from the article. Exclude minor details and examples that are not important to the main idea.
  • Put the ideas from the essay into your own words. Avoid copying phrases and sentences from the article.

Concluding Paragraph

  • Summarize the main idea again and the underlying meaning of the article.

Cite your Source 

Rewriting Stage

  • Revise content and organization. Is it complete? Should you add any other important details? Is it well organized? Does it follow the order of the original text? Can you remove any unnecessary content? Did you use your own words and phrasing?
  • Edit for flow. Do ideas flow smoothly together? Are sentences clear, concise, correct and coherent?  Do transitions effectively indicate the relationships between ideas? Have you effectively introduced, developed, and concluded?
  • Proofread. Look for mechanical errors (typos, spelling, punctuation), and for grammar and usage errors that may have crept in during revision and editing.

“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).  


Adapted from Technical Writing Essentials, Appendix B: Writing a Summary by Suzan Last