The aim of every article summary is to provide readers with concise information on what the original texts entail. In this article, you will learn how to summarize articles in your own unique words by briefly regurgitating the main points and objectives of an original text.

Although the length of the summary depends on the instructions provided, in the academic context. An article summary usually takes one-third of the total length of the original text.

  • Importance of an article summary
  • Features of a good article summary
  • Steps to writing a good article summary

Importance of an Article Summary:

An article summary serves various functions. These include:

  1. To help a reader have succinct knowledge about a text or a book.
  2. Used to back up claims and arguments in literary reviews.
  3. To minimize the time that would have been spent on the original text.

Features of a Great Summary:

A summary just like every other form of writing has its own intrinsic features. These features are what make a summary effective. That is, when one or more of these features are lacking then the summary becomes less effective. A good article summary:

  1. Is written in a clear and concise manner
  2. Is written in the unique voice of the writer and not necessarily regurgitating the author’s text.
  3. Has one-third of the length of the original article
  4. Features all the important points and arguments presented by the original article.
  5. Has an introduction that contains the author’s name, the title of the text, and the main idea. It has a body paragraph (s) which groups all the points raised in the original text.

Conclusively, it has a concluding paragraph that restates the author’s main assertion.

Steps to Writing a Great Article Summary

To come up with an excellent and effective summary, one needs to:

Read the article:

During the process of reading, a writer should ensure a thorough comprehension of the text. To achieve this, it is advised to read the article at least twice. This is to enable the writer to have a complete grasp of the text.

Jot down points:

When carrying out an extensive reading of the texts, note down important points such as the author’s stance on the topic, the arguments raised, the title of the text, and the author’s full name. You do not have to get every jot and title of the text though.

The aim of jotting down points is for ease of reference during the writing stage.

Write the summary:

To write a good article summary, divide your writing into three(3) major parts:

the introduction, body paragraphs, and the conclusion.


In the introductory part of your summary, include the author’s first and last name, article title, and the major stance of the essay.

See samples of the introductory paragraph of an article below:

New York Times author, Andre Mark in his essay titled “More than Friends” argues that men make better companions than women.

In the article “Why Women Cry,” author Charity Kosk contends that the only way women can air their opinion and make their voices heard is through tears in other to appeal to the emotion of others.

In “Psychology and Environment,” Danielle Ojay explains that man is governed by the same principles that govern his immediate environment.

From the introductory sample paragraphs above, one can clearly point out the author’s full names, the title of the articles as well as the major position of the essay.

This position is what forms the thesis of the summary, in which the body paragraphs provide supporting points from the text.

Body Paragraph:

The body paragraph is the part of the essay where you succinctly elaborate on each point available in the original article. When writing body paragraphs, be sure to have a topic sentence as the first sentence in the paragraph.  That is, make a sentence with the point you want to introduce, followed by the supporting points which should not exceed two to three sentences.

Meanwhile, when writing an essay summary body paragraph, be sure to make it obvious that the point s you raised belongs to the author and not yours. That is, employ the use of author tags such as: elaborates, argues, comments concedes, elucidate, and so on.

For instance:

Kessy elaborates about…

Johnson argues that…

Derby opines that…

According to James…


Concluding Paragraph:

An essay concluding paragraph should have regurgitation of the author’s last point in the book or article. Additionally, a sentence or two can be introduced to pinpoint the objective of the book, or what the author wants the readers to take away from the article.

Writing a great article summary will not be much of a herculean task if all the steps provided in this article are strictly adhered to.

Have any questions about writing a good essay summary, drop them in the comment box below.

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