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Writing Effective Summary and Response Essays

How it works

❶The following format works well:

Steps in Writing

Write a Research Summary


What is your profession? Student Teacher Writer Other. Academic Assignment Writing an Essay. Writing a Research Paper.

Writing Guides for Students Writing a Memoir 2. Creative Writing Guides Writing a Song 3. Writing a Letter Writing an Evaluation Letter 3. Steps for Writing a Summary Essay Thoroughly read and study the original text. Divide the text into several sections, and sketch a rough outline.

Breaking the text into several parts will make the material easier to grasp. Then read each part once more, but this time highlight some of the key points. When you have a clear understanding of the information in each part of the source, write down the main idea in each section in the form of a short overview. It should briefly present the main ideas in the original text.

The introduction should include the name of the author, the title of their work, and some background information about the author, if needed.

Expand on them by including one or more examples from the original text. Include important information only and avoid describing minor, insignificant points. After you have summarized the main ideas in the original text, your essay is finished.

Now you can take all of those re-written topic points and use those as the basis of your summary. Re-read all of those sentences, and you should have all of the main ideas of the essay. If you realize there is something missing, then you will have to write that in.

However, you aren't finished yet because your summary needs to flow like a smooth paragraph. So take what you've written and re-write it to have the sentences make sense and flow together. Use my Easy Words for Starting Sentences article to help you use the transition words that show the linking of ideas next, furthermore, moreover, however, on the one hand, not only, but also. If you want to do a really exceptional job, once you have finished your summary, you should go back and look at the original article one last time.

Compare your summary with the article and ask yourself these questions:. What is a strong opening for a response essay in letter form? In a SAR paper, the conclusion should usually be your response to the article. That means that you will tell the reader what you think about it, including whether you liked it, what you learned from it, how it reminded you of something in your own experience, or how it changed your thinking.

Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. Hi Rezvan, to prepare for your exam, you should practice following the steps I show you here and you should read all of my example articles.

You can also look at my article about summary and response. You should ask your instructor whether your analysis is supposed to include a personal response. Sometimes, the "response" part is included in the analysis. If it is not, that can be a good way to start the article, by talking about your expectations before reading and then how you thought after reading.

What did you think this was going to be about? Or judging from the title, what would most people think this is about? That can be a good way to introduce your paper, especially if the topic turns out to be a surprise. Another simple way is just to state the main idea of the article in one sentence.

A third introduction would explain the context of the publishing of the article or the cultural circumstances that most people would know about that topic. I have an exam in 2 days that will ask me to write to summarize and analyze" an article. I wonder how it looks like to have both a summary and analysis! I am a bit confused about how to structure it and how to start my introduction.

I'm not sure how you can do a personal response without using a personal pronoun. However, if that is your assignment, you can say: This article makes the reader feel The author is believable because The current situation of I'm so glad that this information helped you.

I hope you will share this with other students. I know that many English instructors are graduate students who are not terribly experienced teachers and have a lot of work to do in their own studies. After over 20 years of focusing on teaching writing, I wanted to share what I had learned from my students about how to write these essays more clearly and easily. Most of my information comes from working with students and analyzing their essays to see what worked best.

Once again, thank you! I wish I would've seen these articles at the beginning of my English class! You provide the type of information that I can easily follow. I have an instructor for my class this semester that has not made herself available for classes or who bothers to answer emails or texts. Had I known about this site, I think I would've done just fine taking my class online!

Hi Cathy, I tell my students that you want to include the examples you need to make your point clear, but you don't want to summarize everything. Hello, Thank you so much for your guide. Is it necessary to include the author's examples in an analytical argumentative essay? Rodsy, I'm so glad that this has helped you.

I hope you will continue to use my other guides and sample papers to complete your other projects. Thank you so much for making it easy. Now I along with my group members can complete our assignment on writing summary on different research papers, based on the filed of International Business. Thank you so much! I really appreciate the effort put into your work.

It would depend in part what sort of assignment you've been given. Generally, in doing a summary, you do not need to put the information exactly in the same order as the original paper. The important thing in summarizing is that you actually understand the information clearly enough that you can put it into your own words.

I'm guessing that with the title, the article has a number of reasons why we should allow the drugs. If the reasons can be grouped, into types of reasons, that would be your best organization technique.

For example, I can image that the reasons to allow performance enhancing drugs are probably:. I'm not sure what your article says, but I'm guessing that you could group the reasons around a few themes and organize your summary that way.

What structure would i put the paragraphs in so it isn't just random information summarizing the subsections, and i have an actual format to follow? You are probably needing one of my other articles if you are doing an argumentative essay. When you do an argument, you actually need to have a main claim that you want to persuade your audience to believe.

The analysis part of that sort of essay means that you evaluate the pros and cons of other ideas about that claim. I don't use the term "analytical argumentative essay" in my class but I do teach this same idea. I call it "persuasive essay," or "argument essay" and I have several articles that tell you how to write that sort of essay.

Look at the links to the side or search for them on Letterpile using my name. Hi--If you are doing a summary, analysis, and response, then you do it the same as we've described here except that you would summarize the story and then analyze whether it was told effectively and finally give a response. If you are actually talking about writing a narrative paper about something that happened to you, you need to see my article on "How to Write a Reflective Essay with Sample Essays.

How can I write a story of a personal encounter in an accident. Please can you give me example? Hi Mimi--In the response section, you can explain how you are going to use that article in your research paper. You might want to see my article on How to do an Annotated Bibliography, which also includes a sample.

Glad this is helpful to you Flor. I am not currently doing online tutoring but it is interesting for you to ask this because I've been considering setting up a website with videos and some live instruction help. Are you interested in doing tutoring online? I would love to have the opportunity to be tutor by you. Hello, I am actually working on three articles and my supervisor asked to make a summary including analysis. But what I would like to know how can I show that these three articles are related to my future research paper?

I love the way this website gives steps and examples. I love how you can distinguish all of this into your on understanding. All of this explaining is a great source for anything. You have to love everything about this site. This is the best. Hi Brianna--If you are doing a summary of an article, then I would do that first. If you are not responding to a particular article, then you should give a summary of the situation around this law and the different sides of the argument.

Then pose a question which is interesting to you. Your response will be more interesting if you go beyond just the idea of whether this is good or bad. Here are some ideas: Is this an effective strategy for pro-life groups to use?

Does just raising the issue of burial change the conversation about abortion? Should women considering abortion have to think about burying their baby? How can I come up with a theme for my response paper. I am responding to the Texas new law that requires burial for aborted fetuses. Thanks for letting me know Seza! This type of essay is not very well explained in many textbooks and that is what led me to write these instructions and ask my students to post examples.

Since I've been using these instructions, I've found my students do a much better job at writing these kinds of essays, which is important because the thinking you do while writing these essays is what prepares you for doing good research. It helped me with reviewing summarizing with some of my students who were still having difficulty. I especially liked the chart. However, please change adjective to adverbs. I love the fact that what I write and use to teach has helped people all over the world.

I'm approaching 8 million views now! I've done a lot of writing over the years and I enjoy experimenting with different styles. This my second semester in the university and I have to write. Analysis essay I find your site very helpful for me.

Since I started writing online in , I've been amazed to see people from all over the world reading my work and being helped by the information I've developed for my students at college here in the United States.

Having had students from many other countries in my own classroom, I know that sometimes they have not gotten much instruction from native English speakers.

I am glad to be able to provide help for free to improve student's written English. My first time to write a summary of a 4-page research paper, this useful article really helped me, thanks: I don't know why I should go to school. This is the right place. It's helping me in my English composition 2 class. Hi Ed, I'm not sure what your instructor means by writing with authority. They may mean they want you to quote reliable, authoritative sources. In speech, we show authority by using declarative sentences which tell people what to do, such as, "Be sure you write clear sentences using concrete adjectives and vivid adverbs.

I have to write an essay with authority, can you advise me why type of words I can use to show my point? By the way the topic is dealing Information Technology. Thanks yakul for your comment. As a writer, I know I am always learning and improving too!

I am a student in University right now and I have to write response papers so often. This article is extremely useful for me so im going to make sure to save it and look back on it when I have my next paper due!

Aesta--glad to know this helped you. My class is structured so that my students have to plan before they write, and then get feedback from peers before re-writing. Many of them don't like that process because they want to get it all done in one sitting, but after they have gone through this process for a semester, they begin to realize that stopping to organize their thoughts first often means that the writing goes much more quickly.

In the end, it takes less time! The ability to write an effective summary might be the most important writing skill a college student can possess. You need to be able to summarize before you can be successful at most of the other kinds of writing that will be demanded of you in college, and it is an important part of note taking, too. The links below will help you master the various kinds of summary writing that you may be called upon to complete in college. An alternative purpose of the summary essay, one that is very commonplace in college, is a demonstration of comprehension: In this case, your essay does not substitute for the source, for the teacher has read the source, too.

Yet your essay will be written in the same way, with fidelity to the source. A summary essay should be organized so that others can understand the source or evaluate your comprehension of it. The following format works well:


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Your summary essay should serve as a substitute for the original source; by reading your summary essay, a reader should be able to develop an understanding of the original work. This type of essay is about summarizing the original text, not criticizing it.

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With thanks to: Swales, John M. and Christine B. Feat. Academic Writing for Graduate Students, Essential Tasks and Skills. Ann Arbor: U Michigan P, Preparing to Write: To write a good summary it is important to thoroughly understand the material you are working with. Here are some preliminary steps in writing a summary. 1.

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One of those techniques is the reader’s summary, which you write for yourself, as a way of understanding the text you are reading. Read a section of the book or article, or the whole thing if it is short, and then close the text and write a summary of the key points. Sep 06,  · How to Write a Summary Four Parts: Sample Summaries Reviewing the Piece Writing The Summary in Your Own Words Revising Your Draft into a Coherent Summary Community Q&A Writing a summary is a great way to process the information you read, whether it’s an article or a book%(78).

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Aug 16,  · Continue writing your summary by writing the other underlined sentences in your own words. Remember that you need to change both the words of the sentence and the word order. For more information, see video paydayloanslexington.gqs: Writing the Summary Essay: A summary essay should be organized so that others can understand the source or evaluate your comprehension of it.