Writing with style

Specific Forms of Writing

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Specific Forms of Writing


A summary takes a lot of information and condenses it down to the most important points. Summaries are always written in the expository mode because they contain only factual information from the original source, without your own opinion or evaluation. Summaries should include only the main ideas from the original source and should be written in your own words. Your summary may include brief direct quotations of key ideas that you cannot paraphrase.

Typically your summary will follow the organization of the original.

When writing a summary, make a brief outline of the main ideas first. Use titles and section headings as a guide. As a rule, your summary should be no longer than ¼ of the length of the original.

Common uses for summaries are:


When writing summaries and paraphrases, read through the material to make sure you understand it. Then, write your summary or paraphrase without looking at the original source. When you finish, check your version against the original.
ne special type of summary is an abstract. An abstract is a short summary of a longer article or report. Abstracts are helpful for readers who need to determine whether a long article would contain useful information.

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