How to Write a Summary Essay

June 8, 2021 support

The life of a student is full of stress. There are exams, course assignments, projects, quizzes, essay writing, and a lot more. It is pretty challenging to submit satisfactory work and earn good grades while at the same time juggling numerous assignments. Sometimes the professor gives other kinds of assignments to gauge the student’s knowledge. Summary essays are one of the assignments given to a student to assess their understanding of the subject and develop the ability to go through the entire essay and extract the piece’s gist. If you are looking for a guide on writing a good summary essay, this article is for you. Let us walk you through the various steps needed to write the summary essay.

What is a Summary Essay?

Summary essays, as the name suggests, are the gist of the original text. Instead of reading the entire essay, the reader looks at the text you have written and understands the main points discussed in the piece.

It needs to be well-organized and composed so that the reader gets the best understanding and comprehension of the article. It is different from an article review and requires you to present your thoughts in more detail. If you are wondering what is a summary essay? Then you must understand that it presents the summary and gist of the entire essay you are given to read.

For instance, if it is a 7-page research article on which a summary essay is needed, and your professor has asked you to present a 1-page summary essay, you have to write only the main points and elaborate on them. If you are an utterly stressed student and do not have the time to write the article on your own, you should hire writing companies to do the job for you.

There are plenty of good writing companies who know how to submit quality work on time. You can search for such companies on your own and choose the one that is best for you. Some writing companies claim to submit quality work within the shortest possible deadline, such as in an hour. It all depends upon how urgent the task needs to be delivered. A lot also depends on the affordability. How much you pay to write an essay and when it will be delivered are essential factors to consider.

Importance of Knowing How to Write a Summary Essay

The importance of a summary essay stems from the fact that it is required to complete your coursework. In order to get your degree, you have to submit several assignments. Some of the assignments are there to gauge your researching ability, and some are analytical pieces, while some articles are meant to check how well you have understood the essay.

The professor gives you a summary essay to understand your grasp on the subject and how well you can articulate the ideas and put them on paper. This develops your comprehension and analytical skills, along with honing your writing capabilities.

Summary Essay Format

Students are stressed out and do not know the summary essay format, to begin with. That is why for your convenience, we are presenting you with a detailed format. It requires specific steps, and it should be written in the same order for better coverage of the entire piece.

How to Write an Outline

Before you begin writing a summary essay, you should have an outline. The outline should be made while reading the entire paper. Here are some tips for writing summaries’ outlines before you begin penning down a summary essay.

  • Sit down with a focused mind.
  • First, read the entire paper thoroughly.
  • Make important points and note them down while reading your paper
  • Highlight the main key points
  • Mark the topic sentence and concluding sentence from each paragraph
  • In each paragraph, there are different main points which you should highlight
  • After highlighting each point, your outline will be created within the margin of the article

Once you have noted down the main points, the outline will be sketched within the margin of the essay. Just keep in mind, while writing an outline, you should take notes on the following:

  • The source of the essay comprises the author’s first and last name, title, date of publication, serial number, publisher name, etc.
  • Present the main idea of the original essay
  • Write down the supporting points in the outline
  • Give supporting explanations, including causes, effects, and reasons

Once you have developed the summary essay, you should now examine how to begin penning down a summary essay on your own.

Starting a Summary Essay

The introductory paragraph of the summary essay should comprise a thesis statement. The one-sentence thesis statement must sum up the main gist of the source article. It should present the idea in one sentence. The introductory paragraph usually comprises only one paragraph and contains the thesis statement. It contains the thesis statement, which presents the article’s idea in a single sentence. If you are wondering how to write a summary essay, then you should take a look at these important things that need to be included in the first paragraph:

  • Presents the title of the source
  • You have to write down the name of the author.
  • Provide background information about the author’s source or about the text that needs to be summarized
  • Remember, the introduction should not convey your opinions and thoughts. It should only present the main point in the article.

Writing Body Paragraphs

The main body paragraphs can comprise a single para or are based on multiple paragraphs. If it is a single paragraph, then the primary key point should be mentioned in the body paragraph of the summary essay. However, if you need multiple paragraphs, remember to start the central point from a new paragraph. Each paragraph must have all the main points presented. Do not write down all the main points in one para and then elaborate on them in succeeding paras. Each para must present a single central point.

Writing a Conclusion for a Summary Essay

If you are wondering how to end a summary essay, you should keep in mind that the summary essay’s conclusion should address the gist. Just like the introductory paragraph contains the topic sentence, the conclusion must present the main idea in a short form. Most articles have analysis in conclusion. So, in case you are thinking about how to conclude a summary essay, then check this out. The concluding note of the summary essay should have a detailed list of the essay. It should provide the analysis of the original essay in a concise form. The conclusion must have all the main points and analysis of a concluding paragraph.

Tips for a Good Formal Essay

The following tips will help you write a formal essay without much hassle. Remember to follow these tips for the best essay:

  • Understand the source and write down the main points reflecting the author’s original idea, tone, and mood
  • Present the main ideas in each paragraph to cover all the points
  • Use present tense that shows you have read the piece and are writing the summary on your own
  • Cite the author’s words so that it does not seem that you have copied the content or shared your thoughts
  • Citing the work ensures there is no plagiarism

Short Example of a Summary Essay 

If you are wondering how to write a summary essay example, then check this out.

An academic essay presents an idea using interpretation and analysis. There are three stages of writing an essay.

  • Preparation
  • Writing
  • Revision


In the preparation phase of writing an essay, you should define the essay topic. It is best to choose a topic of your interest. Then do some background research and gather suitable sources. Note down the sources so that you know how to cite them when you sit down to write. Come up with a thesis statement comprising the main idea. It will help you write the essay in an organized manner. Sketch a rough outline.


The writing phase consists of three steps:

  • Writing the introduction
  • Writing the body paragraphs
  • Providing a concluding note

Introduction: Hook the reader with an intriguing question or a surprising fact. Give background information on the given topic so that your reader understands the topic. Write down the thesis statement providing focus and signaling your position on the topic. Map out the structure of the essay by describing what will be covered in each part of the essay.

Body: Each body paragraph must contain a topic sentence which is the main idea. The number of paragraphs depends upon the length of the essay. Use transition words to make connections with each paragraph. After writing the topic sentence, present evidence such as quotes, data, and examples from different sources. 

Conclusion: It is the final paragraph. It should finish with an impactful sentence. It ties together all the main points and shows why your argument matters. Omit a new argument in conclusion.

Once you have written the essay, create a checklist and tick mark all the essential points.

  • I have created an outline
  • I have written down the thesis statement
  • I have created different body paragraphs
  • I have written down the topic sentence for each paragraph
  • I have created an impactful conclusion

It helps write a compelling essay in no time. Make sure you follow all these tips to earn good grades.

Common Mistakes to Avoid While Writing a Summary Essay

There are plenty of mistakes that writers make when writing a summary essay. For your convenience, we have penned down the common mistakes people make:

  • Do not include your interpretations and examples in the paper. You only have to repeat and summarize the points mentioned in the paper.
  • Do not pass any judgment on the paper. You should not evaluate anything against the paper
  • Do not just write down everything. It is essential to understand the fundamental difference between copying down everything to writing down only the main key points.
  • Avoid writing unnecessary details.
  • Use transitory words and sentences to mark the different paragraphs
  • Remember to write key points in each paragraph
  • Do not forget to include enough information
  • Cite quotations so that the work of the author does not look like your own


There are plenty of questions that people have. Here are the answers to the frequently asked questions:

How do you start a summary essay?

The first and foremost thing to start a summary essay is to thoroughly read the text and present your ideas in a single topic sentence. The tone, style, and mood of the article should reflect the main idea.

What are the five steps in writing a good summary?

When writing a good summary essay, there are five main steps, which are as follows:

  • First, read the article thoroughly
  • Sketch a rough outline presenting the main ideas
  • Write down the introductory paragraph comprising the thesis statement
  • Pen down the body paragraphs comprising the main points
  • Write down the concluding note describing the gist of the essay

What are the steps to write a summary?

The following main steps are required when penning down a summary essay:

  • Read the essay and write down the outline
  • Write down the thesis statement
  • Write in detail the introductory paragraph
  • Pen down the body paragraphs
  • Write down the conclusion

How do you write a summary example?

When writing a summary example, you should first read the essay thoroughly and sketch an outline. Keep in mind the main points to be discussed. In an example, you can make use of any essay and use it as an example. If you are a student who wishes to hire the services of a writing company, then use our services of Write My Essay Canada and write a summary essay.

We hope this blog will help you write a summary essay on your own. Make sure to follow all the tips mentioned earlier to pen down a compelling, concise, and clear summary essay that conveys all the main points.