Improving Reading Comprehension Through Summary Writing

Reading comprehension can by enhanced by writing short summaries. Students benefit by writing summaries since doing so requires them to organize and recollect information. These tips will help you write effective summaries:

Condense Lists
  • Condense long lists into short ones by using short phrases or words to describe an entire list.
  • For example, a list consisting of lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium, caesium, francium, and hydrogen could be condensed to the alkali metals.
Develop Topic Sentences
  • Topic sentences contain the main idea of a paragraph.
  • Good topic sentences effectively summarize entire paragraphs.
  • Create topic sentences for paragraphs lacking them.
Remove Excess Details
  • Paragraphs often contain repetitive details.
  • Information within paragraphs is often irrelevant.
Combine Related Paragraphs
  • Multiple paragraphs on a page are frequently similar.
  • Many paragraphs repeat information from previous ones.
  • Identify which paragraphs can be deleted and combined with others.
Utilize these 5 tips to write good summaries:

1. Comprehend what You’re Summarizing
  • Determine the main points the author is making.
  • Predict the main points prior to reading the text.
2. Briefly Re-summarize the Text
  • Reread content to ensure main points are understood.
  • Highlight key text.
3. Analyze and Summarize Main Concepts
  • After rereading text, mentally summarize the main points made by the author.
  • Identify topic sentences.
  • Develop topic sentences for paragraphs lacking them.
4. Check New Summaries for Completeness
  • Is your summary complete? Check for details that should be included within summaries.
  • Remove repetitive and irrelevant information.
5. Finalize and Edit Summaries
  • When numerous details are condensed into a summary, it often does not flow well. Add transitional language to improve flow.
  • Flow can also be improved by shortening long paragraphs.
  • Ensure your summary does not too closely mimic the author’s work you’re summarizing.


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