Summarising methods teach you how to select text, reduce it to its main points, and to restate it in as few words as possible.
The summarisation methods’ specifics and reports depend on:
- the type of content to be summarised (expositive/narrative, scientific/literary).
- the target public’s expectations: what is required or assessing the readers of the summary, when presenting it to them.
The three common elements to all summarisation methods: selection of important ideas, rejection of unnecessary information and substitution of long sections in the original work by one sentence expressed in your own words.
Summarisation is a learned process of keeping, deleting, and substituting information. Therefore, one of the greatest gifts school can give you is to teach you:
- how to identify relevant information in any subject you study, and
- how to structure information for meaningful and successful application.
Summarising methods teach you how to carry out proficiently all the above actions.
Summarisation activities have nothing miraculous, Harry Potter cannot do his summarisation homework by using his magical wand.
The big secret of summarisation is simple: you must learn multiple methods of how to do it, you must practice it and you must be persistent.
And most important: trust yourself in knowing what information should be included.