Write summary: Do’s and Dont’s to the perfect text
Writing a summary is one of the basic skills of writing. Still, many people do not yet know what a correct summary looks like. Here are a few rules, what must be done correctly while writing and what does not work.
The goal of a summary is that the reader gets a good and as detailed as possible impression of a text he has not yet read. The summary should be as brief and concise as possible while still providing the reader with good information. To write a good summary, different steps are necessary. The most important basis is that the summarized text is definitely understood. The drama “Die Räuber” by Friedrich Schiller serves as an example for the various points.
Write summary: The preparation
Do: The important thing is that you read the text very well in preparation. This also means: Do not just read once, but at least twice, better even three times. You should also read actively on the second pass. This means that you should take notes on the edge and emphasize important points with text markers. Consider in advance a specific system with which you feel comfortable and that is logical for you.
Don’t: You should never assume that you can fully grasp a text if you only read it once. An unstructured look at the template text is a big problem for the summary to succeed. The point of a summary is that the reader has a good overview of the template text and then knows exactly what it is about.
The writing style
Do: Always write your abstract in the present tense. This rule applies universally and universally to all similar textual forms. Texts written in the present tense are much easier to capture by the reader and are much more accessible and digestible. A summary is that the reader can quickly see what a particular text is about.
Good example: Franz is in love with Amalia and wants to stop for her hand. Since she does not want him and keeps repudiating her, Franz threatens to send her to a convent.
Don’t: Avoid time changes and complicated sentence structures. Above all, passive constructions and past tenses are not conducive to a good and easily consumable text. You should also avoid writing long nesting sentences and putting many commas. After all, you should always leave out unnecessary information and filler words.
Bad example: Franz is very much in love with the beautiful Amalia and has long wanted to stop for her hand. As the young thing but adorned again and again, Franz is very angry and threatens her again and again to put them for a long time in a monastery.
The introductory sentence
Do: The introductory sentence or introductory part is a very important part of the abstract and gives the reader a first orientation. To write a complete introduction, always answer the six big W questions. Who, what, how, when, where and why. If you go along with these questions, nothing can go wrong, because that’s how you used the most important information in your introduction.
Good example: Friedrich Schiller’s drama “Die Räuber” from 1781 is a play in five acts and in the epoch of Sturm und Drang. It is about the rivalry between the two brothers Karl and Franz von Moor. The younger brother Franz tries by intrigue to outdo his older brother Karl, to come to the inheritance of the father.
Don’t: Never use too complicated and difficult sentences in your introduction, because that confuses the reader. It must be clear in the first two or three sentences immediately what the text is about, who wrote it when, where and why. Avoid long sentences and unnecessary information that can confuse the reader. Inaccurate and unclear phrases make the text tough and boring.
Bad example: The drama “The robbers” by Friedrich Schiller is written in five acts, which are also divided into different scenes. In addition, the drama was written in the earlier epoch of Sturm und Drang, in which many other dramas were written. In principle, the book is about two brothers fighting for an inheritance, one uglier than the other.
The main part
Do: The main part is the most important part of the abstract. Here you not only show that you have understood the text, but bring the core of the text to the point exactly. Always make sure that you structure the text in a structured way and that you do not mix up the individual points and the chronology of the summarized text. It is important that the reader of your summary understands a complete picture of the template.
Don’t: What you should absolutely avoid in your summary are quotes and direct speech. Both have lost nothing in your text and provides an unstructured image of the text. Even a change of time, for example, from present to past can confuse the reader of your summary.
Good example indirect speech: At the beginning of the drama Karl mentions that mail has arrived from Leipzig.
Bad example: Franz says right at the beginning: “The post has arrived – a letter from our correspondent in Leipzig”
The final part
Do: The conclusion of a summary is usually optional. That’s because, in the true sense, he summarizes the summary again, which is often considered superfluous. You can also give the text a personal touch here. That is, you can, for example, write your own opinion about the text, do a review of the work or write about the style. Make yourself as short and concise as possible and stick to the specification of about three to four sentences. Above all, make it clear that the text of the trailer differs from the main body. Make it clear that the text reflects your opinion and not universal knowledge.
Good example: The drama is about a family feud that can be classified in a social context. Franz Moor intrigues against his father’s favorite brother Karl Moor. He believes that he has been rejected by his father and joins a gang of robbers to avenge the “social” injustice. Style and language fit perfectly into the spirit of optimism of Sturm und Drang and address the desire of the time to riot against the authorities and the existing system. For this time the language of the work is considered unrestrained, which has a great importance for the development of the dramas at that time.
Don’t: Avoid writing too much and too long about your summary. Also in this part box sets are to be avoided. If you have decided on an opinion, do not mix different approaches such as review and interpretation. Make a clear demarcation here and try not to do both at once.
Bad example: The drama is a family drama that also fits very well in the time. Franz Moor intrigues against his father’s favorite brother Karl Moor, so that he believes he has been rejected by the father and joined a gang of robbers, in order to avenge his personal injustice. Style and language fit perfectly into the spirit of optimism of Sturm und Drang and address the desire of the time to riot against the authorities and the existing system. For this time the language of the work is considered unrestrained, which has a great importance for the development of the dramas at that time. Maybe the author’s intention was to be rebellious. All in all, it’s drama that fits in with today and is pretty easy to read.