The UVic Writer's Guide

Summaries: An Introduction

Summaries range from the brief one-sentence condensation, to the more lengthy paraphrase which expresses another's ideas in your own words and sentence order, to the more formal precis which condenses the original to a specified length while retaining the author's approach and ordering of ideas.

Although textbooks frequently use the words summary, paraphrase, and precis interchangeably, it is more precise to use summary to refer to any kind of condensation, and to restrict paraphrase and precis to particular kinds of summaries. The following links will help you think about and prepare summaries:

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Copyright, The Department of English, University of Victoria, 1995
This page updated Sept 24, 1995