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Annotated Bibliography: Summarizing

A guide to creating an annotated bibliography in any class.

Summarizing 101

  1. Read the source.​
  • Skim it.​

  • Go back and read it again.​

  • You may need to read it several times.​

  1. Break it into logical sections. What parts go together?​

  2. Identify the main ideas or key points of each section.​

  • Try highlighting or marking the key points in Word or on a print copy

  • Write the source's main ideas / key points in your own words.​

  1. Write the source's main ideas / key points in your own words.​

  2. Check your summary against the original source.​

  • Did you capture the main ideas?​

  • Did you leave anything out you should include?​

  • Did you put in extra details that can be removed?

 

The 5 Rs of Summarizing

Use these 5 Rs to help you summarize.

Reduce - Shorten the text to include only the key points

Reject - Leave out details and description; a summary is just the highlights

Reword - Use your own words

Reproduce - Make sure your summary accurately represents the text

Repackage - Put the summary into the correct format for your assignment

The videos and activities below will give you other techniques to try, as well as some practice.

Learn to Summarize from Excelsior OWL

Tutorial: Summarizing a Text


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