OWL at Purdue Logo

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue (https://owl.english.purdue.edu/). When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice at bottom.


This resource was written by Tony Cimasko.
Last edited by Allen Brizee on November 12, 2008 .


This resource covers how to summarize your research findings.

In many situations, you will not have to provide the level of detail that the original writer did.  At such times, you should summarize, or remove minor details.  Here’s an example:

  Overall, the first two quarters of 2008 have been profitable to the company.  Nineteen of twenty departments report cutting costs at least twenty percent, and sales from fifteen departments have risen five percent, or about $5 million.  Despite these positive developments, most department heads believe that they will not be able to maintain these levels for the remainder of the year. 

Revision:  The first two quarters of 2008 have been profitable, but the rest of the year is not expected to be as good.

Unlike paraphrasing, the basic order of the original text is maintained.  However, some words have been changed to close synonyms.  When summarizing, avoid cutting too much important information.

For more information on paraphrasing, visit the OWL’s resource, Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.