💻 Summarizing Software: Why Use It?
Summarizing software shortens the original text, preserving its essential ideas and details.
The principal criteria are:
Some consider that computers are better at these criteria than humans. You can undoubtedly summarize a text yourself, but it will take much longer.
So, why use a summarizing program?
Simply because sometimes you’re lacking time.
There is a wide range of situations where the software can prove helpful. For instance, it may happen when you need to:
- Prepare an extensive literature review in no time. The number of sources may be vast, and the deadline may not let you read them all.
- Look through multiple theoretical sources and decide which fits your essay better.
- Make out the plot of a long fictional book but don’t want to read it cover to cover.
- When you prepare a presentation of a project and would like to summarize the textual part into a paragraph or two.
👣 How to Summarize an Academic Text: 5 Steps
Step 1: Read It All
What are the 5 stages of reading an academic article? Here they are:
- Read the abstract for a general idea. At this stage, you’ll know if the piece meets your purposes.
- Read the introduction and conclusion to determine the author’s intentions and how they were achieved.
- Skim the headings and subheadings to get the article’s structure.
- Dip into the main body, exploring the central arguments and their substantiation.
- Look through the article again, re-reading the most complicated parts and noting the most significant thoughts.
Step 2: Dissect It into Pieces
The easiest way to catch the text’s structure is to follow its headings and subheadings. But there’s no need to do that blindly. If you see a better variant to arrange the summarized text, don’t hesitate to do so, especially when it will result in a smaller word count.
Write a phrase in the margins next to each section (or paragraph) describing its message. Further on, it will help you determine what each part focuses on.
Step 3: Pick out the Essentials for Each Section
We have prepared a table of questions related to each standard section of a scientific article for your convenience. You could use it as a summarizing template:
|Introduction||What is the research question?Did the author suggest a hypothesis?|
|Methodology||Which data did the author collect and analyze?What type of research did they employ?|
|Findings||Were the hypotheses confirmed?Which results did the researcher achieve?|
|Discussion||What are the implications of the findings?Are there any limitations of the research?|
|Conclusion||How does the author answer the research question?What are the recommendations for subsequent research?|
Step 4: Do the Paraphrasing
You have selected the essentials to include in your summary. Now you can paraphrase them, change the word order, simplify the word choice, and generalize the enumerations.
It has to be thorough enough not to count for “mosaic plagiarism.” Don’t just copy passages from the original: rewording should be comprehensive at all linguistic levels. The best approach is to read the highlighted essentials several times, put the text away, and write it down from memory.
Step 5: Compare the Executive Summary with the Source
Go through your summary, considering the following checklist:
- Is your text an accurate representation of the author’s ideas?
- Is all the essential information in place?
- Aren’t your formulations too close to the original?
Finally, don’t forget to check the result using a plagiarism scanner. Sometimes you can plagiarize unknowingly.
👏 What Is a Good Summary?
- A good summary accurately conveys the author’s thoughts.
- It corresponds to the original structure and logical development.
- It only contains the original ideas without the summary writer’s opinion.
- It does not have grammar mistakes.
- Properly formatted quotations of the source accompany it.
👀 Summary Examples: Bad & Better
Our project dwells on political science and its related disciplines. For this reason, let us consider the summary examples of The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianismby Steven Levitsky and Lucan A. Way. This classical article on authoritarian regimes was published in 2002.
A Not-So-Good Summary Example
In The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism, Levitsky and Way identified a new regime that emerged1 after the Cold War. They argued that many other scholars tried to fit the various new regimes between liberal democracy and traditional authoritarianism. It happened due to the “democratizing bias”2, i.e., assuming that the countries were on their way to democracy. But various “arenas of contestation”2 between the current leadership and its political opposition are not hybrid but “competitive authoritarian.”2
Thus, these regimes should be viewed as a democracy, not authoritarianism3. They could equally emerge from the development of an authoritarian state and the decay of a democratic country. Still, the direction of how hybrid regimes could develop is unclear. They can take a democratic or an authoritarian form. I believe their4 research has made us closer to the understanding of what a democracy is and what it is not.5
1 – grammar mistake;
2 – direct quotation without the source identified;
3 – logical error;
4 – personal opinion;
5 – no reference list.
A Better Summary Example
In The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism, Levitsky and Way identified a new regime that had emerged after the Cold War. They argued that many other scholars tried to fit the various new regimes between liberal democracy and traditional authoritarianism. It happened due to the “democratizing bias,” i.e., assuming that the countries were on their way to democracy (Levitsky & Way, 2002). But various “arenas of contestation” between the current leadership and its political opposition are not hybrid but “competitive authoritarian” (Levitsky & Way, 2002).
Thus, these regimes should be viewed as authoritarianism, not as a democracy. They could equally emerge from the development of an authoritarian state and the decay of a democratic country. Still, the direction of how hybrid regimes could develop is unclear. They can take a democratic or an authoritarian form.
- Levitsky, S., & Way, L. (2002). The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism. Journal of Democracy, 13(2), 51–65.
📌 Summarizing Software FAQ
What Is Summarizing?
Summarizing means writing a shortened version of the same text with your own words without altering the original ideas and logical structure. You should use some original keywords. Meanwhile, you are free to change the grammatical structure of sentences and even leave out non-critical information.
What Is the Best Summarizing Tool?
The best online summary generator is the Summarizing Software. It is available without a subscription and absolutely free of charge. Meanwhile, it has all the essential features: summary length adjustment (in sentences), choice of rewording level, and keyword highlighting. You don’t have to download anything to use it.
How Is Paraphrasing Different from Summarizing?
- Paraphrasing works better with short passages while summarizing is perfect for an entire text.
- A paraphrase should capture all the text points, and a summary can prioritize, skipping the irrelevant items.
- Paraphrasing aims to preserve the narrator’s perspective, and a summary is a reader’s objective account.
Why Is Summarizing Important?
- Summarizing enhances your understanding of the text;
- You have to read the text several times to create a good summary;
- It augments the information you memorize from the source;
- It allows you to integrate a resume into your writing as an indirect quote;
- It teaches you to prioritize the essential points in the text you read.