A summary is a short statement -- usually a few sentences -- that gives the main ideas of a selection. A summary does not include all of the details as in a retelling. The essence of summary is that it is brief; it literally focuses on the key ideas of the text. Readers condense information into a brief summary of key ideas to reveal their level of comprehension. In order to summarize a text, readers filter out less significant or repetitious details, identify a general term for a list of specific details, combine ideas into a broad category, and create a topic sentence.
Questions that help students summarize information: