If intensive training is always useful, then there is no process that will mechanically obtain good text summaries. On the one hand, the method will vary according to the characteristics of the document (nature of the text, length, difficulty, uniqueness or multiple texts, etc.). On the other hand, advice on methods can only stay beyond summarizing practice. However, some general advice can be given. They will involve two successive stages of work: research and writing of the underlying text.
Basic text research
Trying to directly Summarize the topic of the text, the exercises, can lead to serious errors in the choice of ideas and the importance of the different parts. Faithful summaries must precede analysis. The study of texts in this period can be divided into three stages: reading, analyzing and reflecting on texts.
-First reading :It’s a matter of gaining overall knowledge of the text by reading the basic document once (or multiple times, in complex cases). This reading is not necessarily accompanied by note-taking; it is simply an attempt to determine the bulk, main structure, and main points of the text. Its purpose is to provide an in-depth understanding of the text. It consists in decomposing the latter into its elements, i.e. listing the different ideas proposed by the author, as well as the relationship and sequence between the ideas. Naturally, this phase will become more important and longer as the text becomes more complex.
In fact, the analysis will be carried out by carefully rereading the text one or more times with notes attached. The process of simply emphasizing important sentences in the text is not considered to be very effective when preparing text summaries, and may encourage you to simply repeat the formula used by the author. If you’re used to using a pencil, or even better a large colored marker, you can underline or highlight Keywords or Strong Ideas. It is then necessary to identify, classify and evaluate them. That’s what a jury does when preparing a scoring scheme.
-reflection on words :It is recommended to think deeply about the text after the analysis phase. This reflection will aim to categorize different ideas, between essences and appendages, as well as penetrating the author’s path of thought. This reflection will lead to the reconstruction of the text plan. It should be taken from the notes of the previous stage, the use of text should only be used to verify any points that are still vague.
Before you start writing, you need to carefully outline your abstract.
The outline to be followed in the abstract should in principle be the same as the outline of the main text, at least in principle. However, it is difficult to give absolute advice on this point. In fact, each text raises a specific question given its nature and complexity and the author’s style. Depending on the degree of contraction sought, you will often notice modifications to the order of thought that can achieve a finer level of synthesis without betraying the text.
You will have more freedom to change the order of ideas in each section. Of course, this modification of the text order is only justified if it allows true simplification: the abstract must be inherently simpler than the original text. Once you have a plan in place, divide the total number of words between sections based on the importance of the idea rather than the length of the corresponding paragraph. Indeed, the summary is not scaled down, but rather a highlight of the essence. We recommend that you establish a “scope” for each section. It doesn’t have to constrain you, it’s reasonable to give you a framework to guide your writing.
writing :The abstract must first be written in draft form. Indeed, it is difficult to spontaneously get a correctly balanced summary. The first article almost always has to be revised based on a fixed word count. Here are some hints on content (ideological development) and form (style and grammar).
development of ideas :What is important in the abstract is to highlight the basic ideas, and only emphasize them. Therefore, it is necessary to eliminate everything irrelevant to the author’s main reasoning, in particular:
– Remove minor details and examples, repetition, emphasis – Omit references and allusions
– When text contains numerical data, keep only the most important values
– Remove irrelevant “anchors”, transitions and links that do not connect the main idea
– Find the correct words instead of phrases or phrases.