- Do not paraphrase the original text word for word
- Look for the topic sentence, and for key words, main point(s)and parallel themes in a paragraph.
- Omit examples and explanations.
- Use your own words to present them giving a broad overview, shorter than the original text
- Acknowledge the author /the original source.
Use the following steps to write a summary:
Step 1- Write notes using only keywords not sentences; then it should be easier to express ideas in your own words.
Step 2 – Use only your notes to write the summary without re-reading the passage.
Step 3- Refer back to the original to ensure that your summary covers all main points.
Step 4- Monitor the degree of certainty with which ideas are expressed. Use reporting verbs (‘suggests’ and ‘contends’) to discuss and comment on ideas in the text.
Here is a very good link on summarising activities for tertiary students.