How to Do a Summary of a News Article

by Leslie Howerton

A news article summary is a shortened version of an article's most important information. Writing a news article summary requires a basic understanding of news-writing formats and elements, so you know what to include and what extraneous information to leave out. The most important thing to remember is that you must cite the proper sources for the information, including the publication the article was originally printed in, the author and any sources the reporter cites.

Learn the inverted pyramid style of news writing. Most news articles begin with the most important information first, and work down to the least important information. This makes it easier to pick out the information you need to include in your summary.

Determine the article's lead and highlight it. This usually is the subheading under the headline or the first few sentences of the article. This information should always be included in a summary because it tells the reader what the article is about.

Read the article, and highlight the information you think is most important. Keep in mind the inverted pyramid style. Most of your information will be at the beginning of an article.

Outline the information you highlighted. You should have three to five paragraphs, depending on the length of the article, and no more than two or three points per paragraph.

Write the article summary from your outline. Be clear and concise, so readers can understand the information you're conveying.

Things You Will Need

  • News article
  • Highlighter


  • Remember to include the name of the publication the article came from and the author's name.
  • If you paraphrase or use quotations, be sure to cite the sources.


  • Failure to cite the proper sources, or cutting-and-pasting from the article is plagiarism, which can have serious consequences in school or professional organizations.

About the Author

Leslie Howerton began writing in 2008, and has been published in the "Kaleidoscope" newspaper. She received five Student Medallion awards for writing from the Public Relations Council of Alabama in 2009. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alabama in public relations.

Photo Credits

  • watch on newspaper image by Hao Wang from