How to Write a Topic Summary for an Essay

Your summary should briefly illustrate the main points of the essay.

According to Brigham Young University, Idaho, a summary is brief, complete and objective. When writing a topic summary you are striving to communicate what the essay is about. "Write Any Genre" states that the summary should filter out any unnecessary details and express the core of what is really being said in the essay. Before actually writing the topic summary, you should take a few moments to read the essay in an effort to fully understand the main points that are trying to be communicated.

Read the essay in its entirety. This will give you a better understanding of what exactly the essay is about. On a separate piece of paper, write down the topic of the essay. The topic should be referenced throughout the essay. If it is not referenced throughout, be sure to make note of it as the main topic should be used from the beginning to the end.

Reread the essay and highlight the main points. The main points should be crucial to the topic of the essay. Note when each main point is introduced to the essay on your separate piece of paper.

Write a two sentence statement that explains what the story is about. This should be done by looking at the notes that you have kept.

List the main points that you have highlighted below your sentences. These points will help to formulate ideas regarding supporting material of the topic.

Write what the essay is about. Use the two sentences that you wrote earlier as well as your list of main points. Format all of this information into a paragraph. The length of the paragraph will depend on how long the essay is as well as the number of points you have highlighted.

Write the conclusion. The conclusion will state how the author brought the essay to an end. It does not state your feelings on the topic or any of your own thoughts.

  • Do not highlight and use trivial information as it will not support the topic within the summary.
  • Proofread and edit the summary in an effort to eliminate all spelling and grammar mistakes.

Tyler Ellington is a freelance journalist whose work consists of a wide variety of topics. A freelance journalist since 2007, Ellington typically spends most of his time writing about sports, business and technology. His work has appeared on various websites. He earned his master's degree from California University of Pennsylvania.