How Making a Summary Works!

Summary is the most important part of the class activity because it shows the following:

1- You have understood the passage.

2- You know enough grammar and vocabulary to make your own sentences

3- Your writing ability ,especially if your teacher asks you to write the summary in your notebook and checks it in class

4- You can pronounce words correctly.

5- You can use your English to English dictionary well

6- You have practiced English enough at home

7- You can use your language well

8- You can say sentences with a fluent native(like) accent and intonation i.e. not Yazdi, Esfahani,….


So let’s get to the big question:

How should a good summary be?

In general, a good summary has to be

short ,simple ,understandable ,

and never forget,

It must not be a copy of the original passage

To make a good summary like this, there are some steps which we will work on here, one by one, using a sample paragraph.

Note: First of all you should know that preparing a summary is not going to take only a couple of minutes; it takes some time!!!

Step 1- Read the passage and make sure you have understood everything completely

“Water is the most common liquid in the world. Lakes contain water. Rivers contain water. Ponds contain water. Canals contain water. Oceans contain water. The water in rivers, ponds, and canals is fresh water. The water in oceans is salt water About 70% of the world is covered by water. About 97% of water in the world is salt water. Only 3% of the world’s water is fresh water. Fresh water is not salty. People usually think of water as a liquid. But water freezes to form a solid. The solid is called ice. And water boils to form a gas. The gas is called steam or vapor. Clouds are made of water. Water falls from clouds as rain. When it is cold, water falls as snow. Sometimes water falls as sleet. Sleet is partly water and partly ice. Sometimes water falls as hail. Hail is ice. People need water to live. Animals need water to live. Insects need water to live. Plants need water to live. All living things in the world need water to live. People all over the world need to drink clean water to live. About one billion people in the world do not have clean drinking water. The largest cause of preventable human death in the 15 world is drinking water that is unsanitary.”

Step 2- Now try to write another passage with the same meaning but in your own words

(We call it paraphrasing.)


  • Do not use the exact words which are in the passage. (Use synonyms instead)
  • Do not use many big and unfamiliar sentence structures, phrases, and words. (You have already learned enough suitable vocabulary and grammar.)
  • Doing this part without working with an English to English dictionary is nearly impossible. (Why?)
  • Do not just move the sentences of the original passage up and down or delete some sentences and add a couple of words; it is not paraphrasing!!
  • Do not give your own ideas and opinions.
  • If you want to cut some parts of the passage, do not delete the main parts of the it. You should delete the details, extra examples, etc.( now we call this summarizing the passage)
  • Use enough transition words like but, although, and,….

“You can find water nearly everywhere like rivers, lakes, canals, oceans, wells, ponds, etc . However they do not have the same kind of water. We have two kinds of water: fresh water and salt water. Almost all the water of the world is salt water. When we say water we usually think about liquid water but it can be in another forms in the nature like ice, steam, snow, sleet, and hail. All live things need water. We needs clean water, but many people do not have clean water which is called unsanitary water.”

Step 3- Now read your own passage and correct your mistakes and check your own passage with the one in the book to make sure you have not forgotten the important parts of the story.

  • Some parts and sentences of the passage in the book can be omitted but some cannot.

“You can find water nearly everywhere like rivers, lakes, canals, oceans, wells, ponds, etc . However, they do not have the same kind of water. We have two kinds of water: fresh water and salt water. Almost all the water of the world is salty. When we say water we usually think about liquid water ,but it can be in other forms in  nature like ice, steam, snow, sleet, and hail. All live things need water. We need clean water, but many people do not have it which is called unsanitary water.”

Step 4- Now use your own passage (your summary) as a note and practice hard until you can talk about it without looking at it.

  • Do not forget it is very important to finish one step and then go to the next one. Most students don’t do this and they are more confused and upset in class.

What is important to your teacher?

Very necessary:

  • Understanding the passage completely ( This can have a lot of points)
  • Organization(Finding the main parts of the passage and putting them in the right place in the passage)
  • Using proper grammar and vocabulary to paraphrase the sentences properly


  • Saying the sentences of your summary well without long stops and thinking too long about them
  • Pronouncing the words well

For getting 95 + grades

  • Answering the questions that the teacher may sometimes ask you about the passage
  • Beautiful style of your summary and the way of saying it.



By | 2017-09-08T14:28:32+00:00 July 8th, 2016|Blog|71 Comments

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  1. tabaei January 10, 2016 at 11:19 - Reply

    hello teacher thank you for
    Guidance summery.

  2. Mahdi Rafi July 10, 2015 at 16:32 - Reply

    Thanks for your nice post dear Hossein. So informative and keep up the good job.

  3. ehsanghazanfary April 9, 2015 at 13:56 - Reply

    Hi thanks a lot for your advices. But I think is difficult to use your advices because this is the first time that we are serious for making good summery.

    • Hossein Mofidi April 13, 2015 at 10:20 - Reply

      Hi..Maybe you are right ! but the important thing is that you try! 🙂

  4. Hossein entezari October 9, 2014 at 00:22 - Reply

    Thanks a lot.
    I think this passage is so helpful.

    • Hossein Mofidi October 9, 2014 at 07:21 - Reply

      Hope u find other ones useful.. 🙂

  5. Sabiloo August 16, 2014 at 11:58 - Reply

    Thanks for the article.
    Can you give us a real example?
    for example a reading from pre intermediate ili book?

  6. ali amirifar July 6, 2014 at 18:00 - Reply

    hi sir you have very interesting website and thank you for your useful post

    • Hossein Mofidi July 8, 2014 at 12:44 - Reply


  7. mohmmad nasir April 15, 2014 at 20:02 - Reply

    Thank you for your good offers.

    • Hossein Mofidi April 16, 2014 at 06:11 - Reply

      You are most welcome…Use them!:-)

  8. ali mahmoodabadi January 28, 2014 at 20:52 - Reply

    Hi teacher . That information was good but a guestion how can we tell a a a a summary without any esteres.

  9. arab zadeh January 5, 2014 at 10:58 - Reply

    salaam: thanks sir i really very sorry. according to the students of ili i always think that u are not good teacher but they are in darkness because the just want to pass the level not want to learn some think so for give me for…………..
    i love you

    • Hossein Mofidi January 5, 2014 at 21:51 - Reply

      Hi…God bless you all.! Thanks

  10. Ehsan December 3, 2013 at 18:08 - Reply

    Here is another suggestion:
    Summaries, on the other hand, are easy to read. They are short and include only information that is relevant.Here are some guidelines for summarizing a passage.

    Read the given passage to find out

    What the passage is about
    What its tone is
    What type of writing it is
    Find a title for the passage

    The title should be a brief statement of the central theme. It should be pointed, not vague.

    Read the passage again, as carefully as possible trying to understand every sentence. Since you have already understood the central theme of the passage, it should be easy for you to find out what is important and what is not important.

    Anything that is not related to the central theme is irrelevant or superfluous and should not be mentioned the summary.

    In the passage the author may have expressed the same idea in different words for emphasis. There is no room for repetition of ideas in a summary.

    Examples and illustrations are often easy to dispense with. If you find an example indispensable, it may be included in the summary.

    Do not include quotations, metaphors, similes and other figures of speech.

    Before you start writing the summary, jot down the important ideas in the passage. Do not copy words and phrases from the passage. As far as possible the summary should be written in your own words.

    • Hossein Mofidi December 5, 2013 at 06:46 - Reply

      Thanks a million Ehsan..sure these guide lines will come handy for High+ students …But for lower levels..we should give it a second thought..Thanks again…How About Exchanging links..? Let me know…:-)

    • Fateme December 27, 2013 at 19:37 - Reply

      Hi Ehsan!
      Good job! your summaries must be so good, isn’t it? 🙂

  11. Samavarchi November 29, 2013 at 20:21 - Reply

    Hi. I hope all the students read this section and learn to give better summaries.

    • Hossein Mofidi November 30, 2013 at 13:23 - Reply

      Hi, sure if it is introduced to them 🙂 Thanks

  12. amirhossein atarha July 6, 2013 at 15:25 - Reply

    these steps are really useful
    from now i am sure that i can get good grades from the reading thanks 🙂

    • Hossein Mofidi July 7, 2013 at 14:41 - Reply

      lets cross our fingers….

  13. famf_13 July 3, 2013 at 19:33 - Reply

    Thank you!
    It is the best way I have seen up to now!!!

    • Hossein Mofidi July 3, 2013 at 21:07 - Reply try to use it and give the best summary!

  14. Samane July 2, 2013 at 17:34 - Reply

    Hi Mr.Mofidi 🙂 ! I don’t know why you haven’t been my teacher yet???!!! My level is Pre3. And….. i studied the passage about summary,but i’m still afraid of summary . How long it should be??Shouldn’t we use any example???

    • Hossein Mofidi July 2, 2013 at 17:45 - Reply

      Hi smane ! Very few exampls would not hurt and the time depends on your ability ..good luck:-)

  15. ali fekr April 10, 2013 at 18:57 - Reply

    HELLO MR.MOFIDI.thank you for saying how to make a i know how to make summary.THNK YOU VERY MUCH

    • Hossein Mofidi April 10, 2013 at 18:59 - Reply


  16. Narges January 24, 2013 at 23:17 - Reply

    Hi Mr.Mofidi,I have a question from you ,Do you think which these centers are better,jahad daneshgahi , ILI ,Abou Ali sina or safir? Excuse me………!!!!

    • Hossein Mofidi January 25, 2013 at 11:50 - Reply


      • Leila May 26, 2014 at 06:39 - Reply

        Simply wish to say your posting is as srnirpsiug. The clarity inside your publish is just nice and i can assume you are an specialist on this topic. Good together with your permission let me to use your Feed to keep up-to-date with future post. Thanks a million as well as please keep on the great function.

  17. Samane January 24, 2013 at 23:01 - Reply

    Hi again!fine!I’m a high school student in first grade.I’m very happy!Do you know why?Because my exams finished and they were good!thank you so much!

    • Hossein Mofidi January 25, 2013 at 11:46 - Reply


      • Samane January 28, 2013 at 22:36 - Reply

        oh,yes! don’t you know?I’m the best student in my class the second in school…!:-)

        • Hossein Mofidi January 29, 2013 at 07:43 - Reply


  18. Samane January 23, 2013 at 21:06 - Reply

    Hi Mr.Mofidi!
    Just this…..!bye bye!

    • Hossein Mofidi January 24, 2013 at 08:08 - Reply


  19. leila January 10, 2013 at 07:34 - Reply

    we needs water or we need water.we need water is correct!

  20. maryamsadatfallah January 2, 2013 at 22:30 - Reply

    Hi thanks for your good site.I try to be more better with your help.I should do my best.I hope pass this term.
    thanks my teacher

    • Hossein Mofidi January 3, 2013 at 09:32 - Reply


  21. leila dehghani firoozabadi December 26, 2012 at 11:35 - Reply

    it was good.
    i try to do these advices for improving my speaking and summarizing.
    thank you my teacher.

  22. zohre October 2, 2012 at 10:59 - Reply

    it is the best guidence.
    thanks alot

    • Hossein Mofidi October 2, 2012 at 11:26 - Reply

      My Pleasure… 🙂

  23. hossein August 28, 2012 at 09:22 - Reply

    you are a good teacher but you can be can get good mark to some students who try a lot. thank you

    • Hossein Mofidi August 28, 2012 at 16:13 - Reply

      lets ask other students to see what they say…

  24. Truth About 6 Pack Abs June 6, 2012 at 20:10 - Reply

    I truly appreciate this post. I’ve been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thanks again!

  25. djahjsfs May 28, 2012 at 16:45 - Reply

    I got what you mean , thankyou for putting up.Woh I am glad to find this website through google. “Being intelligent is not a felony, but most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor.” by Lazarus Long.

  26. amin April 12, 2012 at 11:22 - Reply

    tnx for was realy help ful.but i think other teachers may have different ideas about a summery.

    • Hossein Mofidi April 13, 2012 at 06:42 - Reply

      always follow the best way! if you think the have good ideas please email me: [email protected]

  27. sadra salehi April 9, 2012 at 09:52 - Reply

    Hi thanks for this passage and this passage is so good for who want make a good summary

    • Hossein Mofidi April 13, 2012 at 06:42 - Reply

      glad you liked it!

  28. farzad February 22, 2012 at 11:57 - Reply

    I believe that you are the best English teacher.before,I afraid you,but when I saw your website I understood that I was wrong.
    now I find out how to make an good summary.It was so helpful

  29. Mahdy1998 December 29, 2011 at 14:07 - Reply

    I should do my best and it takes time.
    I hope I pass this term with my good summaries

  30. Navid Farshchi December 25, 2011 at 20:37 - Reply

    I sure you are a good teacher.your student think you fail all your studentbut i think you have good choose good way in ili.all the student afraid you.i try do what you want.

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