Summary example

Summary of a text:

The 365-day calendar was an Egyptian invention. Reason: to control the cycle of crops. Sirius appeared in Canis Major in the New Year (July 18). They counted 365 days until the celestial body appeared again. Every four years, one more day.

Example. Outline and write a summary:

“According to research published in 1992, over 50% of Spain’s surface is affected by erosion; this situation is serious or very serious in 18% of the land, which is 9,360,000 hectares (one hectare = 10.000 m²). This could mean, according to I.C.O.N.A., an annual loss of 30,000 million pesetas…

Strong rain, which takes place every 20 or 30 years, can produce in a single hour, degradation equivalent to 100 years of normal erosive action…

In the last 50 years, the great majority of the natural coastal surface in Galicia has been substituted by Eucalyptus trees, a species that burns easily and that covers 200,000 hectares.

According to a report from Madrid’s Autonomous University for the European Union, published in 1990, Eucalyptus plantations are not only negative from a natural point of view (they dry up wet soil, increase erosion, and eliminate micro-fauna responsible for organic material production), but they are also economically negative, because they generate fewer jobs than agricultural exploitation and traditional cattle breeders.

Desertification is linked to the erosion process. Once the vegetation is gone, the soil loses its fertile layer, making water absorption more difficult, and increasing surface run-off and evaporation, making the soil even more sterile.”


  • The summary has to contain all the main ideas in the summarized text.
  • Just like a diagram, it has to be based on the outlining, and it has to be personal.
  • Ideas have to be in a hierarchy, and they have to be related to each other.
  • As a guideline, the summary shouldn’t be longer than a fourth of the summarized text, although sometimes it depends on the complexity and conciseness of the text, its technical character, etc.
  • It must go from general to particulars, and it shouldn’t include many details.
  • It’s useful for students who have a good audio memory.
  • The summary should be formed with very few points, and they don’t have to be close together, because they make it too long.