The number of sentences in a summary will depend on the content but generally, summaries have between five and eight sentences. This is the average amount of sentences for all types of content. You may find certain types of writing have more sentences and some have fewer sentences.
Continue reading on to learn more about what a summary is, a few different styles of writing, and how many sentences you should strive to write if you want a good, strong summary.
What is a Summary?
The Oxford English Dictionary defines a summary as a brief statement or an account of the main points of something. You may find summaries in many different forms including on legal documents, professional studies, business plans, and more.
A summary serves the purpose of giving a very brief overview of a chunk of content. This is helpful for scanning documents quickly. For students, writing a summary of what they have learned is a way to demonstrate comprehension of a given subject.
How to Write a Summary
There are only a few points to know in order to effectively write a summary. When writing a summary, it should be in the form of a paragraph and contain no more than five to eight sentences. The summary should be written in one’s own words and not copied from the included text.
Beginning a summary is easy and should include a sentence that states the title of the content, the author, and the main point. A summary should not include individual ideas or thoughts because it is only to summarize the text.
The ending of a summary should always sum up the author’s main point. If there are several points, all of them should be summarized within the ending sentences. The goal of a summary is to inform the reader of the contents. If one cannot do this by reading the summary alone, it probably will need to be edited.
When to Write a Summary
There are many times in which it is appropriate to formulate a summary. Academic and science-based writings are the most common places to find a summary. A college essay will have a longer summary than that of a high school paper, and science-based articles will have a much longer summary than those of academic papers.
You can also find summaries in business documents such as strategy plans, stakeholder reports, and proposals. The common length for summaries on business documents falls between the average of 5 and 8 sentences.