How to Write Effective Article Summaries

You’ve just finished an article set for publishing on a website, magazine, or newspaper, and its time to add it to the directory.  Here you face a problematic situation; how do you summarize your article in a short, sweet sentence or paragraph?  The role of your summary “thesis” is to draw readers’ curiosity and persuade them to read the full feature.

Together with the title, your article summary should provide a gist of the article you’ve written, and should do it effectively in one or two sentences maximum.  This is sometimes called the thesis when it is used for essays.  Here’s some short tips on how to write a catchy summary yourself.

  • Be brief and concise. Statistics show that good summaries get to the point with two to five sentences only.  Avoid introduction sentences such as “This article will show you…” or “Here’s what you didn’t know about…”
  • Don’t write the summary before you begin writing or finish the article. Some book authors do the same with their title.  It’s easier to sum a large amount of writing up in one sentence rather than vice versa. 
  • Outline the benefits of reading your article to your target audience. If the readers can gain something from your knowledge, they will be more tempted to finish the entire article.  However, do not reveal all the information.  It has to be what some authors call a “hooker”; something to get the fish to bite.
  • It is very important that you do not use your summary section for cheap, self-promotion gimmicks. Leave the click bait to social media and do not include any contact information or other pieces of work in the summary.