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How to Write a Story Summary Magazine Editors Will Love

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Learn how to create a summary for your story that will attract editors and provide them with all information they need in just a few seconds.

A well-written summary is short and easy to read. 

The purpose of a summary is to give editors (and readers, too) a brief rundown of the main idea, key points or important details of the original piece without inserting a personal opinion. It provides a basic understanding of what they’re about to read or see. 

1. Identify the main idea 

Clearly and concisely convey the main idea and the underlying meaning of the article in the first sentence. First, pick the major point you want to communicate. Then, try to answer basic questions: Who or what is it about? What happened? When did it take place? Where did it take place? Why did it happen? How did it happen? 

2. Keep it short and to the point 

A great summary condenses a lot of information into a small space. It is much shorter than the original piece and explains only the most important details, notions or arguments.

3. Avoid adding your opinion. 

A summary is not a review – write without judgment, but show the piece’s tone and showcase your unique style. Write in your own words, but avoid adding an opinion.

4. Make sure it flows smoothly. 

Keep in mind the cadence of your sentences and make sure they flow together. Then, read it aloud and listen if it sounds good. 

PS: We will update this article with examples of great summaries in the future.

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