Nick’s description of the colors in his environment presents the book’s themes, symbolizing significant aspects of the post-World War I era.
Whereas white and grey symbolize the false purity and decay of the 1920s, the color green offers a symbol of hope.
This version of the paragraph mentions the book’s title, author, setting, and narrator so that the reader is reminded of the text.
And that sounds a lot like summary—but the paragraph quickly moves on to the writer’s own main topic: the setting and its relationship to the main themes of the book.
Outlining, freewriting, and mapping make it easier to get your thoughts on the page.
(Check out our handout on brainstorming for some suggested techniques.) Many writers rely too heavily on summary because it is what they can most easily write.
There are two basic types of summaries: a reader summary, that you compose to develop a better understanding of what you have read, or a summary essay, which is written for others and is an overview of an original text.
The point of writing a summary essay is to convey an understanding of the essence of a source text to readers, without them having to read it in its entirety.
To write a more analytical paper, you may need to review the text or film you are writing about, with a focus on the elements that are relevant to your thesis.
If possible, carefully consider your writing assignment before reading, viewing, or listening to the material about which you’ll be writing so that your encounter with the material will be more purposeful.