Writing a Non-Fiction Summary

This worksheet is a step-by-step guide that explains the process of writing a non-fiction summary for ESL students. Students have expressed to me that teachers often assign tasks that require summarizing without ever teaching them exactly how to go about it. The first part explains in simple terms what it is and what the purpose of a summary is. The second part provides a step-by-step procedure for writing an effective summary. The final section is an editing checklist that students can use to check that they have followed the guidelines correctly. The editing checklist can be adapted to the writing process as students can work in pairs and peer edit each other's work before submitting a final copy to the teacher. This worksheet pre-supposes that students have been taught the concepts of paragraphs, main ideas and topic sentences as well as have some idea how to differentiate a topic from a main idea.