Being able to write a good summary that touches on all the major points of a work is a really good skill to have.

When we are trying to save our audience a good bit of time, we might favor creating a summary of what ever subject we are exploring. A written summary is just a shortened form of an original text. For the most part, summaries are a paragraph in length, but they can be long. The goal of any summary is to introduce the audience to all the major points of a work. This must be done accurately, but concisely. Meaning do not use too many words, but make sure you cover all the finer points of the work. The last major consideration when writing a summary is to remain objective. If you insert an opinion statement it may taint the audience view of a work.

A well written summary tends to have several solid components. Your paragraph should start will an introductory sentence that examines the name of the author and title. In that same sentence you should elude to the setting or main theme behind the work. The summary should be all your original work, in your own words. As you move on to the setting remember that a summary does not require you to explore the characters specifically. Make sure to finish your summary with a nice closing that rephrases the main idea of the work. These worksheets will help you learn to write well developed summaries of written work. This series of worksheets will run you through the basic process of forming and writing a summary of text that you are exploring. Make sure to pay attention to all the details along the way and if something seems out of place, go back and reread what is unclear. I find it helpful to have students write a very brief outline as they read when forming summaries. You will find these worksheets invaluable for helping you develop these skills. We are constantly updating this section, so make sure to check back often.

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Printable Summarizing Worksheets

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: Identifying Key Points

Which of the following is the main idea of the passage?

Summarizing Exercise

Read the passage. Then answer the questions.

Summary and Main Idea

Read each passage. Create a title for each passage that expresses the main idea, then summarize it in your own words.


A 2019 study conducted at the University of Arizona in Tucson that examined 800 million years of animal diets concluded that the ancestor of all animals was probably a carnivore.

Sharpen Your Summarizing Skills

The modern animal welfare movement is based in the belief that animals are sentient beings able to experience the same emotions that humans do. There continues to be an increase in research in this area. To date, scientists have studied emotions in dogs, sheep, cows, and whales.

Summary and Main Idea

Read each passage. Create a title for each passage that expresses the main idea, then summarize it in your own words.

Summarizing a Story

Read. Then answer the questions.

Sum It Up!

The story is a passage from a Christmas Carol.

What a Beauty?

Which statement best summarizes what Beauty does in this story?

Summary and Main Idea

Read each passage. Create a title for each passage that expresses the main idea, then summarize it in your own words.

Summarizing Worksheet

All kinds of people can become entrepreneurs. But though each does it in their own unique way, all successful entrepreneurs do share some qualities. Entrepreneurs are not afraid of hard work.

Summarizing Nonfiction

The Terracotta Army is the name given to over 8,000 life-size terra cotta soldiers that were buried along with the first emperor of China, Emperor Qin Shi Huang. Terra cotta is a type of clay-based, porous earthenware that is orangish in color.

Summarizing Activity

When you summarize non-fiction, you only include information from the passage. Do not include additional information, even if it is factual. Do not include your opinion about the information. Think about the passage. Then cut out the statements at the bottom of the page and glue them into the correct columns.

Summarizing Worksheet

The Pony Express was the system by which mail was delivered between St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California between April 3, 1860 and October 24, 1861.

Summing It Up

Read the passage below. Then write your own summary of the passage in a sentence or two.

Summarizing Skills

Ancient Ghana was an empire in Africa from around 300 to 1100 CE. It spanned what today are the countries of Mauritania, Senegal, and Mali. The empire formed when the king Dinga Cisse united different tribes of Soninke people under his rule.