Distinguishing Between Summary & Analysis

Writing a summary and an analysis of a piece of literature can be confusing for some students due to the overlapping nature of these two tasks. This article aims to highlight the differences between the two assignments to prevent confusion when students are given either task to complete.

Summary refers to a brief description of a lengthy piece of prose. The main goal of a summary is to inform the reader about the main ideas and plot of the text. A good summary requires the writer to understand the story and rewrite it in their own words, creating a shorter and condensed version. It is crucial not to be judgmental or critical of the original author and avoid sharing personal opinions or remarks.

Key Takeaways

  • A summary is a condensed version of a story, focusing on the main points and plot.
  • When writing a summary, the writer should not be judgmental or critical of the original author.
  • An analysis aims to scrutinize the story and provide a deeper understanding of the prose, passing critical judgments and opinions on its quality.

Analysis, on the other hand, involves a thorough examination of the story or play to reveal its deeper meaning and provide critical remarks and opinions on its quality. This task goes beyond paraphrasing or condensing the story, as it assumes the reader has already read the piece and expects a detailed opinion and judgment on various aspects. The person writing the analysis doesn’t need to present the plot of the story.

In summary, a summary retains the author’s viewpoint and presents the plot of the story or play in a concise manner, while an analysis dissects the writing without focusing on the plot. A summary’s main aim is to inform the reader about the main and interesting points of the story, whereas the main purpose of an analysis is to provide critical remarks and opinions.

Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen is a talented writer with a flair for developing captivating content in a range of formats. Her commitment to thorough research and producing top-notch material has contributed to over 4 years of professional writing and editing experience. Outside of work, Maria finds pleasure in solitary activities and immersing herself in nature. Her introspective nature and passion for self-reflection inspire her creativity. She believes that spending time alone and observing the natural world can provide valuable insights and foster personal growth, broadening her perspective as a writer.


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