Summary and synthesis

The abstract is a short version of a text where the same words can be used to concretely present the most important points of the topic. The synthesis is the short presentation of a longer text that has been analyzed and interpreted by the author.

The main ideas are expressed directly and concretely in the abstract. In the synthesis, the author allows a deeper analysis and interpretation of the subject to produce a more personal composition on the concepts of the authors on which it is based.

For this reason the synthesis requires a deeper intellectual process where the information must be reworked, while the summary can be limited to highlighting the main ideas.

DefinitionShort presentation on the main ideas of a topic.Brief interpretation where the most important ideas of a topic are related.
AuthorGenerally it is a person external to the author of the subject on which it is based.This is usually the same person who wrote the topic from which it arises.
StyleThe style in which the theme on which it is based was presented must be maintained.The author of the synthesis can reflect his own style in the presentation and organization of the ideas as long as it does not alter the essence of the topic.
How it is producedDeleting all the concepts that are not essential.Studying, analyzing and interpreting the topic being addressed.
LengthIt can be approximately 25% of the original text size or less, as long as all the main ideas are presented.The author is free to choose its length, taking into account that it must always be shorter than the text on which it is based.
  • Abbreviate the information presented in the original text.
  • Clearly present the main ideas of the topic.
  • Facilitate the learning process.
  • Interpret the information presented in the original text.
  • Expand the main ideas with deductions and own ideas.
  • Motivate the learning process.

What is a summary?

It is a short version that includes the most fundamental information on a topic that is usually longer and more complex. It can be presented orally or in writing.

In the abstract, the main ideas of the original text are usually used , even the words may be the same, in order not to lose the essence and meaning that the author has wanted to convey.

Many times what is done in the summary is to delete some terms that are not essential to understand the main ideas.

In the abstract, the author is not allowed to add personal opinions, deductions or conclusions reached that are not expressly formulated on the subject that has been summarized.

The length of your content should be approximately 25% or less relative to the original text.

Many times it is usually presented as an introduction or presentation to convey the essence of the subject to the receiver.

Summary characteristics

  • Accurate : it must be precise in the exposition of the ideas, presenting in a clear and concrete way what the subject in question is about.
  • Complete : it has to cover all the most fundamental ideas of the topic.
  • Logical : all its parts must be organized, showing the relationship between each idea.

What is a synthesis?

The synthesis is a composition where the main ideas that are dispersed in a text or in something previously heard are presented and related . Here, the author can include personal opinions on the original composition.

To be able to write a synthesis, an analysis and interpretation of the elements of the topic must have been carried out and presented in their own words, always without modifying the main idea that the authors want to convey.

The author of the synthesis has a greater freedom compared to the author of the abstract when writing and developing their own ideas. In the synthesis the concepts can be expanded and organized according to the criteria and style of the person who writes it.

The synthesis can serve as an introduction to a more in-depth analysis, like a degree thesis, or it can be at the end as a compendium of everything that has been read. Literary syntheses can also be seen at the beginning of a work, where the author presents his views on the text or summarizes the content.

The synthesis is usually written and published by the same author of the text from which it arises, as it seeks to present the general ideas of his work. Although it can also be written by outsiders.

Synthesis characteristics

  • Originality : the author must use words and their own style when writing.
  • Freedom : the author can choose the order in which he will present the ideas, the length of the text, as well as the way in which he wants to approach the subject.
  • Research : in order to write a complete synthesis, it is necessary to carry out research on the concepts being addressed in order to reach conclusions and introduce new ideas.

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