Learning Center


Should direct quotes be included in summary writing?

There are times when direct quotes can pack a punch and make writing better. There are also times when this important writer tool is not a good fit.

Leave quotes out

Since the goal of summary-writing is to make a broad reference to the big ideas of an overall text, quoted information is not typically included. Summary writing does not dive into the nitty-gritty of textual evidence; it just hits the key points.

Write just the highlights

Compare this shorter, more abbreviated type of writing to ESPN SportsCenter. When the commentator recaps a 90-minute basketball game, the focus is on only the highlights—from beginning to end. This is an excellent parallel to the broader approach of summarizing without direct quotations.

However, to clarify, citing textual evidence with direction quotations is important when generating constructed and extended reading responses.

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