What Is The Difference Between Summary And Conclusion?


Both summary and conclusion are terms that relate to academic writing. Each of them is used to finish the paper or speech. Therefore, you are likely to be confused about what is the difference between those terms. Moreover, you can have questions such as “Why do we need a summary if there is a conclusion to be made?” Let’s find out what each term means.

What Is A Conclusion And How Do We Use It?

A conclusion is the finishing part of the text. Sometimes it can be a chapter, but we can also use it as the last of the paragraphs. The thing is that you cannot miss the conclusion if you write an academic paper. It is a critical part of any essay or research paper because it reminds the reader what the paper was about. In other words, you have to summarize all the points that you discussed.

For example, if you write an argumentative essay, you should create a conclusion that contains the main idea of the text, a few arguments, and evidence. Also, keep in mind that a conclusion should be engaging and impressive. It has to provide the reader with all the necessary information in brief. Therefore, a person can start reading a paper from the end to decide whether the text is interesting for them.

A conclusion is a more comprehensive term than a summary. In fact, when you write a conclusion, it has to contain a summary. Remember that you have to remind the main points and ideas from the text. Also, you should make a conclusion comprehensible. Altogether, a conclusion is the logical ending of the essay or speech. Creating a conclusion, you seek to conclude all the points of the text.

What Is A Summary And What Is Its Purpose?

While a conclusion is used to revise every point of the text, a summary is used to remind the most important ones. It can be a small statement with the essential messages from the paper. A summary has to consist of the central thought and arguments the text cannot exist without. Therefore, you can simply omit the information that is not critical.

If you wonder what a summary looks like, imagine you are writing a thesis. While getting prepared for the process, you should create an outline to write down the main points. It also can be a synopsis of some large pieces of text. Furthermore, a summary can be placed at the beginning of the documents. In that case, it highlights the important data a reader should pay attention to.

How To Decide Which Term To Use?

The most important thing is the purpose. Remember that a conclusion aims to revise the entire paper while a summary aims to highlight the main points. Also, keep in mind that a conclusion is used as the finishing part of the text. It has to be a concise version of the document that conveys its character.

On the other hand, a summary is used as synopsis to show central facts or ideas. It does not need to be attractive and engaging. A summary is often used in formal types of academic writing, so it has to be brief and informative.