Difference Between Summary and Conclusion

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: May 28, 2023


Difference Between Summary and Conclusion

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The words summary and conclusion are employed in academic writing. A short explanation or account of a text’s major ideas constitutes a summary. A chapter or text concludes. The primary distinction between the summary and conclusion’s primary goal is to bring the material to a successful finish, and the summary’s primary goal is to summarize the key ideas. These two components have various properties depending on their various uses.

Summary vs Conclusion

Writing a conclusion can be challenging as writing an introduction because it determines whether the work is worthwhile. Both the conclusion and summary leave a deep impression on the reader. A conclusion shifts from a specific to a general statement, whereas an introduction moves from general to specific. The conclusion is an afterword that summarizes a point after all pertinent information has been taken into account. The study paper could seem lacking without a conclusion. Although it is sometimes compared to a summary, there are slight variances between the two. The summary is a concise and unambiguous account of the text that focuses primarily on its major themes, details, or components. 

Any chapter in a non-fiction book can be the subject of a summary. It should highlight the key details or traits of that chapter of the book. Similarly, a description of any specific scene of an act in a play by Shakespeare or another playwright should include the key elements of the numerous events in that specific scene of the specific play of the playwright. On the other hand, a conclusion should sum up the goal that was developed during the investigation. It should have paragraphs that are brief and to the point. It should be mentioned that a conclusion shouldn’t have too many long paragraphs. On the other hand, a summary may contain lengthy paragraphs. One of the primary distinctions between a summary and a conclusion is this.

You can also list the qualities of a game or book. The character in these situations claims that “the character of Shylock” in the play “The Merchant of the Venice” can be summarized by emphasizing the events in Shylock’s life as well as a character in depth. It is noteworthy to notice that a summary can be comprehensive, and a conclusion should be succinct and accurate. The primary distinction between the summary and conclusion can also be this. The conclusion and summary both call for strong writing. Any theory that has a strong conclusion shines as well.

A summary tries to save time by providing the main points of the document; readers of the summary may then determine is worth reading. However, a study report’s conclusion seeks to highlight its key points and conclusions, and reading it gives one a sense of the content of the article.

Difference Between Summary and Conclusion (In Tabular Form)

MeaningA summary is a succinct explanation or description of the most important ideas in a text, piece of study, or essay.The piece of the text, essay, or book that provides the final response to the research question is known as the conclusion.
PurposeTo list the important points.To reach a judgment or decision by justifying.
PresentsBriefly and clearly state the main points.Conclusions, suggestions, discoveries, next steps, and knowledge gained.
What does it do?It reiterates the key components or characteristics that have already been highlighted.It summarizes and concludes the subject.
Importance of ConclusionA summary should also have a conclusion.A conclusion is at the end of a document so that it marks an impression on the reader.
Idea and CriticismExclude the author’s opinions and criticisms.include the author’s thoughts, feelings, and critiques.

What Is a Summary?

An abbreviated version of a text that just includes the major ideas is called a summary. A summary’s primary goal is to reduce a lengthy text to a shorter one. The main points and concepts in a summary should be presented succinctly and clearly. However, anything that is not crucial to the narrative can be left out.

A synopsis of a play, movie, or book can occasionally be included in a summary. The summary in this case might be thought of as the story’s outline. In addition, an executive summary, which can be found at the start of a report, proposal, business plan, etc., summarizes the entire material and draws attention to the document’s most important aspects. Subject content, analytical techniques, findings, and conclusions should all be included in an executive summary. This should be written after you have finished conducting all of your research and is similar to an abstract.

It often makes up between 5% and 15% of the original piece, or between one and three paragraphs, or between 100 to 300 words. Simply said, it depends on how much text is being summarized. Its objective is to summarize a piece of literature with significantly less substance than the original. It filters the content in addition to saving the reader’s time.

Ideal Summary

  • The best summaries objectively emphasize the entire literary genre.
  • It should include the main idea and supporting details for each paragraph.
  • It should be free of all extraneous facts, examples, and information.
  • Although it may include some of the same sentences and phrases as the original work unless quote marks are used, it should not.
  • It must utilize your own words and sentences while conveying the meaning of the original work.

To make a summary that will be as beneficial to the reader as possible, writers should follow a specific approach. Some actions to take are:

  • Go over the main text in detail.
  • Recognize the article’s primary points. If a summary will be needed, it could be beneficial to make a list of your main ideas as you write.
  • When writing the summary, rely on your memories. This will aid in preventing plagiarism and enable you to simply restate the summary’s essential points. Make a list of the sources you used to distinguish your words from the original text.
  • A thesis statement outlining the summary’s topic should be included in the first sentence. Continue to write methodically while adhering to the standard guidelines for constructing a paragraph with the appropriate flow. Keep the summary succinct and objective.
  • Examine your summary by contrasting it with the original work. While using different wording, the two articles should have the same meaning. The summary should be brief enough to solely communicate the most important ideas, with a maximum of a few further facts.

The author can use a few mechanics and tools to offer an efficient overview of the work while writing a decent summary. By utilizing words to give the source a function inside the work at the outset of the summary, the author can contextualize the source. In the summary, the writer should state the major idea, and then provide evidence from the source to support that idea. Describe the source and explain why it is being utilized in the article. For instance, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. outlines his goal of creating a society where people of color have freedom and opportunity in his speech “I Have a Dream” from 1963.  

What Is a Conclusion?

Every document must include a conclusion. A strong conclusion is eye-catching and engaging, and it should leave the reader with a positive impression of the entire paper. A conclusion ought to include a summary of the key ideas, any inferences drawn from the primary ideas, fixes for any issue raised in the text, as well as conclusions and suggestions. It’s also crucial to state whether the research’s objective was met.

Additionally, you should refrain from restarting the thesis in the same words, concentrating on the text’s minor features, and making sentimental or emotional appeals in an otherwise analytical and scholarly essay.

To make a conclusion that will be as beneficial to the reader as possible, writers should follow a specific approach. Some actions to take are:

  • A strong conclusion reinforces the thesis and serves to remind the audience of the essay’s goal. But refrain from restarting the thesis in full. Rephrase your argument a little bit while keeping the main issue in mind.
  • Along with restating your thesis, you should also restate the arguments you made throughout the work to support it. But summarize the concepts rather than merely restating the paper’s arguments.
  • It’s frequently useful to refer back to the concepts from the opening to give the reader a strong sense of closure. You can achieve this by employing related ideas, going back to an earlier scenario, or using the same images.
  • Your conclusion ought to provide the reader with a resolution, an understanding, inquiries for additional research, or a call to action. What repercussions might your arguments have? Who could care? These kinds of queries should be addressed here so that your viewers will have something to ponder.

Conclusion Outline

  • Topic Sentence: Here is where you restate your thesis. To eliminate repetition, make sure it is rephrased.
  • Supporting Sentences: Briefly summarize the main ideas and arguments you make in the paper. Describe the ideas’ relevance and the connections between them.
  • Closing Sentence: This is when you refer back to a statement, illustration, or anecdote that was made in the introduction. It serves as your last statement on the matter and provides the reader with a sense of closure.

Ideal Conclusion

  • When the ending offers a fascinating insight and should conclude on a positive note, it is deemed to be excellent.
  • Emphasizes the primary argument made in the writing.
  • Summarizes the response to the query, which is frequently stated in the opening.
  • Refer back to the original questions, highlights the significant insights, and conclude with a concluding observation.
  • Strengthen the study’s central theme.
  • Has a significant and enduring impact on the reader.
  • Never should fresh ideas be brought up.

Main Differences Between the Summary and Conclusion (In Points)

  • A summary is a condensed version of a literary work that expresses important ideas clearly. Contrarily, a conclusion is the final section of a speech that summarizes the argument and expresses an opinion or verdict.
  • A summary is produced to give the reader a clear, factual account of the main points and features of the original material. The conclusion paragraph, on the other hand, summarizes the text and shows the reader what you have achieved concerning your initial goals.
  • A conclusion, as opposed to a summary, tends to synthesize all the points and bring the discussion to a close by restating the details and topics covered in the original text. It aids the reader in appreciating the significance of the study.
  • The ideal summary should be between 55 and 155 in length, while the conclusion should only make up 10% of the original material.
  • A summary frequently provides a succinct and straightforward explanation of the text’s main points. The conclusion, in contrast, offers a fresh perspective, suggests a course of action, resolves the issue, gives recommendations for further research, and draws conclusions based on the argument.
  • Only the main concepts of the original work are included in a summary. Nobody should add their personal commentary, criticism, interpretations, or opinions. In contrast, the conclusion can incorporate the researcher’s or writer’s final opinions, suggestions, and criticisms.


In a nutshell, a Summary and a conclusion should be included in every academic work as two separate sections. In terms of where they occur in the document, what they say, and how long they are, both are different from one another. A summary alerts the reader to the content and provides them with the most important details. On the other hand, a conclusion not only includes a rationale or ending statement but also giver the reader a sense of closure regarding the issue or argument. It focuses on the stance that the research or argument takes and focuses on the justification or closing statement by concluding the research made or the argument.


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"Difference Between Summary and Conclusion." Diffzy.com, 2023. Sun. 01 Oct. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-summary-and-conclusion>.

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