The difference between an analysis and a summary can be confusing, especially if you were never exposed to the two concepts in high school or college. Mostly, these two terms are not clearly defined, which makes the learning process even more difficult.
If you are a student, you will have to write both analysis and summary essays. If you are a professional writer, you will have to write both analysis and summaries of your customers' articles. So it is very important to be able to distinguish between the two and know how to use them appropriately.
In order to understand the difference between an analysis and a summary, we need to examine what these two terms mean.
"Analysis" is an analytical method of writing used in most academic fields and in philosophy. It is defined as:
"A detailed examination or study in which the component parts are subject to a process of investigation."
While "summary" is defined as:
"A short written account giving the essential points of something longer."
So, in short, an analysis is an in-depth study of the component parts of something (an object, event, book, article, etc.) while a summary gives the essential points of that something.
Text summarize vs analysis: the main differences
Time & Effort:
The first and most important difference between analysis and summary is the time and effort you put into studying the topic. Analysis takes more time and effort, while summary takes less.
An analysis is a more in-depth study of the component parts of something, so it requires more time and effort. This is because you need to read, analyze, and write about a given topic. You need to carefully reread the text several times, analyze the structure and components of your chosen text, including its main points and sub points/topics, write about it, paraphrase key ideas/concepts, etc. It's also important that you support your ideas with evidence (listen to the professor's voice in your head).
Summary is a much simpler process because it requires less time and effort. After reading a text once or twice, you can quickly jot down your main points in bullet points or make a short outline of the text (listen to your professor's voice in your head). When writing a summary essay, you don't need to reread the text several times, nor do you need to analyze its components or key points.
In fact, when writing a summary writing assignment/essay, you mostly need to paraphrase key ideas/concepts from the source text. This means that when writing an essay on "What Is The Difference Between An Analysis And A Summary", you can spend less time on writing different types of sentences (the topic sentence vs. the supporting sentences) and more time on reading (to gather information), outlining (to jot down notes), and writing (to paraphrase ideas from your chosen text).
The second difference between analysis and summary is that an analysis is more complex than a summary. This means that an analysis can be either long or short because it depends on your professor's preference/requirement. On the other hand, a summary must be short. Why? Because it gives us a brief description of something longer; hence it must be short.
A summary essay is a short account of something longer; therefore it cannot be long. Writing a short essay means that you have to make every sentence count toward what you are trying to say in the essay: summarize your topic sentence with supporting sentences. You don't want to repeat words unnecessarily when writing.
So try to be concise when listing facts or details from your chosen text; include only those that are absolutely necessary for understanding your main point(s).
To do this effectively, you may need to read through your chosen text several times before actually writing about it in order to determine exactly which details are essential for summarizing its main points/ideas (listen to your professor's voice in your head).
Remember that when writing an essay on "What Is The Difference Between An Analysis And A Summary," you don't have to describe everything about something longer; just give us an idea of what it is about so that we know what we are going to learn about it (readers will expect you to summarize something larger than one page if they are required to read hundreds of pages).
A third difference between an analysis and a summary lies in their length: how long they can be. The length or size of an analysis depends on how long and extensive your professor wants it to be: how much time he/she expects you to spend on it.
While a summary must remain short no matter what type of writing section (in-class or take-home) you are required to complete. Why? Because it gives us a brief description of something larger; hence it must be short!
Traits of a Summary:
1. Identiﬁcation of the main points and subpoints/topics.
2. A brief description of the main points and subpoints/topics.
3. Omission of unnecessary details and facts to keep the summary short and concise.
4. No analysis or evaluation of the text's ideas.
5. Paraphrasing of key ideas/concepts from the original text.
6. Emphasis on what is being said (what ideas are important) rather than how they are said (style, word choice, etc.).
Traits of an Analysis:
1. Makes arguments that analyze and evaluate the ideas/claims of the original text (both claims and reasons are important).
2. Examines the validity of the author's arguments through the use of evidence, including quotations, facts, statistics, expert opinions, etc.
3. Describes how the ideas are said (style, word choice, etc.) in order to evaluate the purpose of the source text (what the author wants us to think or feel etc.).
4. Indicates what further research is needed to support or refute the analysis.
So, as you can see, analysis and summary is a two-step process. You must first reread the text/s that you are analyzing or summarizing several times to get a good understanding of it (read, read, and read again).
Then write down your main points/ideas in bullet points or make an outline of your essay (outline, outline, and outline again). When writing your essay/summary, be sure to give the main points of your chosen text the most space. In other words, don't repeat the same idea or concept twice.