How to Write a Summary in Ethics? Purpose and Definition of This Popular Paper

Writing guide
Posted on April 1, 2021

A summary is a brief introduction to the main points of one selected topic or a piece of work. Writing it means one managed to understand what the author tried to deliver and one is ready to express the key points to a reader. Commonly, a summary is an exercise people come across daily. They read, watch or hear something and then interpret it shortly. However, educational establishments expect more than one to two sentences of explanation. They require prolific research of the selected information decorated with the standards and structured per academic rules. Thus, it becomes a little bit tough task as far as many colleges do not provide their students with instructions. But, do not write it off as lost. The Internet and Google accommodate such expectations and concerns and provide dozens of samples and syllabuses one might find helpful.

First off, make sure you are on the same page with a professor in terms of a topic. For instance, Ethics can be very tricky because it easily adjoins to related sciences and subjects. Secondly, understand what a professor expects from you. It can be just an evaluation of the previous materials or one article or book, in particular. Or, it serves as a brief exam on how you understand a class.

How to Write a Summary in Ethics? How Can You Find The Best Topic?

Ethics is a science and discipline dealing with moral principles. It is how people live, communicate with each other, and respect the social rules and nature. It can involve many fields or areas of interest such as law, religion, etiquette, art, and even communication. Thus, students should not find it hard to select one topic for their stellar summary. Another question arises on what to choose to be unique and avoid banal conclusions.

Usually, one can refer this question to a professor but it is highly recommended to bring ideas as well. Otherwise, it will make you look helpless or it won’t be fair regarding your colleagues who are also assigned this task. Here the Internet can help you tremendously. Check the samples online, derive inspiration and see what has been already well-researched.

Otherwise, take a look at the following topics that might be of interest to you:

  • Any Academic or Educational Articles on Ethics;
  • Ethics in Biomedicine;
  • Moral Ethical Dilemmas;
  • Moral Principles on Compulsory Education, Career, Law, Death, Etc;
  • Nursing Ethics;
  • Approaches to Ethics;
  • Society Rules;
  • Morality in Movies, Plays, Books, Television, Politics;
  • Ethnicity Superiority;
  • Work-Related Principles.

In fact, you can take anything related to this discipline but it is always worth to base your writing on a certain article. During your classes, you probably come across many studying materials with the list of authors who have dedicated their lives to one or another problem. Take one and start researching information. You do not need to grab obligatorily the whole work for a paper but derive some concepts that can be summarized or negotiated.

How to Write a Summary in Ethics? Do’s and Dont’s

Let’s summarize a few main points for your writing before you start the composition.


+ Do read the selected piece of work throughout and a few times. For the top results, 5 times are more than enough if it concerns a short story or article;
+ Do highlight or write down key details that will be used further on in your summary;
+ Do use reporting and transitional words to make a paper look smooth and logical;
+ Do mention citations, evidence, facts that can prove everything you summarize.


– Do not provide your personal opinion during the whole text. This paper is only for addressing the author’s ideas;
– Do not criticize;
– Do not exceed the required word count;
– Do not attach any illustrative materials;
– Do not use slang unless it is required;

How to Write a Summary in Ethics? Summary of an Article

Once a student selects the article for a summary, it is a must to stay objective. Today, many people do not neglect the opportunity to write something about moral principles but they forget about being up to the point without criticizing. Objective details help readers to acknowledge also solutions rather than listening only to the cons of one or another occurrence. Take it into consideration when you pick up the topic.

So, the summary of an article will involve the following structure:

  1. Start with the name of the topic and its author. It should be full names;
  2. The central idea should be in the beginning;
  3. If an article is one page only, your summary should be shorter. Do not exceed the word count of the original work because it may transfer into an essay or research paper;
  4. Focus your attention only on the main points, highlight main arguments, and dedicate them a third part of the work;
  5. Decorate a summary with reporting words.

Brief Example: ‘In the article ‘Should I Tell My Manager About My Worsened Medical Condition?’ Mark Spencer argues that a relationship between bosses and employees should be always built on trust and sincerity. He mentions that many companies lose their dedicated workers because they do not make advances with unforeseen occasions and make job responsibilities only worse and worse. He offers a new strategy that can help employees boost their health during the duties and a working solution to improve the relationship in personnel.’

Look your summary starts with the introduction to the topic mentioning the author’s name and his maid ideas. Then, it provides facts regarding the issues. Finally, sentences are decorated with reporting words such as mentions, offers, argues. All in all, the topic deals with a moral principle regarding job responsibilities, and hesitations on how one employee should act in case of worsened health conditions.

How to Write a Summary in Ethics? Summary of a Story

Note, if you have selected the book or short story for a summary, the structure won’t differ much from the article. But, you also have to pay attention to the availability of conclusions regarding the whole original story. Unlike articles, books have more pages and accordingly more information that should be summarized. Thus, it is crucial to use an outline.

Take a piece of paper and during the actual reading, note down everything worthy. If a book is lengthy, capture main ideas from chapters. You can combine this stage with the skimming technique. Skimming is reading only the main ideas without a detailed investigation. It perfectly fits those works that are hard to read because of their word count. So, one chapter will involve two to three sentence only that will be further on transferred into a summary.


  1. It starts with the name of the story or book, and the full name of the author. If possible, you can also add the date when it was written;
  2. The main body will include the summarization of main ideas with supporting facts or evidence;
  3. The same as in the essay, a conclusion will end with a final sentence that crowns all the information above. Ideally, it should be referred to the Ethics as a science or discipline.

Do not forget about reporting words as well. And, make sure everything is written in the present tense.

What to do if you want to add quotes? Usually, they are better to avoid but if the central detail requires an accurate interpretation, use online sources that can cite it for you.

Final Observations on a Summary in Ethics

Any summary should be exactly a summary, strange it may sound. Students commonly misinterpret and start retelling a story. Look, that’s the reason why many rumors around this type of paper complexity exist. You do not need to tell much and explain everything in detail. The same, a student must not provide personal opinions or criticism that will make a work biased one.

Also, there will be no point in summarizing the work if you do not understand the author’s purpose of writing. Accordingly, rereading it more than two times is justified. Whenever you hesitate any argument, go back to the original piece of work, and focus your attention on that part.

Another problem concerns the concentration. A summary does not appreciate your creativity. You do not need to come up with unique statements or attach anecdotes with rhetorical questions. It may sound controversial because Ethics is a part of Philosophy but a summary is a part of accurate conclusions that requires your research on up to the point comments.

Major components of any Summary:

  • Repetitions-free. One idea to one paragraph. One idea to one to two sentences;
    Comprehensive. You answer the questions – Who is the author, what is the name of work, how does it relate to Ethics, what are the central ideas, and so on;
  • Unique. Even if you support the author in his position, you do not need to imitate his writing style. Be unique, use your stylistics of the language, cite him only when it is unavoidable, and paraphrase the statements to not convert a summary into a retelling.
  • Interesting. When students believe their topics are the most boring in the world, there is still a possibility to make it look engaging and captivative. Play with conclusions, derive interesting points from the work and decorate them with reporting words.

Keep in mind, do not repeat similar reporting words in the same paragraph more than two times. If your summary is large, you have enough space to use them as different as possible. If it is only 250-500 words, write down the top 5 and allocate them separately.

How to Submit a Summary in Ethics Mistakes-Free?

Here comes the final stage of your struggle with a perfect summary in Ethics. And, you may relax as far as the major problems are far behind if you followed the above-mentioned tips. Now, everything depends on proofreading and editing. Those students who have much time in-stock can leave their works to rest for some time and then come back to their revision or if needed redoing. Those who run out of time and miss all possible deadlines, feel free to check your summary on the next “drama-queens”:

  • Spelling and grammatical discrepancies. To not make you suffer, even more, use online editors that can save you time with their automate corrections. Grammarly is one of the best tools to avoid wrongly spelled words and overused phrases that do not bring any value;
  • Slang. Ethics rarely can be combined with slang but if the author managed to use it for the article or book, try your best to limit it from your side.
  • Punctuation. One simple comma can radically change the meaning of the whole sentence. In some cases, it even looks ridiculous and professors laugh hard. If you do not want to be memorized as a student who wrote a summary funnily, check your commas and interrogatory marks.
  • Gendered language. Do not mistake the gender of your author. Some tend to write he instead of she and vice versa because they lacked concentration. Of course, it is not an intentional mistake but, professors are obliged to underline it as an error;
  • No-sense statements. Do you find writing, for example, – Tom Spencers(fictional name) is a good author? Okay, he is a good author and what is next? A summary contains only valid and accurate statements with facts or evidence. Nothing else.

Finally, before submitting work, spend time editing it. Read a text backward, aloud, or one time for one mistake only. Check whether the structure is met, if there is sufficient word count, and it brings any value at all. If these components are met, rest assured knowing your work will get an A+ grade or at least your professor will accept it with no trouble.


  1. Hacker, D., Sommers, N. and Huster, K., n.d. Rules For Writers. 7th ed.
  2. Leonard, E., 2014. Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules Of Writing. HarperCollins e-Books.
  3. Shrives, C., 2012. Grammar Rules. Singapore: W & V Press.
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