How to Write a Summary in Family and Consumer Science? Understanding the Purpose

Writing guide
Posted on March 31, 2021

If you are assigned a summary in Family and Consumer Science, let’s take it easy. There won’t be many hurdles or any complexity. All you have to do is to interpret one piece of work either book or article and report on the main ideas to the reader. In your case, it is a professor, that’s why there should be no careless attitude regarding the tone of language or slang unless it is required.

A summary is relatively a short paper which lengthy will greatly depend on the original work. Thus, if your book comprises 300 pages, a summary will have a maximum of 5-10 pages only. If it is a short article, 250-500 words are more than enough. Those students who do not want to go flop had better specify the requirements in terms of word count with a professor. Otherwise, they can try to access certain syllabuses dealing with the instructions.

This paper is commonly assigned to either check one student’s knowledge of the class or one particular work. However, professors may choose it also to check how students deal with critical thinking and summarization as a phenomenon. Besides, one does not need to give in the actual writing but plagiarising someone’s paper because such a task won’t take much time and effort compared to dissertation or research papers. The must-haves are a clean-cut scheme of what you would like to address and a full concentration to pick up the main ideas.

However, there is always one slight hitch. Students often mistake the summary with the analysis. Please, remember the analysis allows one to criticize and argue the author’s main points. And, a summary requires a brief introduction to all of them without your personal opinion. It is somehow a retelling but without accurate and deep details on one issue.

Keep in mind, a summary is beneficial in terms of your critical thinking. When you summarize something, you involve a strategical structuring of the main ideas. It does not matter either it is a book or article but you remember the key details and then use them. For example, when you pursue your career, you can fastly determine what really matters and what are the evidence and facts to support your statements. The same you can evaluate others’ works and behavior. So, do not think of this paper only as of burden. Everything you come across in college can greatly boost your skills and knowledge.

Now, if you believe it is manageable, find a quiet place, grab a paper, and let’s start picking up the ideas for your stellar topic.

How to Write a Summary in Family and Consumer Science? Engaging Topics

Family and Consumer Science, what is it? This is a very popular discipline in many colleges and even high school. It deals with the topics, researches, and studies about the right decisions of people that help them live healthily and law-abidingly. Human rights, personal finance matters, housing, food preparation are one of the components students study in full and fields for your summary. Accordingly, you cannot run out of choices.

If your professor or educational establishment does not provide you with the list of preferred topics, you can check your studying materials. You definitely have books of the class from where some topics may be retrieved and transformed into the area of your interest. Otherwise, you can speak to graduates or seniors who have previously coped with the same task and now can share their tips or observations about what is worth writing about.

Finally, feel free to refer to the following examples. However, do not forget to confirm them with a curator and receive approval.

  • Family Goals In 2020;
  • Conflicts of Values;
  • History of Fashion;
  • Consumer Rights;
  • Hospitality Treatment;
  • Nutrition;
  • Culinary Arts;
  • Parenting;
  • Children Education;
  • Single Parenting;
  • Family Management.

Thus, you may take any topic and find either articles or books related to the researches in this field. To differentiate from other students, make sure your selection is not connected to mainstream directions as far as this path will be chosen by the majority of your colleagues.

Also, a summary can be focused on a movie, videos, lectures, and news. Need some inspiration? Visit TED online platform and find related topics that you can use for a summary. Otherwise, again upon receiving a professor’s approval, ask to take one of his lectures as an example.

5-Steps of Writing a Summary in Family and Consumer Science

To make it easier for you, here is a 5 steps guide that will help you succeed in your writing. So, if you chose a topic, start the brainstorming process.

Read Attentively

The best summaries are born from careful reading. Note, it won’t work when students read work only one to two times. A minimum of 5 times is enough to understand the author’s ideas, underline and highlight the statements that will be used after, and finalize the thoughts. Some prefer reading with an outline, some just take a pencil and circle main points. It does not matter but to avoid endless attempts on rereading, try to take into consideration key details at once. If a summary is based on the article, it will be easier. However, if you take a large volume book, stick to skimming. This process helps to extract only central ideas without deep investigation.

Structure Notes

After you are done with your book or article, check what you have managed to collect. It is better to transfer everything into a plan and divide phrases or words to one box, and accurate sentences or central ideas to another one. Remember, no need to be over-detailed, only the main plot matters. Once you understand there is a full understanding of the author’s work, you can move further.

Start Writing

First off, start writing only from your memory. It helps to avoid repetitions or the actual retelling of the author’s words. After you are done, check how many words you managed to write. And, proceed with the second attempt, now you can try to retell using the author’s statements. Remember, there should be no personal opinions. Moreover, there is no place for criticism. The task is to write a summary only gathering the main ideas in one paper. If after writing, you notice any such intentions, please delete them and rewrite using the reporting words related to the author.

The introduction should start with presenting the name of the topic, work, article, and its author. Besides, in the beginning, you should introduce a reader to a CENTRAL idea of the whole summary that will serve a base for any other statements.


Check the flow of logic and sense. Do you personally understand what you wrote? Do you find it engaging? Did you summarize the whole work or you miss some points? Can a reader understand the purpose of your writing? Did you meet a word count? and, so on. Also, you can use your questions but as a result, there should be a summary, not an essay or analysis.

Structuring and Editing

Divide the summary into paragraphs, start each sentence with new information or key ideas. Make sure, there are no abrupt parts. Add transitional words that help readers smoothly transit to each part. Define whether you have a proper introduction, main body, and conclusion. Finally, understand whether you are satisfied with the tone of language.

Extra Tips on Summary in Family and Consumer Science

Again depending on the college requirements, you may come across additional rules that you have to follow at all times. We gathered here the most common ones you can stick to.

  • Write in Present and Past Simple. Try to avoid complex grammatical tenses;
  • Beware of lengthy sentences. 10-15 words are enough to deliver the main idea. Otherwise, exceed this limit only in rare cases. It affects the readability and can make a reader lose the understanding;
  • Use Reported Speech. As far as you speak on the behalf of the author, use a correct reported speech. There should be no quotations of the whole work. Your task is to summarize information in an academic way;
  • Refer to the Family and Consumer Sciences. If possible, connect the work to the discipline visibly.

Example of a summary of an article:

‘In the article Family Management in 2020, Tom Collins mentioned that parents focus on a creative side of education by engaging their kids to express themselves in any type of activity. He notes that restrictions on dancing classes for boys recede into the past. And, girls can be painlessly interested in military services.’

Example of a summary of a book:

‘In the Family and Consumer Science Encyclopedia for Youngsters, Emily Bloom argues the necessity to deliver equal rights to both girls and boys regarding nutrition. She understands how diets affect the girls’ minds and notes that boys should also care about high fatty meals.’

As you may see both examples start with the introduction to the names of works and their authors. The same, in the beginning, you may find the central idea. But, most importantly, they demonstrate one that reporting words such as argues, notes, understands, mentioned are highly encouraged to express the summary to the fullest.

If you have your work based on the movie or lecture, the rules are still the same. A movie will require a director’s name, and the lecture will involve a professor’s name.

Proofreading of a Summary in Family and Consumer Science

Whenever the whole process comes to an end, many students tend to feel free and search for a professor’s email to send work. However, you should not hurry up this way without careful proofreading. Even though the previous observations could possibly eliminate a number of mistakes, there are probably some pitfalls left where one error may hide.

Learn a few tips on how to submit a mistakes-free summary to your professor:

  • Spelling mistakes. Here you may involve the help of online editors such as Grammarly. But, do not rely on them fully because they are not capable of spotting all the discrepancies;
  • Subject-verb agreement. As far as you must refer to the author’s statements, it is highly recommended to review how you introduce one’s words. For example, – He argueS, She noteS;
  • Incomplete sentences. For instance, The author wrote the article. Based on personal experience. No need to split them, combine and make one sentence;
  • Wordiness. Any sentence should have value. Some students play too smart and write too wordy phrases. If you think to reach a word count this way, professors may spot such intentions and lower the grade;
  • Double negatives. If you have already used a word hardly, there is no need to write something like this – I could not hardly. It is wrong;
  • Repetitions of the author’s name. Do not repeat one’s name in each sentence. It looks awful;
  • First-person narratives. Do not use them, a summary is the interpretation of the author’s words only;
  • Poor spacing. Stick to one spacing. If the whole paper is double spaced, do not add single-spaced fragments, and vice versa.
  • Exclamation points. There is no need in adding them even when you want to emphasize something.

Last but not least, you can ask your friend or relative to become your personal editor. Ask one to reread a summary, provide you with sincere feedback, and speak of what is interesting and what should be avoided. If you do not believe your “beneficiaries” can tell the truth in order to not hurt your feelings, find student groups online. There are many of your colleagues who post their works for evaluation. It really helps because they have no reason to compliment you.

After your final revisions are done, submit a summary and concentrate on other tasks or assignments. And, never postpone such easy-as-it-may-seem tasks for later. You never know how much time is actually needed. Good luck with your paper!


  1. Strunk Jr, W., 2020. The Elements Of Style. Miami: Oregan France.
  2. 2020. Summary. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 March 2020].
  3. Pinker, S., 2015. The Sense Of Style. London: Penguin Books.
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