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For example I am given an article and asked to write a summary for money; where do I begin?

Do I just read the article, and kind of pull material out of it, re-arrange some of it, change some words around and try to convey a similar meaning with different words?

Or perhaps I put together a little overview of what the viewer will read without actually mentioning particular aspects of the original writing.

I really could use some help here, because I was considering taking up micro-jobs for writing, such as summary writing for some money.

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I'd say it depends very much on the purpose of the summary. Is it for advertising the text? Or is the purpose to give readers the main ideas so that they don't have to read the text unless they are interested in the details? – celtschk Jun 5 '13 at 5:40
If I asked you how to write an article, would you know what to answer me without any further details? Right now we don't even know if it's a summary for studies (well, people pay for such things), for a scientific magazine or some popular lifestyle blog. Or if the article has ten pages or three paragraphs. And if you say "it depends...", here's the answer as well. – Darek Wędrychowski Jun 5 '13 at 15:00

Once upon a time in education systems based on the English model, the writing of a precis was regarded as an essential skill for any literate person.

Works such as A Handbook of Précis-writing with Graduated Exercises By E. Derry Evans that can be previewed on Google Books were used in the teaching.

I am certain that a search for {precis writing exercises} will reveal many similar resources.

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