Analysis of a summary

time to complete: 10 minutes

We’re going to look at the original source text and summary 3 again from the previous topic. We have highlighted the ideas and relationships between them. Focus on one colour at a time, and consider these questions:

  • Have any words been omitted i.e. details?
  • Have any words been kept the same e.g. terms, direct quotes?
  • Have any words been paraphrased?

When you think you have an idea, click on the + signs to see a detailed explanation. 

Original Source Text


Notice how this idea was summarised in 10 words. 

Many words that refer to details have been omitted e.g. decade, own ideal themes, own confused fashions, periodical shifts, digressions. This idea of variability and flow has been successfully summarised in the phrase ‘constant state of flux’. 

‘Limits of architecture’ has also been paraphrased =  ‘architectural boundaries’.


Notice how this question was summarised in the cautious language ‘there seem to be’.

Summary 3

Relationship = contrast

The key relationship of contrast has been maintained; ‘yet’ = ‘However, despite this’.


This part is of the same length, but it is because direct quotes were used e.g. “constants” and “an architecture of limits”. 

Notice how ‘are specifically architectural and yet always under scrutiny’ was summarised in ‘lie at the heart of design’.

‘Recurrent themes’ has also been paraphrased = ‘recurring ideas’.