2 Minute Approval Tips: #18 Article Summaries

Episode 18 of the “2 Minute Approval Tips” Video Series

The article summary ranks as the most neglected part of an article submission. It’s no surprise when so much attention is placed on the title, the article itself, the resource box, and not to mention highly relevant links to a quality landing page! However, your article summary plays a critical role in getting a reader’s attention.

Think of an article summary like a movie preview. Great previews provide a brief window of action and drama, as well as the overarching theme to entice the viewer without giving the whole movie away. A captivating preview that engages the viewer will result in a significant increase of ticket sales.

Watch this video and discover what elements go into a great article summary to increase your readership with your next set of quality, original articles!

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A Quick Recap of the 18th “2 Minute Approval Tip”

The purpose of the summary is to give a brief teaser or synopsis of your article highlighting the benefits. You want to entice readers to want to read your article versus someone else’s.

Here are a few key elements to a great article summary:

  • Your summary should be 2-5 sentences in length and should not exceed 200 words.
  • It must be error-free, grammatically correct and utilize proper sentence structure, capitalization and punctuation.
  • Your summary should be short, catchy and right to the point.
  • Share with your reader why your article content is important and let them know they’ll find more by reading the rest of your article.

Writing a Great Article Summary

Work backwards! Write your entire article first and then write your article summary. This will help you understand the main points and benefits you’ll want to include in the summary for your readers.

Avoid putting too much content into your summary. If you give too much away in your summary, then there really isn’t any reason for your readers to continue reading your article. Your audience should feel compelled to continue reading.

Remember to keep your summary reader-benefited, providing clues to the article’s content. Any self-serving information should be reserved for your resource box. This may include:

  • Your author name.
  • A website URL or email address.
  • Blatant self-promotion.

In addition, ensure your summary is formatted properly. Avoid:

  • Paragraph breaks.
  • HTML of any kind.
  • Microsoft Smart Quotes
  • Special Characters, e.g. é, í, ó, ú
  • Money symbols, e.g. Euro (€) or GBP symbol (£)

Also, avoid repeating your article title in the summary. It already appears above the summary itself.

Keep in mind the importance of the article summary while submitting your next article and use these tips to help create a good summary for your readers. Doing so will maximize your results and ensure your quality articles are approved on the first submission. If you ever forget to put in your summary, we will automatically use the first few sentences from your article body.

What summary tips can you share? One popular technique includes ending a summary with ellipses (…), which helps hook the reader into the article. Share your article summary tips in the comments section below!


Karen writes:

Normally I just used the first paragraph of my article as the summary. Is it better to write something different instead?

Comment provided November 11, 2011 at 9:37 AM


Karen –

To get the most “bang for your buck” we recommend that you create a custom summary for all of your articles. The three main points to keep in mind are:

  1. Your summary should be short, catchy and right to the point.
  2. Share with your reader why your article content is important and let them know they’ll find more by reading the rest of your article.
  3. Remember to keep your summary reader-benefited, providing clues to the article’s content.

The major benefit of creating a custom summary each time is that it can be precisely targeted to whet the appetite of your potential reader … and isn’t that the basic purpose of a summary?

– Marc



Thanks, I think work backwards is what I had missed in writing a good summary, I used to agonise forever before I even started to write the article.

Comment provided November 11, 2011 at 9:42 AM



Hey Marc,

Very much agree with your helpful points especially about giving too much information away in our summary. Movie trailers can say and show too much of the film then I think I’ve already seen the movie!

Indeed on “a little tease.” Every good book opens just that way.

Thanks again for helping us all.


Comment provided November 11, 2011 at 11:15 AM


John writes:

I used to put my content’s first 1 – 2 lines in summary which I think is not beneficial. Summary should be something else and attracting as well as informative. Thanks for 2 minute tip. You always helped me.

Comment provided November 11, 2011 at 11:37 AM


Trevor writes:

Dear Sirs,

Many thanks for this fantastic advice. I have not so far submitted an article to any site, but i will do so when i feel more confident. My website is designed to help amateur football clubs worldwide. My new website is going to help anyone looking to start a good home based business. Once i start to submit articles, they will be based on my intention to help people in this respect.

Many Thanks once again.

Comment provided November 11, 2011 at 4:11 PM


Ishtiaq Nasim writes:

Excellent tip. I however would like to see some examples quoted or referred to to make it clearer. There are many readers whose native language is not English and some examples would be very helpful.

Comment provided November 11, 2011 at 6:46 PM


Ishtiaq –

Thanks for the great suggestion. We’ll bear it in mind as we develop future blog posts and newsletters and we’ll make an effort to add more examples where appropriate.

– Marc


Ahmed Ali writes:

Thanks for the wonderful piece of advice. Could you guide me if putting first paragraph or some lines of the article serves the purpose rightly?

Comment provided November 12, 2011 at 6:21 AM


Ahmed –

I just replied to Karen who had a similar question to yours. I think this answer will help you out:

– Marc


Ahmed Ali writes:

Thanks Marc, That was helpful. :)



Hi Penny,
Great post. I have taken the year off to write my last book and so have to learn the basics of article writing again.

I really like the idea of…… That always hooks me in when I see it.

Happy Weekend,

Judy H. Wright

Comment provided November 12, 2011 at 9:30 AM


Greg Wight writes:

Thank you for an excellent and to the point post on article summaries.

I always think of summaries as the final paragraph of the article not the preview. So I had to read the text over again to figure out what exactly you were referring to. I do not like watching videos unless I can pause and rewind.

A summary in the context that you are using is not a summation. And should be different than a summation, and different than the opening.
It should be a preview of what will be learned or experienced by the reader.

Comment provided November 12, 2011 at 9:39 AM


Paul Chew writes:

2 Minute Approval Tip is very good. Now I understand the requirements. Thank-you.

Comment provided November 12, 2011 at 9:52 PM


Ichha Purak writes:

certainly summary should reflect the article contents

Comment provided November 13, 2011 at 3:08 AM


John writes:

Hi Marc,
Being very new to writing, these tips are very valuable to me, thank you, I am learning a lot.

Comment provided November 13, 2011 at 6:26 AM


Kayla List writes:

Description is important for another reason: Google displays the description on the search results page. Is that still true?

Comment provided November 13, 2011 at 9:37 AM


Kayla –

Unfortunately, none of the major search engines display the summary. Depending on the search engine used, you may see a short segment of the first sentence of your article and/or the citation, but none of the summary.

– Marc


Kieran Gracie writes:

This answer amazes me. I always thought that the summary was specifically intended for the search engines. If they do not use the summary, who does?


Kieran –

The summary does serve two important roles in that it appears in all RSS feeds and article email alerts. It’s also important to any readers that visit your author bio – a listing of your recent articles will appear below your biography. This listing includes your article summaries.

– Marc


Kieran Gracie writes:

Thanks Marc, that’s a relief! I guess I was shooting from the hip a bit, so appreciate you sorting me out!


babel verty writes:

excellent tips. Thank you I now understand the tips you gave, but I still need some time to write the article, so that people like what I wrote, probably with it I can write perfectly, it took a lot of time to write an article on EzineArticles so that I could be accepted. Thank you

Comment provided November 14, 2011 at 11:22 AM



Really this is great idea of quick Approval. As you mention above that please don’t use special chracters in article summary.

Can you tell me any special Reason of this ?


Comment provided November 15, 2011 at 4:23 AM


The main reason for doing this is that special characters may break an RSS or XML feed. For that reason it’s important that your summaries are created with HTML-compatible plain text.



I know this is great idea of Quick approval of my Submitted article but there is one condition that is always effect me That is Uniqueness and Grammar errors. I unable to removed my grammer errors.

Comment provided November 15, 2011 at 4:49 AM


Sarah Selin writes:

“Why your article content is important” i think that this sentence say all about article summary. thank you very much

Comment provided November 17, 2011 at 1:50 PM



I know Article content is most important. But i already mention that i am facing problem to write the article. Not story matter or content matter. How i can perform better in these area like Spelling mistake, Grammar errors.


Comment provided November 18, 2011 at 12:02 AM


Alan Sahu writes:

– Book Keeping Services

Invest an hour daily on improving your English.


The best advice I can give you is to have somebody else who has a solid command of the English language read your articles, especially if English is not your primary language. Even the most experienced author is better served to have another person review their articles before submission.

– Marc


Molly writes:

As a former English teacher, and someone who has helped quite a few foreign exchange students improve their English, I have to say that the most improvement came from just talking- spend as much time as you can talking to native English speakers. You start to understand the rythm of the language which helps so much with grammar. The other thing that really helps is to read read read! I hope this helps- I know English is an awful language to learn, but you can only get better! :)



There are different ways to Remove your these error. First Read English News paper daily. Get more knowledge about English, second Daily Write few paragraph.

You know “Practice Makes a Men Perfect” Remember this Quates

Comment provided November 18, 2011 at 12:17 AM


Language Translation Services writes:

Excellent tips. Thanks for the great suggestion. There are many readers whose native language is not English and some examples would be very helpful.

Comment provided November 24, 2011 at 2:52 AM


Language Translation Services writes:

It’s really a great source of information and as well as introduce your self thanks for providing spaced for your new blog readers.Thanks for it

Comment provided November 24, 2011 at 3:23 AM


Albert writes:

Article title and summary are the first thing and leaves first impression to the readers. So, these should be attractive well described in few words. Thanks Penny.

Comment provided December 8, 2011 at 10:48 AM


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