Reading Strategies to Help Students Summarize Nonfiction Text

Reading nonfiction texts can be challenging for students, especially when it comes to summarizing the information effectively. Summarization is a valuable skill that helps students extract key ideas, understand complex concepts, and retain information. In this blog post, we will explore a range of strategies that can empower students to become proficient summarizers. From pre-reading techniques to collaborative strategies and assessment methods, we will delve into the comprehensive toolkit that students can utilize to master the art of summarization.

Overview of Nonfiction Text Summarization Strategies: Effective Techniques for Students


Before diving into the specific strategies, let’s first establish a solid foundation. Summarizing nonfiction texts involves distilling the main ideas, supporting details, and relevant information into a concise and coherent summary. Students should aim to capture the essence of the text while omitting unnecessary details, enabling them to develop a deeper understanding of the material and enhance their critical thinking skills.

As students master these summarization techniques, they will make significant headway in their ability to comprehend and analyze nonfiction texts effectively. For more resources and guidance on improving reading and summarization skills, visit

Pre-Reading Strategies: Building Background Knowledge to Enhance Summarization Skills

Effective summarization begins even before students start reading the text. Pre-reading strategies, such as activating prior knowledge, previewing the text structure, and generating questions, can help students build a strong foundation of background knowledge. This background knowledge provides a framework for understanding and summarizing the text more effectively.

During-Reading Strategies: Active Reading Techniques for Extracting Key Information


While reading, students can employ several techniques to extract key information and identify important details. One such technique is annotating the text by highlighting or underlining key points and making marginal notes. Additionally, creating graphic organizers, such as concept maps or summarization charts, can aid in visualizing and organizing the information.

Post-Reading Strategies: Organizing and Synthesizing Information to Create Concise Summaries

After completing the reading, students should engage in post-reading strategies to organize and synthesize the information gathered. One effective approach is to create outlines or bullet-point summaries, focusing on the main ideas and supporting details. Students can also utilize summarization templates or sentence frames to guide their writing process and ensure clarity and conciseness in their summaries.

Collaborative Strategies: Encouraging Students to Discuss and Share Their Summaries


Collaboration plays a vital role in enhancing summarization skills. By engaging in discussions with peers, students can share their summaries, exchange ideas, and gain new perspectives. This collaborative approach fosters critical thinking, exposes students to different interpretations of the text, and encourages them to refine their summaries based on feedback and alternative viewpoints.


In conclusion, developing effective summarization skills is a fundamental aspect of reading nonfiction texts. By employing a combination of pre-reading, during-reading, and post-reading strategies, students can enhance their ability to summarize complex information accurately and concisely. Furthermore, collaborative strategies and continuous assessment provide opportunities for growth and improvement. With these strategies in their arsenal, students will not only excel in comprehending nonfiction texts but also develop essential skills that will benefit them throughout their academic and professional journeys.