Reader Comments

Auto Summarizer Details

by Alphonse Woodruff (2020-04-03)

Writing content for the net is now a writing style in its own right with short articles, bullet points and headings, brief paragraphs, and a friendly "voice" - all while conveying useful information to the reader. While many articles destined for the net find yourself as standalone pieces on landing pages, others are buried in a site and introduced on other pages which link to the complete article. At these times, a short summary is used to introduce the article and entice the reader to "read more."

Summaries will also be used when an article is shared by others, for example when bloggers link to articles found on other blogs. Furthermore, depending on how you have your Site set up, you may also work with a summary within the page's meta description field. When the article appears in a search engine's results page, the summary will appear in the description area, enticing searchers to click the link.

Summaries on the net will also be referred to as "abstracts," "excerpts," "teaser copy," and similar terms. No matter the term used, summaries must prepare the reader for what's to come and whet the reader's appetite for more.

Web Summary Length

Web summaries, by design, are short as well as to the point. While different Websites may have individual requirements, two or three sentences should be sufficient. The idea is to introduce the article and generate interest, not detail everything that the article covers.

Writing Web Summaries

As tempting as it may be to write "This article will be around..." or "This Site is approximately...," doing this is boring to the reader. If the reader is bored reading the summary, it's doubtful that he will click the "read more" link. You might be also tempted to copy and paste the first paragraph in to the summary field. This too will bore you reader. While your first paragraph may be interesting, relevant, and fresh, by the time your reader gets to your article, it shall be old, redundant, and boring because he just finished reading the exact same text before clicking the "read more" link.

A more suitable approach is to write a completely original summary app for your article or blog post. You just wrote a whole article, so coming up with several sentences describing it shouldn't be hard. Attempt to mimic the tone of the article to ensure that the voice of the summary matches the voice of the article. For example, if your article is humorous and light, so should the summary. On the other hand, if your article discusses a serious topic, you'd want the summary to have a more serious tone.