Difference Between Summary and Analysis

Summary vs Analysis

Writing a summary or an analysis of a piece of literature seems like an easy task but, for some students, it can be very confusing because of the overlapping nature of the two assignments. Writing a summary is a skill that is taught in middle classes while making an analysis is also a part of skill set that is important for students in certain fields such as humanities. This article attempts to highlight the differences between summary and analysis so that they avoid mixing and overlapping when they have been given either of the two tasks to perform.


Summary is a brief description of a lengthy piece of prose. The main aim of a summary is to let the readers know what the text is all about and the plot they can expect by reading it in length.

In fact, summary is like rewriting the story in short, retaining all the main points and written in such a manner that it makes the reader interested in the longer version. It is not that one can pick a few sentences from here and there verbatim and create a summary. To create a good summary, a person has to be able to understand the story and then rewrite it in his own words. A shorter and condensed version of a story is what is called its summary.

One thing that has to be kept in mind while writing a summary is that at no point of time should the writer be judgmental or critical of the original writer and pass his own comment or remark.


To analyze is to scrutinize. During an analysis, it is the endeavor of the person to lay threadbare the story or the play to get to the deeper meaning of the prose and pass critical remarks and opinions about its quality.

Analyzing a piece of literature requires more than just paraphrasing or put forward a condensed form of the story. Someone who is doing analysis assumes that the reader has already read the story or play and is expecting a detailed opinion and judgment on various aspects of quality of the piece. Person writing analysis need not be concerned with presenting the plot of the story.

Summary vs Analysis

• Summary retains author’s viewpoint and tries to be succinct while presenting the plot of the story or play. On the other hand, analysis is laying threadbare the writing without caring to present the plot

• Summary is concerned with rewriting the same stuff in a short manner, and what you have read is to be paraphrased in a concise manner

• The main aim of a summary is to let the reader know the main, interesting points of the story. It is like a trailer in this sense that tries to force the viewer to watch the whole movie

• There is no evaluation or judgment in case of a summary while the main purpose of an analysis to pass critical remarks and opinions