Difference Between Summary and Conclusion

Main Difference – Summary vs Conclusion

Summary and Conclusion are two terms that are often used in academic writing. A summary is a concise statement or account of the main points of a text. A conclusion is the end of a chapter or text. The main difference between Summary and Conclusion lies in their purpose. The main aim of a summary is to sum up the main points whereas the aim of a conclusion is to conclude the text smoothly. Based on these different purposes, different features can be seen in these two components.

What is a Summary

A summary is an abridged version of a text that only contains the main points. The main purpose of a summary is to condense the text into a smaller text. A summary should present the central ideas and concepts clearly and concisely. However, it is possible to omit certain facts that are not essential to the text.

Sometimes a summary can be a synopsis of a book, film or a play. Here, an outline of the plot of the story can be considered as the summary. Furthermore, an executive summary, which can be seen at the beginning of a report, proposal, business plan, etc., summarizes all the content, highlighting the key points in the document.  An executive summary should contain information such as subject matter, methods of analysis, findings and conclusions. This is similar to an abstract and should be written after completing the whole research.

Difference Between Summary and Conclusion

A summary can be the synopsis of a book

What is a Conclusion

A conclusion is an essential part of any document. A good conclusion is both interesting and attractive; it should give the reader a good impression of the whole document. A conclusion should contain a summary of the main points, deductions made on the basis of the main points, solutions to the problems discussed in the text,  findings, and recommendations. It is also important to write whether the purpose of the research has been achieved.

At the same time, you should avoid introducing new facts in the conclusion, rewriting the main points in the same words, focusing on the minor points of the text, and using sentimental, emotional appeals in an otherwise analytical and academic essay.

Main Difference - Summary vs Conclusion

Difference Between Summary and Conclusion


The summary is an abridged version of a text that only contains the main points.

The conclusion is the end or finish of a chapter or text.


The main purpose of a summary is to sum up the main points.

The purpose of a conclusion is to conclude the text smoothly.


An executive summary is at the beginning of a document.

A conclusion is at the end of a document.


A summary should also have a conclusion.

A conclusion can include the summary of the main points.Difference Between Summary and Conclusion - infographic

English for academic study: reading and writing. Source book John Slaght, Paddy Harben and Anne Pallant. Reading: Garnet Education, 2009.
English for Academic Study Series: Study Skills for Academic Writing Trzeciak, John.Prentice Hall, 1994.

Image Courtesy:

By Michael J. Bennett (Own work) [], via Wikimedia Commons

 By M1-L3C (Own work) [], via Wikimedia Commons

About the Author: admin

Related pages

volatile and nonvolatile substanceswhat is the difference between insoluble and soluble fiberabsorbance to percent transmittancedynamic character definition and examplessubject vs object grammarelements of shakespearean tragedyexample of diamante poemsmodulus of rigidity unitdeoxyribose formulaalphahelixneurotic mental illnessnucleolus definition biologyaardvark vs ant eatersigns and symptoms of hypoxiadefinition of air conditioning and refrigerationamorphous substance definitionwhat is thermoplastic and thermosetting plasticdifference between loving and likingdizygotic twins definitionis baking soda the same as bicarbonate of sodawhat is hypomania and maniahow are carbohydrates and lipids differenttotipotent and pluripotent stem cellsalliteration and assonanceradicle plant definitioncation and anion definition chemistrysn1 vs sn2 reaction mechanismtranscription prokaryotes vs eukaryotesagonist and antagonist definitionnucleolus definition biologycompare longitudinal and transverse wavescolonial flagellate hypothesisdifference between couscous and quinoaferric vs ferrous ironwhat is deistsmatte vs flat paintsimple distillation usesdirectional and omnidirectional antennawolf versus coyotedifference between cook and chefraw honey vs pure honeydifference between grammar and usagewhat is the difference between substances and mixturesdefinition of pteridophytesastronomy cosmology differencestereotypes and prejudicedramatic dialogue definitionwhat is litotespoem with a refraindachsund minimendel periodic tableangiosperms phylumdifference between a covalent bond and an ionic bonddifference between dependent and independent clausedistinguish between mitochondria and chloroplastsexamples of hubris in literaturecharging by induction definitionprozac citalopramdifference between transcription and replicationandroid version 5.1.1 featuresnon template strandchancery definition lawdifference between melanin and melatoninthe difference between interstate and intrastatehow to calculate bond lengthbicarbonate of soda and sodium bicarbonatemelanocytes and melaninretrovirus definition biologythe difference between summary and paraphraseexample of carpe diemdifference between blank verse and free versethe difference between gerund and infinitivedamped and undampeddefinition of nonpolar moleculegreen onions vs scallionsdifference between monomer and monosaccharidewhat is the difference between bronze and brass