summarise vs. outline


Senior Member
Romania, Romanian

Could anyone, please, tell me the difference between summarise and outline? I think they mean the same, don´t they?
Thank you lots!

  • ace02nc

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    To summarize is to give an overview of a writing in paragraph form. A summary will read like a book and should tell the reader the story or concept of the writing without digging into details. An outline will accomplish the same goal, but it's not written in paragraph form. Instead it's broken out like:

    I. Introduction to the story
    A) Objective 1
    B) Objective 2
    i) Main idea
    II. Chapter 1
    A) Main idea

    This should give you an idea. Hope this helps!


    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    I do believe that we can and do "summarize" both orally and in writing, and it is not necessarily in any specific form; just an outline of the matter in hand. I know of no difference in meaning between the words.
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