What is the Difference Between Summary vs Analysis?

What is the Difference Between Summary vs Analysis?

Do you know what is the difference between a summary and an analysis? You may have passed the last years thinking they are similar, but you will be surprised to know that they are, in fact, two different things.

Let’s say it is homework time and your history teacher gives you an assignment: to make a summary and analysis about World War II.

You are stunned to hear such a thing. Wait a minute; a summary and an analysis are not the same thing? How is that possible? Why didn’t anyone tell you that before?

Well, we will explain the differences to you now.

Definition of Summary

A summary is a resumed exposition of the essentials on a topic or subject. A summary reduces and synthesizes the content of a document, reading, documentary, or any other, making an extract with the most relevant information.

The summary can be done in different ways. It can be done by highlighting the most important parts on a text, or by taking notes on information to summarize it later. The main characteristic of a summary is that it should be written with your own words, but keeping the ideas and meaning of the source.

A summary can be done on any topic and it can be presented orally or in writing.

Definition of Analysis

An analysis is a type of study that thoroughly identifies, separates and examines the components of a given subject, in order to understand and have access to its most elementary basis.

An analysis states the student or investigator’s questions, doubts and conclusions about the selected topic. It can also feature the author’s projections and suggestions on the subject.

To make an analysis, the reading, story, book, documentary, etc., has to be broken down in pieces to get the main idea from each part. After that, opinions, conclusions, and suggestions can be presented.

The analysis features the investigator’s personal, professional, political, ethical, etc., thoughts on the subject.

Main Differences Between Summary vs Analysis

Now you now that a summary and an analysis are two different things. However, which one is better? Which one you should do first? Well, make your own conclusion after reviewing this chart:

Basis of ComparisonSummary Analysis
Exposition It presents a brief exposition on the main points of a subject   It’s a thorough exposition of a subject  
How it’s done It makes an extract by reading and highlighting the important parts of a source   It examines the components of the subject by breaking them into pieces to get to the core of the topic  
PresentedIt can be written in one’s own words but keeping the general meaning of the original sourceIt’s written in one’s own words
Conclusion It does not present a conclusion   It presents a conclusion  

Difference Between Summary and Analysis: Conclusion

Although a summary and an analysis can complement each other, they are 2 different things, and they can be written separately. It is not possible to state if one is better than the other, because a summary presents a short extract on the main points on a subject, while an analysis presents an overall conclusion that most times comes from the writer’s opinion.

That way, the next time you see a classmate go crazy trying to understand the difference between summary and analysis, you can help them with your knowledge.