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Six Things You Should Know About Text Summarization

Summari Inc
 | 
January 3, 2022

The world is rapidly advancing technologically and the way we communicate is changing with it. We are now able to send messages through text, voice, or video chat, which means that the amount of content being generated every day is growing fast.

The problem with all this information is that it can be overwhelming for people to stay on top of everything they need to, especially those who have to read a lot of texts to get the gist of what they need to know.

According to a study conducted by Google, the average person spends about two hours per week reading online content. With an increasing amount of information to consume, making sure you spend time on the right things is critical. For companies, the problem is worse.

Text summarization is one of those solutions. It allows you to take the time to read something important without having to spend too much time on it. By doing so, you’ll save your time and energy, as well as reduce stress levels. In this article, we will tell you five things you should know about text summarization.

Let's get started!

1. What Is Text Summarization?

Text summarization is the process of condensing large amounts of information into concise, consumable texts. It helps readers understand complex topics quickly by reducing the topics down to their main points.

If you're writing articles for publication on websites or blogs, then it’s probably a good idea to write short summaries of your work.

2. Why Do Companies Summarize Text?

Companies often ask writers to summarize text because they want to ensure that the reader understands what they've written. They also want to ensure that the content is easy to read.

Imagine a Slack or Teams channel with 20 employees. One employee shares a link to an interesting 15 minute article. A link has no context, and someone typing out why the link is helpful takes time, but having 20 people read the same link costs the company 5 man hours. Providing a summary would save a lot of this time, while at the same time allowing every employee to get the gist.

3. Types of Text Summarization

There are two main types of text summarization:

Extractive

The writer extracts key points and phrases from the original text and then combines then to generate a summary. This is easier to do but it can miss the context of an article or omit some of the key points being made. This type of summarized text is good for note-taking.

Abstractive

Abstractive summarization considers the entire text and creates a summary based on the main ideas of the text. This type of summarization is more accurate than extractive ones because it considers all the core ideas and will distill these into a short consumable text. But for AI technology it can be hard to prepare such a summary, and it can take a lot of time for humans.

With Summari.com you can generate summaries that are both accurate and easy to understand, and share those summaries with your friends or colleagues to save them time.

4. How Do I Choose The Right Type Of Article Summarizer?

First of all, you want to pick a summary generator that produces the right type of summary: extractive or abstractive. Then you want to ensure that the summary generator is intelligent enough to capture all the main ideas of the text and can display it in a consumable way.

You also want to make sure you can generate a summary where you find the original text, typically using a browser extension or mobile app, versus having to copy paste text somewhere else which can be inconvenient.

5. Advantages and Disadvantages of Text Summarization

Text summarization has become increasingly popular as a way to make information easier to digest. However, there are both advantages and disadvantages associated with text summarization.

The advantages include:

Easy to Understand

One major advantage of text summarization is that it makes it easier to understand large amounts of content.

Makes Information Easier to Find

Another benefit of text summarization is its ability to make information easier to find. By reducing the number of words needed to convey important ideas, text summarization helps reduce the amount of time spent searching through long documents or articles. Summaries designed to help convey information more easily are sometimes referred to as TLDR, or too long didn’t read.

Helps Keep Up-to-Date

Another advantage of text summarization comes from the fact that it keeps users up-to-date with current events. This means that people who rely on news sources will be able to quickly access relevant information when they want it.

Increases User Engagement

A final advantage of text summarization lies in its ability to increase user engagement. When people read short summaries instead of lengthy ones, they tend to spend less time reading each piece and will typically read more as a result. This leads to higher levels of engagement.

On the other hand, the disadvantages include:

May Miss Relevant Information

A disadvantage of text summarization is the possibility of missing relevant information. If the original piece of content was written by someone else, then the summary generator might omit key information the writer meant the reader to see. As a result, the generated summary may not be useful.

Can't Always Tell What Is Important

Another drawback of text summarization is its inability to tell what is most important about a particular article. For example, if a person wants to know more about specific examples given in the full article, he or she would have to go back and look at the full article.

Doesn't Work Well With Long Documents

A final disadvantage of summary generators are the lack of support for longer documents. Machine learning algorithms haven’t been able to produce high-quality summaries for longer pieces of text because of hardware limitations. This is improving all the time and some summary generators are capable of producing high-quality text summaries for pieces as long as 5000-6000 words.

How to Summarize an Article

Here is a brief step-by-step guide to producing a high-quality text summary:

Start With a Brief Introduction

Most people don't know where to begin when writing a summary. The first thing you should do is introduce the topic to give readers the context of the article.

Use Headers To Emphasize Key Points

Headers can help a reader quickly grasp the main ideas an article is trying to convey. Along with the introduction, a reader should be able to get the gist of most of the underlying article. Support each header with bullet points with extra information as required if a reader wants more.

Make Sure Your Summary Is Concise

When writing a summary, it's always best to keep things concise. If you go over too much detail, your reader may not be interested in reading your entire piece.

Include Keywords

When writing a summary, it is essential to include keywords from the source material. These keywords will help search engines understand what the summary is all about.

Summarizing is a skill that takes practice and experience. However, once you learn how to summarize effectively, you'll be amazed at how easy it is to write a good summary.

Generate A Summary Today

Summari.com is an AI-powered summarizing tool that allows users to generate their own custom summaries. Whenever you find a link you want a summary or you just need to click the Summari button either in your browser, or phone. If you find a link on Twitter you find interesting, just reply to the Tweet with “@getsummari summarize” and the tool will automatically respond to you with a summary - it’s that simple!

Try Summari.com today. It's free to sign up and works everywhere you do.

For more insights on text summarization and our summary generator contact us today!


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