by Kathryn Nieves
Summary tools are sources for debate within the ELA teacher community. When utilized, these tools allow students to summarize any text available online. While some may believe these tools serve as shortcuts for reading comprehension, they can also help to provide guidance for students struggling with reading in the classroom. With a summary placed in their mind prior to diving into the full text, students can help make connections and understand the information being presented.
The following four tools are extensions or websites that students can use to help summarize articles or texts prior to reading.
- Internet Abridged (extension)
Internet Abridged is a Chrome extension that can be added from the Chrome Web Store. Once the article you want to read is open on your browser, select Internet Abridged’s icon from the toolbar. The extension will provide a bulleted list of the articles most important points. You can also highlight a portion of a longer work, right click on the highlighted text, and select “Internet Abridged” to receive a summary for only that one section. The extension can also automatically embed the summary into the website for easy access and review.
- Auto Highlight (extension)
Auto Highlight is another Chrome extension from the Chrome Web Store. It functions in almost the same way as Internet Abridged but has a few more features. Instead of opening a pop-up window that offers a summary, Auto Highlight actually edits the page you are reading. The icon, a yellow highlighter, drops color the more you select it on a particular article. Each time you click the highlighter icon, it highlights more important details from the article. The first click provides a basic summary of the most important points and more details are added based on importance from there. The maximum amount of times you can click for an article is three. You can read the highlighted lines on the page to get an understanding of the most important sentences to remember before reading the article in its entirety.
- SMMRY (Website)
SMMRY is a website that summarizes articles for you. Upon accessing the website, you can copy and paste the text or the URL to the article. The article can also be uploaded from a file, like a Word document. You also have the option to alter how many sentences will be included in the summary. In addition, selecting the yellow “Settings” icon allows for further customization, such as avoiding questions, exclamations, and quotations in the summary.
When the summary is ready to be viewed, you can see the percentage of the article that has been eliminated and view the number of characters in the summary.
- Resoomer (Website, Chrome Extension)
Similar to the previous entries, Resoomer allows for one-click summarization. There is a Chrome extension and a website. Resoomer’s unique feature is that it allows you to click and drag to reduce the amount of text by a specific percentage. Without having to make adjustments and reload the page again, you can have a shorter summary of the chosen text.
New Jersey Council of Teachers of English, the New Jersey state affiliate of NCTE, the National Council of Teachers of English