Summary:  A brief paragraph describing and informing three or more of the following elements: 

1.                  Who: those involved

2.                  What: the event or topic being covered

3.                  When: time, period, era, night or day

4.                  Where: the location, distance, place

5.                  Why: the cause or causes

6.                  How: the process(es) 

Report: An extended summary that delves deeper into more descriptions and details of the above elements 


Example:  This is a summary of the play Hamlet. 


“The play Hamlet is one of betrayal and death.  In the beginning of the play Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius kills Hamlet’s father with poison.  He does this because he wants to be king, and he wants Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother.  Hamlet is very upset.  He becomes even more upset when Claudius, his uncle and his mother, Gertrude, announce they are to be married.  Hamlet cannot believe that they would do this after such a short period of time.  Hamlet then decides to kill his uncle to get revenge.  However, Hamlet waits to do this.   In the meantime Hamlet’s girlfriend Ofelia goes crazy and drowns herself.  Hamlet is also haunted by his father’s ghost.  At the end of the play, Hamlet dies.” 

Analysis: examines the summary elements described above in order to look for their meaning in the following contexts: 

1.                  Relationships, trends, patterns

2.                  Roles of people, places, objects, situations

3.                  Consequences or results of events, decisions and processes

4.                  Causes and their effects

5.                  Advantages and disadvantages/ gains and losses

6.                  Strengths and weaknesses 

Example: A Freudian analysis of the play. 

“Hamlet explores betrayal and death caused by several levels of poison: physical, psychological and social.  All of these poisons are intertwined on a psychological level.  Hamlet was first affected by Claudius’s physical poison—the poison that he had poured into the King’s ear, killing him.  After Claudius killed the King social poison spread throughout the kingdom like a disease.  The rebels began to call Laertes Lord, disrupting Hamlet’s claim to the throne, ‘How cheerfully on the false trail they cry’ (IV, V, 87).  Hamlet’s suppressed desire, the Oedipus complex, for his mother led to his own psychological poisoning, ‘Go not to mine uncle’s bed’ (III, III, 153).  He was upset that he desired to kill his father, as his uncle did, in order to possess his mother.  Hamlet desired to seek revenge on those who had hurt him, which was caused by his id, ‘Here thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane, Drink of this potion’ (V, II, 330-333).  However, Hamlet hesitated to kill his uncle because of his moral super ego, ‘How I stand then, That have a father killed, a mother stained, Excitements of my reason and my blood, And let all asleep’ (IV, IV, 56-59)?  These inner psychological conflicts prevented Hamlet from acting until it was too late, and death was already knocking on his door, ‘The potent poison quiet o’er-crows my spirit’ (V, II, 359).”