Summary Methods - Write Faster.

How to provide a lot of Information quickly and in a small word-count.

Students often ask me how to provide all the information they want to quickly.

In many cases the answer is to use dot-point lists and tables. These are "Summary Methods". You are providing information in a summary form.

Ask your teacher if you are unsure whether dot-point lists and tables are acceptable for the exam in their subject.


Dot-points allow you to use unconnected sentences and part sentences to summarize something. This greatly reduces the number of words required and the time needed.

An example of a dot-point list is;

Student Technique koala

Koala information

This dot-point list allows you to include a lot of information using a small number of words. If you were to use normal paragraphs to describe this you would need to use 2 or 3 times the number of words to make it grammatically correct. This would then take 2 or 3 times longer.


If you put the answer to my pet’s eating and sleeping habits (from the technique: Disecting the Question) into a table it may look like this:

Use a grid in your answer

Do you see how much information is provided in very few words. Please note that in this example I have used the absolute minimum number of words. Often you will need to put sentences or half sentences into each cell of the table. You can even put dot-point lists into the cells of the table where several points are needed, as follows:

Use of a table in writing

The power of the matrix.

Use of a matrix in writing

In business, the technique of putting information in a table like this to “Matrix it.” A "matrix" is a table, often used in mathematics.

A matrix is a very powerful way of showing a lot of information in a concise way. It is used for reports and when presenting information to management or to a customer.


What is a business matrix?