Difference Between Review and Summary

A Review is the report highlighting someone’s opinion about something, its ideas, the theme, and how does it affect someone or something.

Review vs Summary

The main difference between Review and Summary is that Review reflects what the partaker thinks about the narrative in all aspects whereas a Summary is just a shortened or condensed version of an artifact that gives the gist of the whole body.

Review VS Summary

Review can also mean a revision or subsequent reading of a text or narrative. Whereas, Summary is a broad term which refers to the short restatement reflecting the important points of any piece of literature, argument or lecture.


Comparison Table Between Review and Summary (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonReviewSummary
Basic ideaA report on the general idea of the narrative along with the opinion and analysis of the reviewer.A concise report of the narrative highlighting its main points.
PersistenceDoes not necessarily include the exact points of the subject and extends to external aspects of the subject (like its effect on people).Holds on to the exact points of the subject and no extra matter is to be added.
Opinion of the partakerThe opinion of the reviewer plays a very important part and it can vary from reviewer to reviewer.Opinions of the summarizer are not to be included in the summary. It doesn’t matter how the summarizer perceives the subject.
ProceedingNo exact order needs to be maintained for presenting a review.A summary proceeds in the exact same order as that of the subject itself.
SizeIncludes assessment and critical analysis of the narrative in several aspects and hence can be lengthy.It can be pretty short as it is just a gist of the narrative.


What is Review?

A review generally refers to a delineation of the partaker’s opinion about the presented subject. It doesn’t require the exact points of the narrative but revolves around the ideas of it and the way it was presented. A review also extends to acknowledge how the partaker thinks the subject affects someone or something.

This is used in both formal and informal contexts like “a movie review” or “review of a research paper” and can be applied to any subject which can be presented to an audience. A review can be good or bad depending upon how the partaker perceives it and it may vary from one reviewer to another.

There will exist no absolute review as every individual contemplates the subject in a different manner. However, the review can be generalized as good or bad.

A second, and closely related, meaning of review is to give a very wide introduction of the subject (“a review of medieval European history”). These reviews don’t necessarily account for the reviewer’s opinions on the subject and hence are very closely related to a summary. However, unlike summaries, these reviews don’t have to completely highlight all the main points of the subject in the exact same order.

Another meaning of review refers to the revision of a text, generally used in academic contexts. It means a lookback at the things that have already been studied. This review is not presented to an audience but is for the use of the partaker himself. The need of this kind of reviews arises generally when the partaker needs to present their knowledge on the subject, like examinations.


What is Summary?

A Summary is the concise report of any presented rendering or narrative used for a better and easier understanding of the same. It covers all the main points of the text and presents an essence of the story in the exact order as the narrative does.

A summary sticks to the points of the subject and doesn’t deviate from them at all. It does not include the opinions of the summarizer and also doesn’t acknowledge any assessment of the subject.

Absoluteness is the backbone of a summary. Since the summary needs to hold on to the exact points of the subject, the summaries from different summarizers must be exact.

Summaries always proceed in the same nature as the subject itself, starting from the introduction and terminating where the subject ends. They need to maintain the very same chronological order and congruence.

It is mostly used in academic contexts but can also be used for any other kind of narrative. Summaries can be often formal and the exact order of proceeding of the subject must be acknowledged by the summarizer.

Main Differences Between Review and Summary

  1. A review revolves around the general idea of the subject whereas a summary holds on to the exact points of the subject.
  2. The opinion of the partaker is an important part of a review whereas it doesn’t hold any significance in case of a review.
  3. A review presents the idea behind the narrative along with a critical assessment of it. On the other hand, a summary provides only the gist of a narrative.
  4. The style of presentation holds an important place in a review but a summary does not care about how the subject was presented.
  5. All the characters of the narrative should be included in the summary in their exact nature whereas it is not significant in a review.
  6. A summary should proceed in the exact order as that of the subject itself whereas the review doesn’t follow that rule.



Review and Summary are very closely related terms and yet very significantly different. A review refers to the general proposition of the subject along with the reviewer’s critical analysis of the content in all aspects. A review can also mean a revision. Whereas, summaries are short and concise reports of the narrative acting as the gist of the content, highlighting the main points of the body.

Reviews are shaped on the basis of whether the partaker liked the content in all aspect or otherwise. On the other hand, all the summaries presented for the same content by different individuals must be same as there is no acknowledgement of the summarizer’s opinion or analysis.


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Review
  2. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/summarize
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