How To Summarize Text With ChatGPT: 11 Prompts That Work Like Magic!

In today’s fast-paced world, we have a lot of information to sift through, but there is just no time to read it all.

So, you need to learn to effectively summarize long-form content into smaller chunks to increase your productivity.

Fortunately, with the release of artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT, summarizing text has become easier than ever before.

This article will explore what ChatGPT is, how it works, and the benefits of using it for text summarization.

It will also provide a list of eleven prompts for shortening your text with ChatGPT.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is a language model developed by OpenAI, based on the GPT architecture.

It is designed to generate human-like responses to a given prompt. This makes ChatGPT capable of performing various tasks, including writing, text summarization, and translation.

With this tool, you can condense YouTube transcripts, research papers, articles, blog posts, webpages, essays, short books, and more.

One of the main benefits of using ChatGPT for text summarization is its speed and accuracy.

It can generate a summary of a lengthy article within seconds, which saves time and effort. ChatGPT can also rewrite the text in a concise and coherent manner, making it easier to understand and retain the essential information.

Prompts for text summarization with ChatGPT

To use chatgpt to shorten your text, you should:

  • Login into your account.
  • Type “summarize the text below”
  • Copy the text into the message bar and click enter.

One thing to note is that using the method above will give you a generic and broad result.

But, if you want better-specified text summarization results from chatgpt, you should try using any of the prompts below:

Long summary with bullet points prompt

Give me a brief overview of this text and its main points.

Research paper summary prompt

I want you to act as a research paper summarizer. Your task is to succinctly and objectively summarize a specific research paper. The summary should accurately convey the paper's main points and findings, avoiding personal opinions or interpretations. Utilize your own words while maintaining the content's integrity. Employ scientific and technical terminology suitable for a scientific audience. Enhance readability by breaking down complex sentences without altering the original meaning. Use examples to clarify key points when necessary. Remember to provide inline citations (Author, date) for referenced ideas. Plagiarism is strictly prohibited, so ensure your paraphrased text doesn't copy the original authors. Finally, include a list of cited references in the [APA] citation format to acknowledge the sources used in creating the summary.

3-4 sentences summary prompt

In a few sentences, summarize the key ideas presented in this article below.

Meeting transcript summary prompt

You will be provided with a meeting transcript to summarize. The transcript contains the conversation from a Zoom meeting. Your task is to create a brief and informative summary of the meeting's discussion. Focus on the main topics, key points, and important actions or decisions. The summary should capture the conversation's tone and highlight noteworthy contributions from individuals. Make sure your summary is easy to read and understand, even for someone who wasn't part of the original conversation.

Course transcript summary prompt

Your task is to summarize the transcript of an online course. I will give you the transcript in sections since it is quite long. Your summary should be concise yet complete, making it easy for a teenager to understand. Remember to use a neutral tone and highlight important words or lines in bold to draw attention to them.

Guideline summarization prompt

[The format: 
Identify key points.
Include main ideas and essential information.
Stay within the text's scope.
Present your writing in a clear paragraph format.]
Your task is to use the format above to summarize the text below.
Provide a summary of this legal document, highlighting its most important sections and clauses.

Get the author’s argument prompt

What is the author's main thesis or central argument in this article below? 

Paragraph-by-paragraph summary prompt

Your task is to summarize the text below using your skills as an expert researcher. Please provide a summary for each paragraph or section using subheadings and keeping them under 100 words. Your summary should be short and easy to understand, including the most important points from the article.

Summary of research paper methodology prompt

Please summarize this series of case studies or experiments, highlighting their major results and implications.

Complicated language summary prompt

What are the main ideas and arguments presented in this text? Summarize them for me like I am 5 years old.

ChatGPT text summarization limits

While ChatGPT is a powerful tool, it has some drawbacks, which are:

  • It cannot summarize long texts, such as entire books or lengthy research papers. (But, GPT4 32k version might change this)
  • You need to copy and paste the content you want to summarize, which can be time-consuming.
  • The results may not always be accurate, especially if the input text is too long or poorly written.
  • The summarization can sometimes be too long, making it difficult to get a quick overview of the text
  • It struggles with specific details from the text.
  • CHATGPT makes things up. It is common to find info in your summary that was not in the original text.
  • It cannot work with URLs. Even with the GPT4 plugins, people still get inaccurate summaries.

The verdict

ChatGPT is a powerful tool for text summarization. It is fast, easy to use, and free.

While you can just use simple prompts to get a text summary with this chatbot, it is better to use one that is tailored to your needs.

Despite its strength, Chatgpt is limited when it comes to condensing text.

I advise that you use it for short texts that need a quick overview.

But if your text is longer and you need specific details from it, chatgpt might not be the best text summarization tool for you.