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How to Write Article Summaries, Reviews & Critiques
Writing an article summary.
- Writing an article REVIEW
- Writing an article CRITIQUE
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When writing a summary, the goal is to compose a concise and objective overview of the original article. The summary should focus only on the article's main ideas and important details that support those ideas.
Guidelines for summarizing an article:
- State the main ideas.
- Identify the most important details that support the main ideas.
- Summarize in your own words.
- Do not copy phrases or sentences unless they are being used as direct quotations.
- Express the underlying meaning of the article, but do not critique or analyze.
- The summary should be about one third the length of the original article.
Your summary should include:
- Give an overview of the article, including the title and the name of the author.
- Provide a thesis statement that states the main idea of the article.
- Use the body paragraphs to explain the supporting ideas of your thesis statement.
- One-paragraph summary - one sentence per supporting detail, providing 1-2 examples for each.
- Multi-paragraph summary - one paragraph per supporting detail, providing 2-3 examples for each.
- Start each paragraph with a topic sentence.
- Use transitional words and phrases to connect ideas.
- Summarize your thesis statement and the underlying meaning of the article.
Adapted from "Guidelines for Using In-Text Citations in a Summary (or Research Paper)" by Christine Bauer-Ramazani, 2020
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How to Write a Summary - Guide & Examples (from Scribbr.com)
Writing a Summary (from The University of Arizona Global Campus Writing Center)
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Extracts the key facts, figures and references in seconds.
As article summarizer tool, Scholarcy creates a summary flashcard of any article, report or document in Word or PDF format. It creates links to open access versions of cited sources, and can be configured to extract figures, tables and images.
Scholarcy helps you to speed-read the article, follow the arguments and take away the main points in minutes. And if you’re looking for referenced article – they’re only a click away.
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Scholarcy’s browser extension for Chrome and Edge works with open-access repositories such as arXiv , biorXiv , and OSF Preprints . It also integrates with Scholarcy Library – a pay-monthly subscription service that builds a searchable collection of your summary cards, accessible from any device.
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- How to Write a Summary | Guide & Examples
How to Write a Summary | Guide & Examples
Published on November 23, 2020 by Shona McCombes . Revised on November 4, 2022.
Summarizing , or writing a summary, means giving a concise overview of a text’s main points in your own words. A summary is always much shorter than the original text.
There are five key steps that can help you to write a summary:
- Read the text
- Break it down into sections
- Identify the key points in each section
- Write the summary
- Check the summary against the article
Writing a summary does not involve critiquing or evaluating the source . You should simply provide an accurate account of the most important information and ideas (without copying any text from the original).
Table of contents
When to write a summary, step 1: read the text, step 2: break the text down into sections, step 3: identify the key points in each section, step 4: write the summary, step 5: check the summary against the article, frequently asked questions about summarizing.
There are many situations in which you might have to summarize an article or other source:
- As a stand-alone assignment to show you’ve understood the material
- To keep notes that will help you remember what you’ve read
- To give an overview of other researchers’ work in a literature review
When you’re writing an academic text like an essay , research paper , or dissertation , you’ll integrate sources in a variety of ways. You might use a brief quote to support your point, or paraphrase a few sentences or paragraphs.
But it’s often appropriate to summarize a whole article or chapter if it is especially relevant to your own research, or to provide an overview of a source before you analyze or critique it.
In any case, the goal of summarizing is to give your reader a clear understanding of the original source. Follow the five steps outlined below to write a good summary.
You should read the article more than once to make sure you’ve thoroughly understood it. It’s often effective to read in three stages:
- Scan the article quickly to get a sense of its topic and overall shape.
- Read the article carefully, highlighting important points and taking notes as you read.
- Skim the article again to confirm you’ve understood the key points, and reread any particularly important or difficult passages.
There are some tricks you can use to identify the key points as you read:
- Start by reading the abstract . This already contains the author’s own summary of their work, and it tells you what to expect from the article.
- Pay attention to headings and subheadings . These should give you a good sense of what each part is about.
- Read the introduction and the conclusion together and compare them: What did the author set out to do, and what was the outcome?
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To make the text more manageable and understand its sub-points, break it down into smaller sections.
If the text is a scientific paper that follows a standard empirical structure, it is probably already organized into clearly marked sections, usually including an introduction , methods , results , and discussion .
Other types of articles may not be explicitly divided into sections. But most articles and essays will be structured around a series of sub-points or themes.
Now it’s time go through each section and pick out its most important points. What does your reader need to know to understand the overall argument or conclusion of the article?
Keep in mind that a summary does not involve paraphrasing every single paragraph of the article. Your goal is to extract the essential points, leaving out anything that can be considered background information or supplementary detail.
In a scientific article, there are some easy questions you can ask to identify the key points in each part.
If the article takes a different form, you might have to think more carefully about what points are most important for the reader to understand its argument.
In that case, pay particular attention to the thesis statement —the central claim that the author wants us to accept, which usually appears in the introduction—and the topic sentences that signal the main idea of each paragraph.
Now that you know the key points that the article aims to communicate, you need to put them in your own words.
To avoid plagiarism and show you’ve understood the article, it’s essential to properly paraphrase the author’s ideas. Do not copy and paste parts of the article, not even just a sentence or two.
The best way to do this is to put the article aside and write out your own understanding of the author’s key points.
Examples of article summaries
Let’s take a look at an example. Below, we summarize this article , which scientifically investigates the old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
Davis et al. (2015) set out to empirically test the popular saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Apples are often used to represent a healthy lifestyle, and research has shown their nutritional properties could be beneficial for various aspects of health. The authors’ unique approach is to take the saying literally and ask: do people who eat apples use healthcare services less frequently? If there is indeed such a relationship, they suggest, promoting apple consumption could help reduce healthcare costs.
The study used publicly available cross-sectional data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Participants were categorized as either apple eaters or non-apple eaters based on their self-reported apple consumption in an average 24-hour period. They were also categorized as either avoiding or not avoiding the use of healthcare services in the past year. The data was statistically analyzed to test whether there was an association between apple consumption and several dependent variables: physician visits, hospital stays, use of mental health services, and use of prescription medication.
Although apple eaters were slightly more likely to have avoided physician visits, this relationship was not statistically significant after adjusting for various relevant factors. No association was found between apple consumption and hospital stays or mental health service use. However, apple eaters were found to be slightly more likely to have avoided using prescription medication. Based on these results, the authors conclude that an apple a day does not keep the doctor away, but it may keep the pharmacist away. They suggest that this finding could have implications for reducing healthcare costs, considering the high annual costs of prescription medication and the inexpensiveness of apples.
However, the authors also note several limitations of the study: most importantly, that apple eaters are likely to differ from non-apple eaters in ways that may have confounded the results (for example, apple eaters may be more likely to be health-conscious). To establish any causal relationship between apple consumption and avoidance of medication, they recommend experimental research.
An article summary like the above would be appropriate for a stand-alone summary assignment. However, you’ll often want to give an even more concise summary of an article.
For example, in a literature review or meta analysis you may want to briefly summarize this study as part of a wider discussion of various sources. In this case, we can boil our summary down even further to include only the most relevant information.
Using national survey data, Davis et al. (2015) tested the assertion that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” and did not find statistically significant evidence to support this hypothesis. While people who consumed apples were slightly less likely to use prescription medications, the study was unable to demonstrate a causal relationship between these variables.
Citing the source you’re summarizing
When including a summary as part of a larger text, it’s essential to properly cite the source you’re summarizing. The exact format depends on your citation style , but it usually includes an in-text citation and a full reference at the end of your paper.
You can easily create your citations and references in APA or MLA using our free citation generators.
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Finally, read through the article once more to ensure that:
- You’ve accurately represented the author’s work
- You haven’t missed any essential information
- The phrasing is not too similar to any sentences in the original.
If you’re summarizing many articles as part of your own work, it may be a good idea to use a plagiarism checker to double-check that your text is completely original and properly cited. Just be sure to use one that’s safe and reliable.
A summary is a short overview of the main points of an article or other source, written entirely in your own words.
A summary is always much shorter than the original text. The length of a summary can range from just a few sentences to several paragraphs; it depends on the length of the article you’re summarizing, and on the purpose of the summary.
You might have to write a summary of a source:
- As a stand-alone assignment to prove you understand the material
- For your own use, to keep notes on your reading
- To provide an overview of other researchers’ work in a literature review
- In a paper , to summarize or introduce a relevant study
To avoid plagiarism when summarizing an article or other source, follow these two rules:
- Write the summary entirely in your own words by paraphrasing the author’s ideas.
- Cite the source with an in-text citation and a full reference so your reader can easily find the original text.
An abstract concisely explains all the key points of an academic text such as a thesis , dissertation or journal article. It should summarize the whole text, not just introduce it.
An abstract is a type of summary , but summaries are also written elsewhere in academic writing . For example, you might summarize a source in a paper , in a literature review , or as a standalone assignment.
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If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.
McCombes, S. (2022, November 04). How to Write a Summary | Guide & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved March 7, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/working-with-sources/how-to-summarize/
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Best Text Summarizing Tool for Academic Writing [Free]
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⚙️ 12 Best Summarizing Tools
🤔 how to summarize an article without plagiarizing, 📝 how to proofread your summary, 🔗 references, 12 summary tools for academic writing to consider.
We’re here to offer the whole list of text summarizers in this article. Every tool has a strong algorithm so you won’t have to proofread a lot in order to make the summary look hand-written. The usage of such websites can be productive for your studying as long as you can focus on more important tasks and leave this routine work to online tools.
In this blog post, you’ll also find tips on successful summarizing and proofreading. These are basic skills that you will need for many assignments. To summarize text better, you’ll need to read it critically, spot the main idea, underline the essential points, and so on. As for proofreading, this skill is useful not only to students but also to professional writers.
To summarize a text, a paragraph or even an essay, you can find a lot of tools online. Here we’ll list some of these, including those that allow choose the percent of similarity and define the length of the text you’ll get.
If you’re asked to summarize some article or paragraph in your own words, one of these summary makers can become significant for getting fast results. Their user-friendly design and accurate algorithms play an important role in the summary development.
1. Summarize Bot
Summarize Bot is an easy-to-use and ad-free software for fast and accurate summary creation in our list. With its help, you can save your time for research by compressing texts. The summary maker shows the reading time, which it saves for you, and other useful statistics. To summarize any text, you should only send the message in Facebook or add the bot to Slack. The app works with various file types: including PDF, mp3, DOC, TXT, jpg, etc., and supports almost every language.
The only drawback is the absence of web version. If you don’t have a Facebook account and don’t want to install Slack, you won’t be able to enjoy this app’s features.
SMMRY has everything you need for a perfect summary—easy to use design, lots of features, and advanced settings (URL usage). If you look for a web service that changes the wording, this one would never disappoint you.
SMMRY allows you to summarize the text not only by copy-pasting but also with the file uploading or URL inserting. The last one is especially interesting. With this option, you don’t have to edit an article in any way. Just put the URL into the field and get the result. The tool is ad-free and doesn’t require registration.
3. Tools4Noobs summarize tool
Tools4Noobs summarize tool is a comfortable article summarizer with a wide range of settings. You can use Threshold function to limit the number of sentences based on relevance or reduce the summary to a specific length. Here it is also possible to see the main keywords or highlight them in the text. The software works with texts you insert or you can give it URL you want to summarize.
The website is ad-free and if you like it, you can support its developers by donating some money. Also, there are plenty of other useful tools and calculators for students.
4. Split Brain Summary Tool
Split Brain Summary Tool is a helpful app to summarize texts and articles in a great variety of languages. You can choose one of thirty-nine languages to make a couple of sentences on your article!
The difference in summaries also can be produced by the summarization ratio. You can change it from 5% to 80% controlling the density of paraphrasing.
There’s also a possibility to insert an URL instead of the text. However, there is no option to import a file or export the result to PDF, DOC, or any other popular format. The website is ad-free and contains lots of other useful tools for students.
TextSummarization tool allows you to put the text into the field or give a link to a source where your article is posted. Then, set the number of sentences you want to have in your text. This summary maker analyzes your nonfiction text and extracts the exact number of sentences you’re aiming at.
The website is free, however, it contains ads, so make sure you turned on the ad-blocker. Also, the tool doesn’t let its users import files or export the result to TXT, PDF, or Doc for other popular formats.
6. Text Compactor
Text Compactor is a free summarizing tool where you have to set the percentage of text to keep in summary. The website is ad-free and doesn’t require registration. Its users can choose the output result within the range of 1-100%. If you are not satisfied with the result, change the percentage and try again. Although the tool is easy-to-use, it doesn’t allow users to import files or URLs and save the result into the popular file types.
Resoomer is another paraphrasing and summarizing tool that works with several languages. You’re free to use the app in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
This online tool may be considered as one of the best text summarizers in IvyPanda ranking, because it allows performing many custom settings. For example, you can click to Manual and set the size of the summary (in percent or words). You can also set the number of keywords for the tool to focus on.
Among its drawbacks, we would mention that the software works only with argumentative texts and won’t reword other types correctly. Also, free version contains lots of ads and does not allow its users to import files. The premium subscription costs 4.90€ per month or 39.90€/year.
Summarizer is another good way to summarize any article you read online. This simple Chrome extension will provide you with a summary within a couple of clicks. Install the add-on, open the article or select the piece of text you want to summarize and click the button “Summarize”.
The software processes various texts in your browser, including long PDF articles. The result of summarizing has only 7% of the original article. This app is great for all who don’t want to read long publications. However, it doesn’t allow you to import file or download the result.
Simplifly is one more way to summarize a scientific article for your research. The rules are the same – install the free Chrome extension, open the website, and get a summary.
The software is ad-free, doesn’t require registration, and has no character limits. It works great with online articles and news websites; however, it doesn’t support PDF articles and scientific journals. You can’t summarize doc or any other file, vary or download the result.
Autosummarizer is a great tool for those in hurry. It has a minimum of functions and produces short summaries. Users can set up from 5 to 10 sentences of the output result. The tool is free and requires no registration.
However, it doesn’t allow you to summarize files or web pages. Also, you should have ad-blocker to keep yourself away from ads on this website.
11. AppZaza Article Summarizer
AappZaza Article Summarizer is one more simple summary creator for your academic and professional needs. The software is free and doesn’t require registration. However, you might be distracted with lots of ads around the tool.
The app is simple and to reword a text, you need only type it or paste the article and click “Summarize Article” button. To get better results, try to summarize only well-structured documents. The software does not support import files or export the summary to any popular format.
Also, the appZaza website contains a lot of useful tools and apps that may come in handy for every student.
12. Summary Generator
The last article and essay Summary Generator in our list which can be helpful for your experience in college or university. This is free open software everyone can use.
The tool has only two buttons—one to summarize the document and the other to clear the field. With this software, you’ll get a brief summary based on your text. You don’t have to register there to get your document shortened.
Speaking about drawbacks of the website, we would mention too many ads and no options to summarize a URL or document, set up the length of the result and export it to the popular file types.
These were the best online summarizing tools to deal with the task effectively. We hope some of them became your favorite summarizers, and you’ll use them often in the future.
Of course, there are times when you can’t depend on online tools. For example, you may be restricted to use them in a class or maybe you have to highlight some specific paragraphs and customizing the tool’s settings would take more time and efforts than summary writing itself.
In this chapter, you’ll learn to summarize a long article, essay, research paper, report, or a book chapter with the help of helpful tips, a logical approach, and a little bit of creativity.
Here are some methods to let you create a fantastic summary.
- Know your goal. To choose the right route to your goal, you need to understand it perfectly. Why should you summarize the text? What is its style: scientific or publicistic? Who is the author? Where was the article published? There are many significant questions that can help to adapt your text better. Develop a short interview to use during the summary writing. Include all the important information on where you need to post the text and for what purpose.
- Thorough reading. To systemize your thoughts about the text, it’s significant to investigate it in detail. Read the text two or more times to grasp the basic ideas of the article and understand its goals and motives. Give yourself all the time you need to process the text. Often we need a couple of hours to extract the right results from the study or learn to paraphrase the text properly.
- Highlight the main idea. When writing a summary, you bear a responsibility for the author. Not only you have to extract the significant idea of the text but to paraphrase it correctly. It’s important not to misrepresent any of the author’s conclusions in your summary. That’s why you should find the main idea and make sure, you can paraphrase it without a loss of meaning. If possible, read a couple of professional reviews of a targeted book chapter or article. It can help you to analyze the text better.
- Mark the arguments. The process of summarizing is always easier if you have a marker to highlight important details in the text. If you don’t have a printed text, there’s always Microsoft Word to use a highlight tool on the paper. Try to mark all arguments, statistics, and facts in the text to represent them in your summary. This information will turn into key elements of the summary you’ll create, so keep attention on what you highlight exactly.
- Take care of plagiarism. Before you start writing, learn what percent of originality should you aim at. Various projects have different requirements. And they determine how many efforts you should put into writing to get a perfect summary your teacher will like. Depending on the percent of originality, build a plan for your short text. Allow yourself copy as much information as allowed to save your time.
- Build a structure. With the help of key elements, which you’ve highlighted in the text, it’s possible to create a powerful structure including all the interesting facts and arguments. Develop an outline according to a basic structure – introduction, body, and conclusion. Even if your summary is extremely short, the main idea should sound in both the first and last sentences.
- Write a draft. If you’re not a professional writer, it can be extremely difficult to develop a text with the correct word count on the first try. We advise you to develop a general text firstly – include all the information without controlling the number of sentences.
- Cut out the unnecessary parts. On this step, you should edit the draft and eliminate the unnecessary parts. Keep in mind, the number of sentences your summary must contain. Make sure the main point is fully represented in the text. You can cut out any sentence except those concluding the significant arguments.
- Wordiness – you should delete unnecessary words, which make it difficult to understand the text
- Common mistakes – mistakes made in academic papers are basically the same, so it’s helpful to have an article like this one when you’re proofreading
- Appropriate terminology – for each topic, there’s a list of the terminology you can use
- Facts and statistics – you can accidently write a wrong year or percent, make sure to avoid these mistakes
- Quotes – every quote should be written correctly and have a link to its source.
Now, when you know how to summarize an article, it’s time to edit your text whether it’s your own writing or a summary generator’s results.
In this chapter, you’ll see the basic ways to proofread any type of text: academic paper (essay, research paper, etc.), article, letter, book’s chapter, and so on.
- Proofread your summary. Are there times when you can’t remember an appropriate synonym? Then you should use Thesaurus and analogous services from time to time. They can expand your vocabulary a lot and help to find the right words even in the most challenging situations.
- Pay attention to easily confused words. It’s especially significant if you edit a nonfiction text – there’s a number of words people often confuse without even realizing. English Oxford Living Dictionaries have a list of these word pairs so you won’t miss any.
- Proofread one type of mistakes at a time. To edit a paper properly don’t split your attention to grammar and punctuation—this way you can miss dozens of mistakes. To get more accurate results, read the first time to edit the style, the second to eliminate grammar mistakes, and the third to proofread punctuation. Take as many times as you need to concentrate on each type.
- Take a rest from your paper. If you use an online summarizing tool, you can skip this step. But if you’ve been writing a paper for several hours and now trying to edit it without taking a break, it may be a bad idea. Why? Because without a fresh pair of eyes there’s a great possibility not to spot even obvious mistakes. Give yourself some time to slightly forget the text—go for a walk or call a friend, and then return to work as a new person.
- Hire a proofreader. If you need to get perfect results, think about hiring a professional. Skills and qualification, which they have, guarantee a perfect text without any mistakes or style issues. Once you find a proofreader, you can optimize your work perfectly. Search for specialists on freelance websites like UpWork — it’s comfortable and safe to use. Of course, there’s one flaw you should think about—hiring a pro is expensive. So, everyone should decide on their own whether they need to spend this money or not.
- Switch your paper with a friend. If you can’t afford a professional editor, there’s a less expensive option—ask a friend to look through your paper and proofread theirs in return. Make sure, you both make manual editing, not just check it with Microsoft Office or analogous software. Although there are great grammar tools, they still can’t spot many mistakes obvious to a human.
- Use grammar checking tools. We recommend you not to depend on multiple grammar tools. But the assistance it can offer is irreplaceable. Start your proofreading by scanning your text with Grammarly or an analogous tool. The service detects many types of errors including confusing words’ pairs, punctuation, misspellings, wordiness, incorrect word order, unfinished sentences, and so on. Of course, you should never correct the mistakes without thinking on every specific issue. Tools not only miss a lot of mistakes but they also can be wrong about your errors.
- Read aloud. It’s amazing how different the written text can sound when read aloud. If you practice this proofreading method, you know that many mistakes can be spotted if you actually pronounce the text. Why does it happen? People understand information better if they perceive it with the help of different senses. You can use this trick even in learning— memorize the materials with the help of reading, listening, and speaking.
These tips are developed to help students proofread their papers easily. We hope this chapter and the post itself create a helpful guide on how to summarize an article.
Here you found the best summarizing tools, which are accessible online and completely free, and learned to summarize various texts and articles on your own.
Text Summarizing FAQs
- Use your own words . Try to avoid paraphrasing the text sentence by sentence.
- Use special software to check your summary for plagiarism. There are many free plagiarism checkers to be found online.
- Do not forget that presenting other authors’ ideas without any reference to them, even when done in your own words, is also plagiarism. Be sure to refer to the source when working on your text.
- Read the text thoroughly to make sure that you understand its main idea quite well.
- Write an introduction . Formulate there the main idea of the text. Articulate it very clearly, make a short statement.
- Put your source away and write the body of your summary without looking into it . If you feel that you’ve forgotten something important, go back to the source and reread the whole story. Then go on working on your summary.
- A Language Independent Algorithm for Single and Multiple Document Summarization: aclweb.org
- 4 of the Best Online Summarizer Tools to Shorten Text: maketecheasier
- Summarizing: University of Toronto
- 5 Easy Summarizing Strategies for Students: ThoughtCo.
- 3 Advantages of Automatic Text Summarization: Ezine Articles
- Comparative Study of Text Summarization Methods: Semantic Scholar
- A Review on Automatic Text Summarization Approaches: Journal of Computer Science
- How to Write a Summary: UTEP
- How to Write a Summary: UW
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This page is for anyone interested in creating a summary for an essay or any other written work. It lists the best online summarizing tools and gives advice on how to summarize an article well. Finally, you'll find tips on how to properly proofread your summary.
TLDR This is a Free online text summarizing tool that automatically condenses long articles, documents, essays, or papers into key summary paragraphs using
You can also summarize PDF and TXT documents by uploading a file or summarize online articles and webpages by pasting the URL below.
With the help of Resoomer, go to the main idea of your articles to write your arguments and critiques. READERS. Save time, summarize your digital documents for
You can learn how to summarize an article with summarize apps. Use summarizing tool to summarize research articles, papers amd long text for
Writing an article SUMMARY · Introduction. Give an overview of the article, including the title and the name of the author. · Body Paragraphs. Use the body
Scholarcy, the online article summarizer tool, reads your research articles, reports and book chapters in seconds and breaks them down into bite
In writing your summary, you need to clearly state the name of the author and the name of the article, essay, book, or other source.
Step 1: Read the text · Scan the article quickly to get a sense of its topic and overall shape. · Read the article carefully, highlighting
QuillBot's summarizer is trusted by millions worldwide to condense long articles, papers, or documents into key summary paragraphs using state-of-the-art
Summarizer is another good way to summarize any article you read online. This simple Chrome extension will provide you with a summary within a couple of clicks.