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Keys to summarizing

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Guide to Summarizing …

Guide to Summarizing
Who, What, When, Why, Where, How....
Makes for a good start
My OSSLC course only please


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  • 1. Keys to Summarizing
    Adapted from: Benner, P.1997. Breakthroughs in Critical Reading. Developing critical reading skills. pp. 31
  • 2. How To Summarize
    You need to find the main idea and important details
    You don’t include every bit of information, only what is necessary to understand what’s happening
  • 3. Read This Passage
    The old lady knelt in the soft, spring earth. She was planting flowers in her garden. Her wrinkled hands dug the hole for each plant. Carefully, she placed a purple petunia in the first hole and then patted the dirt back to fill in the empty space. Then she dug the next hole.
    “A red one here, I think,” she said to herself.
    Soon all the plants were in place. Gently she gave each one water.
    “There!” she said, talking to herself again. “Even if the doc says I won’t live to see it, there’ll be a mass of bright color here in a few months. At least I can leave something pretty behind for other folks to enjoy.”
  • 4. Summarizing a Paragraph
    The old lady knelt in the soft, spring earth. She was planting flowers in her garden. Her wrinkled hands dug the hole for each plant. Carefully, she placed a purple petunia in the first hole and then patted the dirt back to fill in the empty space. Then she dug the next hole.
    “A red one here, I think,” she said to herself.
    Soon all the plants were in place. Gently she gave each one water.
    “There!” she said, talking to herself again. “Even if the doc says I won’t live to see it, there’ll be a mass of bright color here in a few months. At least I can leave something pretty behind for other folks to enjoy.”
    Who?
    Did what?
    Where?
    When?
    Why?
  • 5. Summarizing a Paragraph
    Who?
    Did what?
    Where?
    When?
    Why?
    Now write a summary statement by filling in the blanks below
    ________________________________________________
    Who? Did what? Where?
    ________________________________________________
    When? Why?
    *Your summary may be more than one sentence long.
  • 6. Thinking Skills
    Based on the information in the paragraph, choose the answer that best completes this sentence:
    The old lady believes that
    A) bright colours look terrible
    B) planting flowers isn’t worth the trouble
    C) she should be paid to do gardening
    D) she is going to die soon
    E) she will enjoy the flowers next spring
  • 7. Thinking Skills
    The old lady knelt in the soft, spring earth. She was planting flowers in her garden. Her wrinkled hands dug the hole for each plant. Carefully, she placed a purple petunia in the first hole and then patted the dirt back to fill in the empty space. Then she dug the next hole.
    “A red one here, I think,” she said to herself.
    Soon all the plants were in place. Gently she gave each one water.
    “There!” she said, talking to herself again. “Even if the doc says I won’t live to see it, there’ll be a mass of bright color here in a few months. At least I can leave something pretty behind for other folks to enjoy.”
    Based on the information in the paragraph, choose the answer that best completes this sentence:
    The old lady believes that
    A) bright colours look terrible
    B) planting flowers isn’t worth the trouble
    C) she should be paid to do gardening
    D) she is going to die soon
    E) she will enjoy the flowers next spring
  • 8. Read This Passage
    Recently, some toy manufacturers have asked children to try out newly designed toys. One company has a special room in its factory where children may come to play for a six-week period. Toy designers then watch the children as they play. The designers want to know which toys appeal most to children, which toys hold up the best. They are also concerned about the safety of each toy. By watching children play, toy designers can predict which toys will be good sellers for their company.
  • 9. Summarizing a Paragraph
    Recently, some toy manufacturers have asked children to try out newly designed toys. One company has a special room in its factory where children may come to play for a six-week period. Toy designers then watch the children as they play. The designers want to know which toys appeal most to children, which toys hold up the best. They are also concerned about the safety of each toy. By watching children play, toy designers can predict which toys will be good sellers for their company.
    Who?
    Did what?
    Where?
    When?
    Why?
  • 10. Summarizing a Paragraph
    Who?
    Did what?
    Where?
    When?
    Why?
    Now write a summary statement by filling in the blanks below
    _____________________________________
    Who? Did what? Where?
    _____________________________________
    When? Why?
    *Your summary may be more than one sentence long.
  • 11. Thinking Skills
    Which of the following toys might be dangerous? Put a check by each dangerous toy. You may choose more than one.
    A) A toy for a two-to-three-year-old with sharp pointed ends
    B) a round, red rubber ball, about six inches in diameter
    C) a teddy bear with small button eyes for an infant
    D) a carved wooden truck with smooth edges
  • 12. Summarizing a Longer passage
    The Effects of Crack on Babies
    When people think about drug addicts they usually don’t picture newborn babies, but annually thousands of American children are born addicted to crack cocaine. Unborn children become addicted because their mothers use crack regularly during pregnancy, and after birth these babies suffer through painful withdrawal like any other addict.
    The physical effects of crack on infants are varied. Often crack addicted babies are unusually small. Sometimes they are unresponsive, irritable, and likely to cry more than other infants. As these children grow older, they also have difficulty concentrating on schoolwork because they have short attention spans.
    At first doctors thought that children exposed to crack would be permanently affected, but recent research suggests that most of crack’s physical effects on children are relatively minor problems that eventually fade. However, these children are still at risk in other ways. Crack-exposed children tend to develop serious physical and emotional problems because of inadequate care they receive from parents who are addicted to drugs themselves.
    Thankfully, doctors now believe that with early intervention these children can develop normally. For example, proper nutrition can help dangerously tiny babies gain weight and drug treatment programs can help their parents reject crack and create a healthy home environment for their children.
  • 13. Fill in the following chart with the main idea and the three major supporting ideas from the passage
    Main idea
    Supporting idea
    (paragraph 4)
    Supporting idea
    (paragraph 2)
    Supporting idea
    (paragraph 3)
    * Based on the chart above, write a two or three sentence summary of the article
  • 14. Summarizing a Paragraph
    Who?
    Did what?
    Where?
    When?
    Why?
    Now write a summary statement by filling in the blanks below
    _____________________________________
    Who? Did what? Where?
    _____________________________________
    When? Why?
    *Your summary may be more than one sentence long.