Learning Objectives To learn a proven method in summarising any given text. To see how summarising is done, step-by-step, to achieve the highest marks possible.
IntroductionJust to bring you up-to-speed in some statistics in one of the toughest sections in English Language paper – Summary1) Most students fail it – it requires a mix bag of skills, more than any other section.2) It contains 8 marks – so most students do poorly in English as they fail this section.3) It is complex – the question contains many parts that each needs its own explanation to understand it.
On the other hand... It is important to state at the onset that the examiners will also provide plenty of relevant points for you to summarise. In other words, searching for points in the passage to score for summary is not difficult. You just need to know how and where to look for them. Lets start!
Mastering Summary - Step 1 Step 1: Underline the key ideas in the questionThe key ideas are easily found as they happen right after summarise.Take note where your points should be sourced from.
Example for Questions Key Ideas Step 1: Underline the key ideas in the questionIn Paragraph 4, the writer states that “many people associated the Enron fraud with the Bush tax cuts.” (lines 23 – 24)Using material from paragraphs 4 to 5 of the passage (lines 23 – 49), summarise the writers rebuttal of this view and her recommendations to address the flaws in the capitalist system.Write your summary in no more than 120 words, not counting the opening words which are printed below. Use your own words as far as possible.
Mastering Summary - Step 2 Step 2 – Scan for relevant pointsUnderline the relevant points in the passage. Remembering to:1) Number them – you need at least 8 points.2) Compare them – whether the key ideas are what the summary question wants
Example for ComparisonSummarise the writers rebuttal of the view that Enron fraud was related to Bush tax cuts. It is irrational. Tax reductions promote economic growth and employment. Corruption should be seen as an illegal act in itself. Q: Do the points you have chosen match the key ideas highlighted?
Mastering Summary - Step 3 You need to paraphrase using these key strategies.1) Synonyms and Antonyms2) Active and passive voice or repositioning subject3) Classification and Examples
Paraphrasing Strategy – Syn & Ant This is the most common method employed. Avoid word-for-word substitution. Rather, paraphrase the key idea of the sentence/s. A person was seen as responsible for his own actions during the war when there is mass killing. Ans 1: A person is regarded as being accountable for his behaviour during a conflict when there is a large number of deaths. Ans 2 : Man was regarded as being accountable for his atrocities during a war. Q: Which is correct?
Paraphrasing Strategy – Voice Sometimes, by changing the structure of the sentence, including shifting the subject to elsewhere, you can re-express the key idea in your own way. Small group discussions with participation by no more than 12 to 15 people enables teachers to know their pupils more intimately. A: Teachers can understand students better if class discussions are held in small teams.
Paraphrasing Strategy – ClassificationClassification or example is especially useful when attempting summary questions.S: The indicators used are GDP, trade balance and competitive index.A: The government relies on financial/economic figures.S: Companies advertise through the mass media.A: Businesses promote their products and services through the radio, newspapers and television. .
Learning ActivityParaphrase the writers recommendations to address the flaws in the capitalist system.1) The white collar criminals should be brought to justice.2) Auditors have to change more frequently.3) so they are not in bed with corporations or firms.
Learning Activity Answers1) The white collar criminals should be brought to justice.Legal action should be taken against the felons1) Auditors have to change more frequently.Companies need to change their auditors often1) so they are not in bed with corporations or firms.so they will not collude with the companies.Q: What paraphrasing strategy is used for each?
Discussion Why do we need to have a proper approach to summary question? What are the steps in tackling this question?
Discussion The Summary question contains many parts and involve different skills so a method is needed to solve it.1) Analyse Key ideas2) Scan Key ideas3) Compare Key ideas4) Paraphrase with Key StrategiesAcronym – ASCP : all summaries can pass