3. 1.Read Actively A- Read the paragraph once without highlighting or circling any of its text. This will give you a general idea of the subject and the authors purpose without getting too bogged down in details and descriptions. Pay attention to the authors purpose for writing the paragraph. For example, the author of an American history textbook wrote to inform readers, but the author of a travel brochure might have written to convince readers to make a trip.
4. 1.Read Actively B- Re-read the paragraph while looking for words and phrases that the author repeats. For example, a paragraph in a history textbook on the Emancipation Proclamation might repeat the words "slavery" or "Lincoln," in reference to President Abraham Lincoln. Circle repeated words and phrases.
5. 1.Read Actively C- Underline the paragraphs first sentence, which often contains the paragraphs main idea. A paragraph about Lincoln might begin with the phrase, "President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of civil war."
6. 1.Read Actively D- Cross out unnecessary information in the paragraph. Unnecessary information includes literary descriptions, such as "the first-time visitor to the Greek isles will see sparkling aquamarine seas, craggy hills and beaches of every possible color." It also includes statistics, including "73 percent of Americans in a blind-tasting study preferred brand X peanut butter." Cross out the information with a line that is thin enough for you to read the words beneath the line.
7. 2. Write the Summary
8. 2. Write the Summary A- Write one sentence that describes, in your words, how the key words you circled are connected to each other. For example, in a paragraph on Lincoln, that sentence might be, "President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 to end slavery." Use neutral, unbiased language.
9. 2. Write the Summary B- Add one or two supporting sentences. These sentences might summarize in concise words detail or description in the paragraph, such as "The Greek islands are beautiful" or "Most people prefer brand X peanut butter."
10. 2. Write the Summary C- Compare your summary to the original paragraph. Avoid adding information or opinions that are not in the original paragraph. For example, the author may have wonderful statements about Greece, but avoid writing statements such as, "I would love to visit Greece someday" in your paragraph.
11. 2. Write the Summary D- Compare your paragraphs first sentence with the first sentence of the original paragraph. They should not be exactly the same, but they should convey similar points.
12. 2. Write the Summary E- Read your summary aloud and correct any mistakes. http://www.ehow.com/how_8532998_summarize-paragraph.htm/