Writing a chapter summary
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  • 1. Writing a Chapter Summary
    Chapter 1
  • 2. What is a summary?
    A brief restatement, in your own words, of the content of a passage.
    In your case, it will be a chapter.
    The key is to focus on the central idea.
  • 3. Write a brief summary for the following image:
  • 4. A summary requires Interpretation
    Write a summary of the following image:
  • 5. Guidelines for writing a summary for a longer passage:
    Include all of the main points.
    The main points will reflect the order and emphasis given to them by the original author.
    It may include important examples
    It will not include minor details
    It will not repeat points
    It will not contain your opinions or conclusions
  • 6. A good summary will include the following:
    Brevity
    Completeness
    Objectivity
  • 7. Objectivity?
    Prior knowledge
    Frame of reference
    Make a conscious, good-faith effort to be objective.
  • 8. Reviews of Tar Sands
  • 9. Overview—Summarization
    Condensed—Shorter than the Original
    Tells all the main ideas
    Is objective
  • 10. Purpose of a Summary
    Help you understand what you have read
    Summaries are useful to your readers
    Summaries of chapters will help shape your book report
  • 11. The Reading Process
    Summaries require you to read carefully and allow you to make accurate and coherent discussions that go beyond the summary.
  • 12. Examine the Context
    Credentials, occupation, and publications of the author. Identify the source in which the piece originally appeared.
  • 13. Note the title and subtitle
    They reveal the author’s attitude toward the subject.
  • 14. Read your Chapter
    Find out main ideas
    Know audience
    Know author
  • 15. Indentify the thesis of your chapter
    Nikiforuk, most famous for his book on Wiebo Ludwig, "Saboteurs", now returns with a book that looks at the massive oil sands development in Northern Alberta and shows how the reckless out-of-control exploitation of this resource is having a terrible effect on the environment and the health of the local population.
  • 16. Identify when the introduction ends
    http://blog.sustainablog.org/book-review-andrew-nikiforuk%E2%80%99s-tar-sands-dirty-oil-and-the-future-of-a-continent/
    In his recent book Tar Sands: Diry Oil and the Future of a Continent, Nikiforuk lands a knockout blow on the kissers of the oil industry, oil-friendly bureaucrats, and petrol-guzzling North Americans. It is obvious that this Canadian is sick and tired of watching his own beloved habitat mutate from a pristine Northern ecosystem to a veritable toxic wasteland.
    That said, Nikiforuk is clearly perturbed (another “p” word springs to mind…but this is a family-friendly blog). His book combines intensive research with a lively, caustic writing style…sort of enlightened invective. This makes for an astonishingly entertaining read that raises your hackles while raising your awareness about a seriously dangerous issue.
  • 17. Break the reading into sections
  • 18. Identify the main points
    Identify the main idea or argument in each stage
    What is the main idea of this stage?
    What words or phrases demonstrate the main idea of this section?
    Nikiforuk continuously holds up the oil industry and the all-too-complicit Canadian governments (federal and provincial) for their nonsensical, outright silly approach to the country’s bitumen reserves. The various names given to this resource are themselves telltale signs of the prevailing mindset. Bitumen, which is basically oil-soaked sand, gets called anything but “tar sands” or “dirty oil” by those reaping the benefits and profits from it. No, for them it is oil, plain and simple.
    But Nikiforuk is not fooled: “If that lazy reasoning made sense, Canadians would call every tomato ketchup and every tree lumber.”1 Luckily, though, some Canucks like Nikiforuk are not lulled by the sound of gurgling oil…as most of it flows right out of Canada and down south to the United States.
    Believe it or not, Canada is now a burgeoning player in the global energy market thanks in large part to bitumen. It has become “the largest single exporter of oil to the United States,” bypassing Saudi Arabia and providing “nearly one-fifth of all U.S. oil imports” (2).
  • 19. Write a short summary of each section
    • What are the main ideas of this section?
    • 20. What words or phrases did I highlight?
    • 21. How can I incorporate my label into a sentence describing what this section is about?
    But bitumen is a nasty, truly dirty form of oil–perhaps one of the dirtiest forms of oil or any energy source imaginable. “Each barrel of bitumen,” Nikiforuk states, “produces three times as much greenhouse gas as one barrel of oil” (3). Getting it out of the ground (think sucking cold maple syrup through a straw) requires immense amounts of water, terribly destructive collection methods, and intensive alterations to the environment (through pollution, infrastructure, etc.). As the author so strikingly puts it, “bitumen is the equivalent of scoring heroin cut with sugar, starg, powdered milk, quinine, and strychnine” (16).
    Thus, Nikiforuk argues convincingly, the reckless and desperate turn to bitumen “is a signature of peak oil and a reminder, as every beer drinker knows, that the glass starts full and ends empty” (3). As the world runs out of its precious petrol, desperate measures become required…and just about anything will serve for a quick fix.
  • 22. Conclusion
    Where does the conclusion begin?
    Where does it end? But Tar Sands does enough without offering grand, visionary solutions for the problem. Those are fairly obvious, relatively speaking, by this point. The problem so far, though, has been a sort of self-induced haze of blindness for all players in the bitumen game.
    With Nikiforuk barking and biting at the heels of the oiligarchs stomping around his home turf (i.e., tundra), every Canadian and American will have little difficulty recognizing that bitumen is far too dirty to have a place in the future of our continent.
  • 23. Distinguish between points, examples, and counterarguments
    Note what and how authors make arguments
  • 24. Watch for transitions within and between paragraphs
    Road signs of logic
  • 25. Read actively and recursively
    Engage in a dialogue with the author
  • 26. Guidelines for Writing Summaries
    Freezing at St. Michaels
  • 27. Write a thesis– a one or two sentence summary
  • 28. Write the first draft of your summary
  • 29. Check your summary against the original passage
  • 30. Revise your Summary