Summary Skills
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Summary Skills



How to write a summary, components of a summary and a sample summary.

How to write a summary, components of a summary and a sample summary.



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Summary Skills Summary Skills Presentation Transcript

  • What is a Summary ?
    • A summary is a condensed version of a larger piece of writing, usually 1/4 of the original.
    • Before writing a summary, one has to identify the topic, thesis, all the main ideas and
    • major supporting details of the original work.
    • All the information in the summary should be paraphrased into one or two paragraphs.
    • Use a few signal words (transitions) to show the connection of supporting details to each main idea.
    • Good summary writing is a skill that takes at least two drafts, to avoid lifting words directly from
        • the original work. Concise writing, in your own words, will serve you well
        • in college and in the workplace.
  • Components of a Summary
    • Title/Topic
    • First Sentence – State the title, author, and thesis
    • State all the main ideas (MI) and major supporting details (MSD).
    • Use signal words (transitions) to show the relationship of ideas.
    • Indicate the full source at the bottom of your summary,
    • using the MLA (Modern Language Association) format:
    • author’s last name, first. “title of essay.” Magazine , day month year: page.
    • Rosenblatt, Roger. “An Old Lady and a Young Lady.” Time 15 Sept. 1977: 116.
  • Steps to Writing a Summary
    • Read the original in its entirety for the author’s thesis and main points.
    • Next take notes,map out or make an outline of all of the information you are going to use in your summary. This helps you see the relationship of the author’s ideas.
    • Write a rough draft of the summary paragraph,answering the who, what, when, where, why and how.
    • 4. Check to make sure that all the requirements of what is in a summary is included.
    • 5. Rewrite the summary for the final version, making sure you only have a limit of one direct quote.
  • What’s in a summary ?
    • YES
    • The topic
    • The thesis
    • All the main ideas (MI)
    • All the major supporting details (MSD)
    • Only one direct quote, reserved for statistics
    • Your own words
    • Cite your source
    • NO
    • Opinions/your commentary
    • Minor details
    • Examples
    • Repetitions
    • Copying numerous lines from the original source
    • Any information not stated in the original source or information from a secondary source
  • Hancock, Ophelia H. Reading Skills for College Students. Sixth Edition, Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2004, 17-43. Sample Summary Ophelia H. Hancock in “Context Clues,” discusses the various types of context clues. Vocabulary is important in reading, so one has to take concrete measures to insure its development. There are five steps in learning new vocabulary. First, assess the extent of the vocabulary problem. Do you really need to know the unknown word to figure out the meaning of the sentence? Look for new words that you don’t know. After finding a new word, write it down and its definition. For a quick review, use note cards or a notebook to keep a vocabulary journal. Next, it is important to use the word. Therefore, with the word’s meaning, one should write a sentence that will help recall the meaning. The fifth step is to review all new vocabulary periodically so that they will become a permanent part of your reading, writing and speaking. A reader should always use context clues to help figure out the meaning of words. Context clues are words in sentences that come before, in, or after the sentence containing the word you are trying to understand. There are six types of context clues. Restatement is saying the word again in another easier way. Synonyms are words that have the same or similar meaning. A familiar synonym can make the unknown synonym meaningful. The use of an antonym, helps one to understand the unknown word by realizing the opposite meaning. Another context clue type is definition, signaled by “that is,” bold print, or punctuation like a colon. Finally, explanations are clues that a writer uses when he gives an example or description of what he means.