Writing an effective summary

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Ideas to help students to write summaries. I used this presentation with my ESCP students

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Writing an effective summary

  1. 1. Writing an Effective SummaryWhat is a summary?What is a summary?A summary is aA summary is a condensedcondensed (much shorter)(much shorter)version of the text.version of the text.Therefore, the summary should be relativelyTherefore, the summary should be relativelyshort and to the point (1/3-1/4 of the originalshort and to the point (1/3-1/4 of the originaltext).text).A summary is NOT a paraphrase of the text.A summary is NOT a paraphrase of the text.
  2. 2. Writing an Effective SummaryAn effective summary isAn effective summary is accurateaccurate..Therefore, you must read the textTherefore, you must read the text closelyclosely andandgain a true understanding of the text before writinggain a true understanding of the text before writingyour summary.your summary.Your summary should accurately represent theYour summary should accurately represent themeaning of the text.meaning of the text.
  3. 3. Writing an Effective SummaryAn effective summary includesAn effective summary includesimportant informationimportant information..The summary must include theThe summary must include the main ideasmain ideas of theof thetext. You do not need to include specific detailstext. You do not need to include specific detailsfrom the text, but include enough information sofrom the text, but include enough information sothat the reader understands the author’sthat the reader understands the author’sideas/information presented.ideas/information presented.Again, you must have a clear understanding ofAgain, you must have a clear understanding ofthe text before writing your summary.the text before writing your summary.
  4. 4. Writing an Effective SummaryAn effective summary isAn effective summary is objectiveobjective.. The summary should only includeThe summary should only include factsfactsand information found in the text.and information found in the text.Do NOT include your ownDo NOT include your own opinionsopinions ororpersonal judgmentspersonal judgments about the information inabout the information inthe text.the text.
  5. 5. Writing an Effective SummaryAn effective summary is NOT a copy ofAn effective summary is NOT a copy ofthe text.the text.This means you need to write the summary usingThis means you need to write the summary usingyour own wordsyour own words..Do NOT copy the text word-for-word.Do NOT copy the text word-for-word.Figure out how to reword what is stated in the textFigure out how to reword what is stated in the textwithoutwithout changing the meaning of the text.changing the meaning of the text.
  6. 6. Writing an Effective SummaryAn effective summaryAn effective summary•is accurateis accurate•includes important informationincludes important information•is objectiveis objective•is NOT a copy of the textis NOT a copy of the text
  7. 7. Steps in Summary Writing1.Read the passage twice.2.Try to understand the passage - Ask yourself questions:What is the author trying to say in this paragraph?3.Identify the main idea:•You should have identified the main idea through theprocess of asking questions.•Pick out the topic sentence in the paragraph.•Leave out the examples that support the key sentence.•Remove redundant words and phrases from keysentences.
  8. 8. Writing an Effective Summary4.Re-express the key points in your own words.5.Write your first draft. EDIT your first draft.6.Count and shorten if need be.7.Write your final draft and pick out any errors.8.Count and write down total number of words.

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