DO YOU KNOW HOW TO WRITE A SUMMARY? A TOOL FOR COLLEGE YOU NEED TO HAVE! THE SUMMARY Knowing how to write a summary is a beneficial tool in college, because it checks your understanding of the reading materials. It can be used as a study guide in preparing for exams, as part of a written assignment for condensing information from an assigned reading or film, relaying a personal experience, or writing a journal entry as a record of class demonstrations A summary forces you to think about the information that you’ve read and taken notes from. Additionally, it further checks your understanding because it requires you to condense that information down to its essential or main parts. WHAT IS IT? A summary is a short, concise method of stating the main idea and significant supporting details of a reading selection or textbook chapter. It can be thought of as a study outline that is connected by sentences rather than numbers, letters, or indentations. A summary condenses a larger piece of work down to its essential parts. WHAT A SUMMARY SHOULD INCLUDE: – – – – – – The main idea of the selection The most essential supporting details or explanations Only the information you have read Objective and factual information from the reading ¼ the length of the original essay Your own words and the use of paraphrasing skills WHAT A SUMMARY SHOULD NOT INCLUDE: – – – Your opinion What you think the author should have said Copied material or a string of quotes from the selection SENTENCE SUMMARIES A good method to build your skills in summary writing is to start by writing summaries of paragraphs. The key for doing this is by using all essential points in a paragraph and condensing them into only a few sentences - expressed in your own words - to reflect the writer's thoughts. A summary statement shows the relationship between several important ideas in a paragraph. SUMMARY STATEMENT A summary statement should include the points from the main idea sentence as well as the essential points from in the supporting sentences. It is brief and to the point! To write the summary statement you put to use the methods of annotation and mapping. Hmm! How much should I write? Summary of a paragraph = MAIN IDEA + Major Details Hints for writing a brief summary for a paragraph: Read the paragraph looking for all the important ideas and facts. ANNOTATE: [Place brackets around the main idea.] Underline key words and phrases that support the main idea. WRITE KEY WORDS IN THE MARGIN Cross out any information that is not important. ORGANIZE: MAKE A MAP! Make a map with the information you underlined and marked. Write a summary that includes all the important information you’ve identified. Paraphrase - don't copy the exact words from the reading; try to put the information in your own words. MAIN IDEA DETAIL 1 DETAIL 2 DETAIL 3 READ: Identify the main idea and the most important details: Computers have become a necessity for both small and large businesses today. It takes a computer less than a second to retrieve information that takes a person several hours to obtain. It is for this reason that banks, airlines, and fast food restaurants rely so heavily on them. In addition, computers can store large amounts of data in a relatively small space. Because of this, offices need less storage space equipment such as file cabinets and supply closets. The Annotation Mi 1 2 [Computers have become a necessity for both small and large businesses today.] It takes a computer less than a second to retrieve information that takes a person several hours to obtain. It is for this reason that banks, airlines, and fast food restaurants rely so heavily on them. In addition, computers can store large amounts of data in a relatively small space. For this reason, offices need less storage space such as file cabinets and supply closets. Map: Computers are important for businesses speed in information retrieval store large amounts of information of data The Short Summary Computers are important for businesses because of their speed in retrieving information and their ability to store large amounts of data in small spaces. YOUR TURN: ANNOTATE, MAP, WRITE A BRIEF SUMMARY : what should you do? See the lab instructor The lab instructor will give you the article to: 1. Read 2. Annotate 3. Map 4. Write a summary 5. After you complete each step, you can click the mouse to see the key so that you can check your work. The next slide shows you the article you will receive from the lab instructor. 1. 2. 3. 4. Read the article carefully. Remember to identify the main idea. Underline & number the essential details. Locate the writer’s conclusion The next slide will show you what your annotation should look like. Main idea The Conclusion Next Step – Create a Map! USE THE INFORMATION THAT YOU ANNOTATED TO CREATE YOUR MAP. PAUSE HERE. WHEN YOU ARE DONE, CHECK YOUR MAP WITH THE SLIDE THAT FOLLOWS. USE THIS TEMPLATE FOR YOUR MAP CHECK YOUR MAP WITH THIS ONE! Now try your skill at writing a summary! When you’re done, check your summary with the example on the next slide. Putting it all together: Sample Summary "The Ecology of War - Earth" The article, "The Ecology of War" by Rick Boling discusses how the once lush country of Lebanon is now faced with a devastated ecological system. He points out how the destructions of war have affected Lebanon's ecology. One such effect is that the country must now import fish from Syria and Turkey due to the nation's inability to enforce laws protecting its seas. Dynamite and poisonous bait have infiltrated the once clean waters of the Mediterranean. The sea is further polluted from unrestricted solid wastes and chemicals that are dumped in the water. The cedar forests have also suffered. Trees have been cut down for camouflage and firewood, while the soil has been dug out for trenches. The vicious shooting of birds has left tree-eating insects to invade the remaining trees. War has also destroyed Lebanon's agricultural industry because the land has been destroyed by negligence, occupying forces, and poor government planning or lack of it. This total damage to Lebanon's ecological system may be irreversible. In conclusion, according to the author, it will take cooperation among the Lebanese citizens as well as the international community to help repair the damage. Congratulations! You are now well prepared to write a wellorganized summary for your classes! ….
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