Writing a summary
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Writing a Summary. To reproduce the main idea of a passage without rewriting most of the piece. Read Carefully. Look for the writer’s purpose…why are they writing? the controlling idea the major supporting points important terms. Underline the Main Idea.

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Writing a Summary

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Writing a summary

Writing a Summary

To reproduce the main idea of a passage without rewriting most of the piece


Read carefully

Read Carefully

Look for

  • the writer’s purpose…why are they writing?

  • the controlling idea

  • the major supporting points

  • important terms


Underline the main idea

Underline the Main Idea

Mark any strong statements which show what the author thinks


Annotate as you read

Annotate as You Read

  • Jot down questions about what the author says or means

  • How are ideas in the passage connected

  • Use your own symbols to mark up the passage (circling words you don’t know etc.)

  • Make notes in the margins


Consider the author s biases assumptions

Consider the Author’s Biases & Assumptions

  • What does the author believe that is not obviously stated?

  • Read between the lines

  • What tone does the author take?

  • How does the tone tell you how the author feels about his/her subject?


Writing the summary

Writing the Summary

  • Use the author’s entire name in your first sentence, but in later sentences use his/her last name only

  • State the name of the article in your first sentence

  • Use quotes around article/chapter titles, and italicize publication titles

  • Use present tense verbs with the author’s name. Write: Manning says; Payton explains, etc.


Main idea

Main Idea

  • State the main idea early in the summary

  • Show the connections between supporting ideas

  • Use your own wording and your own writing style


Quotes

Quotes

  • Use quotations effectively to support and show

  • Don’t overdo it

  • Make a quotation part of a sentence

  • In Johnson’s “Way of the West,” he argues that the myth of the cowboy as a “self-made man battling the elements by use of his survival instincts” does not tell the whole truth (44).


Keep your opinions and ideas to yourself

Keep Your Opinions and Ideas to Yourself

  • Do not change the author’s meaning in any way

  • Repeat the author’s name from time to time for transition

  • Keep the summary short---about ¼ the original


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