summaries and book reports n.
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Summaries and Book Reports. I. The summary.

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i the summary
I. The summary
  • A summary is a brief restatement of the essential thought of longer composition. It reproduces the theme of the original with as few words as possible. When we write a summary, we should not interpret or comment. All we have to do is to give the gist of the author’s exact and essential meaning.
1 uses of summary writing
1. Uses of summary writing
  • (1) Summary writing is a very good exercise for improving reading comprehension.
  • (2) Summary writing is also helpful to composition writing.
    • It trains one to express one’s thought clearly, concisely and effectively.
  • (3) Summary writing has practical uses.
    • The ability to grasp quickly and accurately what is read, or heard, and to reproduce it in a clear and concise way is of great value to people of many professions.
2 procedure
2. Procedure
  • (1) Reading
  • A. first read the passage through carefully to get the gist of it.
  • B. give a title to your summary
    • To find a suitable title will help you to define what exactly the subject, or main theme, of the passage is.
  • C. decide what parts of the passage are essential and what parts are comparatively unimportant and can be omitted without much loss.
  • D. jot down in brief notes the main points—the subject, the title, and the important details
2 writing page 264
(2) Writing Page 264
  • A. be about one-third to one-fourth as long as the original passage.
  • B. be all in our own words.
  • C. follow the logical order of the original passage, if possible (and desirable).
  • D. be self-contained, i.e. it must convey the message of the original fully and clearly,
e in writing a summary we may
E. In writing a summary, we may:
  • -Omit the details.-Reduce the examples.-Simplify the descriptions.-Eliminate all repetitions.-Compress wordy sentences and change phrases to words.e.g. “His courage in battle might without exaggeration be called lion-like.”He was very brave in battle.
-Use general words instead of specific words. She brought home several Chinese and English novels, a few copies of Time and Newsweek, and some textbooks. she intended to read all them during the winter vacation.This may be turned into:She brought home a lot of books and magazines to read during the vacation.
  • Kate looked at Paul disapprovingly: “You use much too much salt on your food, Paul—it’s not at all good for you!” Paul put down his knife and frowned: “Why on earth not! If you didn’t have salt on your food it would taste awful…like eating cardboard or sand…just imagine bread without salt in it, or potatoes or pasta cooked without salt!”Kate was patient. She didn’t want to quarrel with Paul. She wanted to persuade him. She said firmly: “But too much salt is bad for you. It causes high blood pressure and later on, heart-attacks. It also disguises the tastes of food, the real tastes, which are much more subtle than salt, and which we have lost the sensitivity to appreciate any more.”Kate suggested to Paul that he should eat less salt. She thought that eating too much salt would do harm to Paul’s health and that it could reduce the real tastes of food. But Paul disagreed. He said that food without salt would be tasteless.
3 revision
(3) Revision
  • Revise your draft. Compare it carefully with the original to see that you have included all the important points.
  • If it is too long, further compress it by omitting unnecessary words and phrases or by remodeling sentences.
  • Correct all mistakes in spelling, grammar and idiom, and see that it is properly punctuated. Make the language simple and direct.
for the summary of a novel or a play
For the summary of a novel or a play
  • an outline of the plot is sufficient. The summary may be only one-hundredth or even one-thousandth of the length of the original book. Usually, it is written in the present tense.
ii the book report
II. The Book Report
  • Writing book reports helps students to improve their reading comprehension and their ability to analyse and evaluate books.
  • Generally speaking, a book report consists of the following three main parts:
    • information about the author and his times,
    • a summary of the book, and
    • comments on it.
a brief account of the author s life should be given together with a description of his times
A brief account of the author’s life should be given together with a description of his times.
  • The latter should include the circumstances that led to the writing of the book under discussion and the historical and social background related to the content of the book.
  • To make these things clear, the writer perhaps needs to read some reference material, such as biographies of the author and histories of the period described in the book.
a summary should be self contained clear and easy to understand
A summary should be self-contained, clear, and easy to understand.
  • Above all, it should be objective.
comments on and evaluation of the book form the third and most important part of a book report
Comments on and evaluation of the book form the third and most important part of a book report.
  • In this part we expresses our own views on the book, names its merits and demerits, and discusses its relevance to the present time.
  • The discussion should center on the content of the book, but the author’s style and techniques of presentation, if interesting, can also be touched upon.
  • Writing an evaluation involves making and justifying judgments.
  • Here are some suggestions for writing an evaluation:-Determine the appropriate criteria for the evaluation.-Base our evaluation on clear and sufficient evidence.-Let readers see how we arrive at our judgment.-Arrange our arguments in logical order—perhaps in order of increasing importance.
the book report
The Book Report
  • Book reports can help learners improve their reading comprehension and enhance their ability to analyze the story and the characters. Generally speaking, a book report is usually composed of three major parts. They are:
1.information about the writer (his name, the books he has published, the years of his birth and death, the publisher of the book) 2.a summary of the book (the story and main characters) 3.some comments on the book (personal interpretation of the meaning of the book)
When giving the information about the writer, the learner writer should include some historical and social background to which the book is related. To make things clear, the learner writer should read some reference materials, such as biographies of the writer and histories of the period in which the book was written.
  • A book report should contain a summary of the book under discussion. The summary should be concise, clear and easy to understand. The learner writer should make sure that the summary be subjective and center on the major theme of the book.
As for the tense of the book report, it depends on the subject matter of the book. If it is a novel or a play or a science fiction, the present tense is more appropriate while the past tense is required for nonfiction such as history books.
The third part and also the most important part of a book report is the comment. In this part, the learner writer's job is to evaluate the book according to his or her own personal interpretation and discuss the merits (优点) and demerits (缺点) of the book, the social and/or historical significance of the book. If the learner writer is competent enough to discuss the writing style of the author, he or she should feel free to do so.
the book report a sample
The Book Report - A Sample
  • Sons and Lovers is a novel written by David Herbert Lawrence and it was first published in 1913 in London by Wyman & Sons.
D. H. Lawrence was born at Eastwood, Notts, on September 11, 1885, the fourth child of a miner who had been employed at Brinsley Colliery since he was 7 years old. In 1911, his first novel The White Peacock was published.
  • Sons and Lovers is divided into two parts and is composed of 15 chapters altogether. the story, set in England, can be interpreted as an autobiographical novel of Lawrence
The hero of the book, Paul Morel, is the second son of a miner's family. His mother, Mrs. Morel, is a daughter of a mid-class family. Because of the differences in family background and education, a shadow is soon cast upon the married life of Mrs. Morel. And this shadow is darkened by Mr. Morel's laziness and alcoholism. By misfortune or bad luck, Mr. Morel has an accident and becomes a cripple, which changes him into a man of bad temper.
As a result, the couple shares less and less the things in common and is driven farther and farther apart from each other. Little by little, Mrs. Morel transports her attention and love to her children, especially her two sons, William and Paul. She encourages them to leave the small mining region for a big city to find opportunities for a better life.
After the death of her first son, William, because of hard work and pneumonia, Mrs. Morel's divided attention and love is poured completely upon Paul. The mother's abnormal love robs Paul of his normal love for his girl friend.
Sons and Lovers has always been claimed since its publication to be another version of Oedipus complex*. But D. H. Lawrence is in no sense an imitator. Sons and Lovers is truly an autobiographical novel. It describes an ordinary life of a coal miner's family. The abnormal love from the mother deprives Paul of his independent personality and mental health. It is perhaps because of this true picture of life that the novel has won Lawrence everlasting reputation.
selected books
Selected Books
  • Jack London
  • D.H.Lawrence
  • Charles Dickens
  • Mark Twain