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TECHNIQUES FOR SUMMARIZING

A summary is a shortened version of another person's words or ideas in a book, an article, or a lecture. Summarizing is an important academic writing skill for writing lecture notes, answering short essay ques­tions, and writing the main points of a speech or text. Summarizing is also frequently used to include information, in a much shorter format, from other sources in research papers, along with the correct doc­umentation (see Appendix III). A good summary

• includes only the main points, not the details;

• does not change the author's ideas;

• does not include your own opinion;

• is much shorter than the original text;

• is written or paraphrased in your own words; AND

• is written in the third person with occasional references to the source.

How to Summarize

• Read the text several times to make sure you understand it.

• Find the topic sentence (usually the first sentence) and any other key points in each paragraph. If you own the publication, you can underline or highlight these key points.

• "Write your own summary, paraphrasing the main points. Make sure you use your own words and vary the grammatical structures.

• Include a reference to the author and title of the article at the beginning of the summary, for example,

According to John Stewart in his article, "The Hurried Life," people are so concerned with making money that they forget the value of quiet moments.

• Include one or more verbs that indicate a reference to a source, for example,

The author argues (suggests, states, concludes, questions, says, reports, tells, asks) that...


Essential Academic Vocabulary

 

1. Summarizing a Paragraph

Read the following paragraph from "Shifting Challenges in Education" in chapter 6. Then read the sam­ple summary of the paragraph. Pay special attention to the author and title references in boldface type.

Original Paragraph

In that first decade of her professional career, however, demographic shifts took place in California. Los Angeles expanded and its suburbs multiplied, and her community became a popular location for recently arrived Mexican immigrants and other Spanish-speaking people coming to California from towns and cities in the southwestern United States. Correspondingly, the proportions of white and minority children in Mrs. Tanner's fifth grade class also began to change. Her white, middle-class stu­dents were joined by African American children whose parents had relocated from the southern Unit­ed States and by children who spoke Spanish in their working-class homes and commuted regularly between the United States and Mexico. The parents of these children, like the grandparents of her earlier students, had come to the United States to find employment with sufficient financial compen­sation to ensure a higher standard of living for their families.

Adapted from Eugene Garcia, Student Cultural Diversity: Understanding and Meeting the Challenge, 3rd ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2002), 4-5.



Sample Summary

According to Eugene Garcia in Student Cultural Diversity: Understanding and Meeting the Challenge, significant changes in the student population in Mrs. Tanner's school began to occur in the first ten years of her teaching career as greater numbers of African Americans and Mexicans arrived in Los Angeles to seek a better life.

2. Summarizing an Article

Read the article "Shifting Challenges in Education" in chapter 6. Next read the main ideas of each para­graph. Then read the sample summary of the article. Pay special attention to the author and title refer­ences in boldface type.

Main Ideas

Paragraph 1 Mrs. Tanner is a fifth-grade teacher in a typical elementary school in southern California.

Paragraph 2 When Mrs. Tanner began teaching in 1981, her students had a background similar to her own, and thus she emphasized active participation to promote academic achievement.

Paragraph 3 Significant changes in the student population in her school began to occur in the first ten years of her teaching career as greater numbers of African Americans and Mexicans arrived in Los Angeles to seek a better life.

Paragraph 4 New arrivals of immigrants from all over the world, escaping from economic and political instability in their own countries, continued to add to the ethnic diversity of her students.

Paragraph 5 Mrs. Tanner recognized that this diversity of languages and cultures required different teaching strategies, despite a lack of support in state funding.

 

 

Appendix IV

 

 

Sample Summary

 

According to Eugene Garcia inStudent Cultural Diversity: Understanding and Meeting the Challenge,Mrs. Tanner is a fifth-grade teacher in atypical elementary school in southern California. When she began teaching in 1981. her students had a background similar to her own, and she has emphasized active participation to promote academic achievement. However, significant changes in the student population in her school began tooccur in those first ten years of her teaching career as greater numbers of African Americans and Mexicansarrived in Los Angeles to seek a better life. New arrivals of immigrants from all over the worteescaping from economic and political instability in their own countries, continued to add to fee ~t--c di-versity of her students. Garcia reportsthat Mrs. Tan­ner recognized that this diversity of languagesand cultures required different teaching strategies, despite a lack of support in state fundhg

3. Practice

Read the article "Cooperative T faming* m chapter1. First find the main points in each paragraph. Next put these main points together to form a amun.including one or more references to the author.

Paragraph 1

Paragraph 2

Paragraph 3

Summary


Date: 2015-12-11; view: 473


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