Question 3: Summary Writing Process

 1.      Skim reading

Read (new) passage for gist of time, place, genre and topic, identifying unknown words to be worked out using one of the 4 methods: syllabic break down; recognition of similarity to another English word; recognition of similarity to a word in another language; guessing from context.

2.      Scan reading

After reading summary question and underlining key words in the instruction, return to passage and highlight (possibly in two colours for two different aspects) the relevant material. Identify and highlight only the key word or phrase. Examples, repetitions, direct speech, figurative language and trivial details should be excluded.]

3.      Transfer to plan

Transfer the highlighted material to a list, changing the words and phrases into own words at the same time. Some technical words cannot be changed and some individual words from the passage can be used, but long phrases should not be lifted. All the relevant points should be used, not just the minimum of 15.

4.      Structuring the plan

[The points in the plan should be grouped logically and reordered – to make it possible to combine more than one point per sentence – using brackets and arrows. The summary should be divided into two separate parts.

5.      Writing the summary

The summary should be written in informative style, in complex sentences (avoiding and), and using the same tense and person as the question (third person). Check afterwards for  lack of clarity and concision, and repetition, all of which affect the writing mark. It must not be longer than one page in total. The summary must be purely objective and without narrative, comment, introduction or conclusion.


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