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Lesson 3 How to write a Summary Roberta Grandi Università della Valle dAosta.

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Presentation on theme: "Lesson 3 How to write a Summary Roberta Grandi Università della Valle dAosta."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lesson 3 How to write a Summary Roberta Grandi Università della Valle dAosta

2 The material for this contribution is adapted from the chapter Summary of Informative Texts (written by R. Grandi) in the book Writing Techniques. Workbook, a cura di R. Grandi e M. Andreola, Educatt Università Cattolica, Milano, 2007.

3 A SUMMARY OF A TEXT RE-WRITING THE ORIGINAL TEXT IN A SHORTER FORM. RE-WRITING THE ORIGINAL TEXT IN A SHORTER FORM. Summary is the process of re-writing a source text into a new and more synthetic text, containing the same information, key-concepts and data. Summary is the process of re-writing a source text into a new and more synthetic text, containing the same information, key-concepts and data.

4 Concision and Accuracy Remember: A summary is not a REDUCTION. COLLAGE IS NOT ALLOWED

5 In order to summarize a text you need to Step FROM TEXT TO MEANING: understand the meaning of the text as a whole Then move FROM MEANING TO POINTS, identifying the main concepts and the keywords of the text Then back FROM POINTS TO TEXT, creating a new text, shorter than the original but which maintains its main concepts

6 5 steps towards a good summary 1.Read the text carefully to understand the main meaning. 2.Read again to examine text organization and key concepts. Try to identify topic sentence and keywords. 3.Write an outline of the main concepts and connections. 4.Rewrite the text: 1.In paragraphs: (Topic sentences etc.) 2.In a simplified but cohesive and coherent structure: (use connectives and linking words). 3.In your own words: NO COLLAGE. 5.Proofread target text for content and form

7 From text to meaning 1.Read the text carefully to understand the main meaning. 2.Try to identify 1.text organization and topic sentences 2.key concepts and key words

8 Tulipomania Find this text here (p. 123) /Proficiency- Masterclass-SB /Proficiency- Masterclass-SB Tulip Semper Augustus

9 From meaning to points Write an outline of the main concepts and connections. Facts Dates Data Connection between cause and effect etc

10 Essential Concepts 1.Tulips arrived in Holland from Constantinople in the middle of the sixteenth century. 2.By 1634 owning tulips was a status symbol both for the rich and the middle class. 3.Consequently, the price of bulbs rose exponentially. 4.The most expensive species was the Semper Augustus. 5.By 1636 many Dutch stock markets traded in tulips and speculations multiplied. 6.When the rich realized the excess of the trade and started selling their tulips, the price suddenly collapsed causing the ruin of many. 7.Attempt to find a solution

11 Summary for a tourist guide Are the main points the same? How do the readers expectations influence the style and the contents of your summary?

12 Outline for a tourist guide 1 ) During the seventeenth century in Holland tulips became a craze. 2) By 1634 owning tulips was a status symbol both for the rich and the middle classes 3) Consequently, the price of bulbs rose exponentially. 4) The most expensive species was the Semper Augustus. 5) Anecdote: a foreign sailor mistook a tulip bulb for an onion and ate a 3000 florins Semper Augustus 6) By 1636 many Dutch stock markets traded in tulips and speculations multiplied. 7) When the mania wore out, the price of tulips suddenly collapsed causing the ruin of many.

13 From points to text Rewrite the text: In paragraphs. If possible: Opening paragraph, main body, conclusion In a cohesive and coherent structure: Coherence: organization of meanings in relation to one another (order of events or sequences) Cohesion: the way sentences are linked through proper cohesive devises (linkers) Paraphrase: NO COLLAGE.

14 CONNECTIVES and TRANSITION WORDS: to add new ideas : also, too; in addition to; not only … but also; to create a cause/effect sequence: because, for, consequently, therefore; thus, as a result, in order that, so that to reach conclusions: so, thus, therefore, hence, consequently,finally; to make a comparison, highlighting the contrast: despite (the fact that), in spite of, but, yet, however, still, rather, on the other hand, on the contrary, by contrast; whereas; while, to list concepts, ideas, according to a hierarchy: first(ly), second(ly), third(ly) to clarify : in other words, for example, To hint, refer, allude to a preceding concept: the above mentioned ; with regard to, in regard to, speaking of; considering To follow a chronological order: then ; next ; finally ; meanwhile ; in the meantime ; after(wards) ; initially; to begin with ; as already stated; most importantly ; To close, conclude, settle a sentence: in short, all in all, in brief, in conclusion, to conclude, to sum up.

15 Generic Synthesis Tulips were brought to Holland from Constantinople in the middle of the sixteenth century. By 1634 they were a must among the rich, a sign of good taste and wealth. Very soon the middle class too wanted to be distinguished by this valuable flower and began spending enormous fortunes on tulips. Thus prices rose exponentially. The most precious kind of tulip was the Semper Augustus. In early 1636 in Holland there were only two of these, and one of them was bought for 12 acres of land. When, in 1636 tulip exchanges were set up in the stock markets, the speculators began causing continuous fluctuations in prices. Many grew rich and even the lower classes got involved in this market. When suddenly the rich realized the ridiculousness of the situation and began selling, the market collapsed and got out of control. Nobody wanted to buy tulips any more and many lost everything. Those who were left with stores of tulips made an attempt to bring order in the market, but the solution they proposed succeeded only in displeasing both buyers and sellers. People who had made profits from the tulip market were allowed to keep them but the commerce of the country took many years to flourish again. (208 words)

16 Synthesis for a tourist guide Holland is renowned for its multicoloured tulips but the popularity of these flowers has a curious origin. During the seventeenth century tulips, originally imported from Constantinople, became a real craze. By 1634 owning tulips was a status symbol both for the rich and the middle classes and, consequently, the demand and the price of bulbs rose exponentially. The most expensive species was the Semper Augustus, which was worth acres of land or thousands of florins, carriages and horses. Once a foreign sailor mistook a tulip bulb for an onion and was found eating a 3000 florins Semper Augustus. By 1636 many Dutch stock markets traded in tulips and speculations multiplied but, when the mania wore out and the tulip bubble burst, the price suddenly collapsed causing the ruin of many of those who had incautiously taken part in the speculation. (140 words)


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