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1 Chaffey College Writing Center presents…
Summary Skills DLA

2 Why summarize?

3 Reading Comprehension
The best way to understand any text is to condense it into its main points. Before you can summarize, you must understand the information that you are condensing.

4 Research Paper Summarizing is important when you need to condense ideas from sources (e.g., books, articles, websites) for a research paper.

5 Summary & Analysis Summary and analysis assignments require you to express and analyze the main ideas of a text.

6 Summary A condensed version of text that only includes the main ideas.
It may consist of a single word a single phrase several sentences and/or several paragraphs

7 Summaries Should be written in your own words
Should match the tone of the original text Should make specific reference to the author and/or title and the page(s) of the text Should not include any of your opinions

8 Weak Summary Original Text
Excerpt from lnlandia One of the first problems I had to confront in junior high school was my ethnic background. Redlands is in southern California and had a large Mexican population, consisting mainly of immigrants and illegal aliens who came up from Mexico to pick fruit. At school they banded together, speaking Spanish – the girls with mountains of black hair, fizzed from sleeping all night long on masses of pin curls, wearing gobs of violet lipstick, tight skirts and nylons, and blouses with the collars turned up in back. The boys were pachucos, tough guys, who slicked back their gorgeous hair with Three Roses Vaseline tonic and wore their pegged pants so low on the hip that walking without losing them had become an art. Few Mexicans were interested in school and they were ostracized by the whites. So there I was, with a Mexican name, skin, and hair: the Anglos couldn’t accept me because of all three, and Mexicans couldn’t accept me because I didn’t speak Spanish. -Joan Baez, And a Voice to Sing With Explanation The details in this summary are too specific and do not relate to the author’s main idea. Weak Summary In Redlands, CA, Joan Baez attended a junior high with Spanish speaking girls, who wore violet lipstick, and Spanish speaking boys, who were pachucos, neither of whom accepted her (201).

9 Strong Summary Original Text
Excerpt from lnlandia One of the first problems I had to confront in junior high school was my ethnic background. Redlands is in southern California and had a large Mexican population, consisting mainly of immigrants and illegal aliens who came up from Mexico to pick fruit. At school they banded together, speaking Spanish – the girls with mountains of black hair, fizzed from sleeping all night long on masses of pin curls, wearing gobs of violet lipstick, tight skirts and nylons, and blouses with the collars turned up in back. The boys were pachucos, tough guys, who slicked back their gorgeous hair with Three Roses Vaseline tonic and wore their pegged pants so low on the hip that walking without losing them had become an art. Few Mexicans were interested in school and they were ostracized by the whites. So there I was, with a Mexican name, skin, and hair: the Anglos couldn’t accept me because of all three, and Mexicans couldn’t accept me because I didn’t speak Spanish. -Joan Baez, And a Voice to Sing With Explanation This summary states the author’s main idea without including any specific details. Strong Summary In junior high school, Joan Baez felt unaccepted by her Mexican classmates because she did not speak Spanish and unaccepted by her Caucasian classmates because she was Mexican (201).

10 Steps to Summarizing

11 Before you read the text…
Preview Title A title usually condenses the main idea of the article. Subtitle The subtitle, caption, or any other words in large print under or next to the title may highlight important ideas . Headings and Subheadings Headings and subheadings break down the article into sections that relate to the author’s main idea. First and last several paragraphs The first and last several paragraphs often introduce and conclude the author’s argument or main point Other Items Bold-faced words, pictures, charts, or diagrams can “illustrate” main ideas.

12 Read Read once through without stopping.
Do not focus on the details during your first reading. Just try to understand the main idea.

13 Evaluate Carefully read the text a second time.
Use the surrounding context to understand words that are unfamiliar. Or use a dictionary! Look for definitions, examples, lists, tables, and graphs, which indicate key terms. Underline important ideas. Circle key terms. Note the main idea of each paragraph. Find the author’s main point or argument of the whole entire text. Evaluate

14 Organize Start the summary with the title and author of the work.
Write the author’s main point or argument in your own words. Write the remaining important ideas in your own words. Do not include examples, statistics, specific details, and quotations, if possible. Write the article’s conclusion in your own words. Organize the summary similar to the original text’s organization. Organize

15 Make sure that the summary is no more than 20% of the original.
Do not use technical words from the original; use your own words as much as possible. Do not include too many details from the original. Do not plagiarize. Cite author and page numbers Proofread. Meet with a tutor at the Writing Center to receive feedback on your summary. Check List

16 This PowerPoint Presentation is adapted from the following:
Credits This PowerPoint Presentation is adapted from the following: Baez, Joan. Excerpt from And a Voice to Sing With. Inlandia. Ed. Gayle Wattawa. Berkely: Heyday, Drucker, Phil. “How to Summarize.” Advanced Technical Writing University of Idaho. 4 Mar <http://www.class.uidaho.edu/adv_tech_wrt/resources/ general/how_to_summarize.htm>. Folwer, H. Ramsey and Jane E. Aaron. The Little, Brown Handbook. 10th ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2007. Langan, John. College Writing Skills. 7th ed. New York: McGraw Hill, 2008. Wehmeyer, David. “Summary Writing.” Wisconsin Online Resource Center Mar <http://www.wisc-online.com/objects/index_tj.asp?objID=TRG2603>.

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