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From your friends at the UW Platteville Writing Center.

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Presentation on theme: "From your friends at the UW Platteville Writing Center."— Presentation transcript:

1 From your friends at the UW Platteville Writing Center

2  A “Summary” is an overview of the entire text. ◦ Describes the main ideas of a text  May include a direct quote of the main thesis ◦ Will often give the author’s credentials  Scientist? Professor? Doctor? Expert in the field? ◦ Anywhere from 2 or 3 sentences to a couple of paragraphs, depending on size of original ◦ Should provide the context for the paraphrased passages  Look for the key points in both your paraphrases and summaries – they should compliment each other

3  Paraphrase: a close rewording of a particular passage from the text ◦ Idea, point, piece of information, or theory from a small section of the text ◦ Will often include direct quotes from the source text ◦ Direct quotes are used…  To give credence to your own ideas  To show that you really understand the text  When a passage is particularly well written  When the author makes the point so well it would be hard to improve the original  To give different “voices” to your paper and thus make it more interesting to read

4  “Evidence of prehistoric people was first discovered in mid-19th century when sharp- edged stone tools and fossilized human bones were found and identified. Since that time, infrequent discoveries of other fossils of prehistoric people have occurred. These usually fragmented remains have provided additional information about early humans and what they looked like.” 2 2. Citation: “The Topic: Prehistoric People.” st.htm Accessed: 9/11/2008 st.htm

5  “The first evidence for prehistoric people was discovered in the 19 th century. Fossilized bones and sharp edged tools give us tantalizing clues about how these ancient people lived, although the discovery of these artifacts from the days when saber-toothed tigers and wooly mammoths roamed the Earth are rare.”

6  That both the original and paraphrased versions begin with a summary of the information… ◦ “The first evidence for prehistoric people was discovered in the 19 th century”  And then move to the paraphrase section with… ◦ Specific details (bones, saber toothed tigers, etc.)

7  That the information retains the same rhetorical structure: Both begin with a typical topic sentence…  “first evidence for prehistoric people” And then broaden out to include important examples of the main subject of the paragraph  “bones and sharp edged tools… are rare”  But that the author threw in some of his own personality and observation into the rewritten piece. “from the days when saber-toothed tigers and wooly mammoths roamed the Earth”

8  Learning tool  Writing practice  Shows the proper respect for the original authors  An essential skill for your research later in college when you will need to combine many sources into a single written text

9  “The first evidence for prehistoric people was discovered in the 19 th century…” ◦ Really? Who discovered them? When exactly? Where?  “Fossilized bones and sharp edged tools give us tantalizing clues about how these ancient people lived…” ◦ What bones? What tools? What clues do they give us?  “…although the discovery of these artifacts from the days when saber-toothed tigers and wooly mammoths roamed the Earth are rare.” ◦ How rare? When was the last discovery made?

10  Some examples to compare from the Purdue OWL:  The original passage:  Students frequently overuse direct quotation in taking notes, and as a result they overuse quotations in the final [research] paper. Probably only about 10% of your final manuscript should appear as directly quoted matter. Therefore, you should strive to limit the amount of exact transcribing of source materials while taking notes. Lester, James D. Writing Research Papers. 2nded. (1976):  A legitimate paraphrase:  In research papers students often quote excessively, failing to keep quoted material down to a desirable level. Since the problem usually originates during note taking, it is essential to minimize the material recorded verbatim (Lester 46-47).  An acceptable summary:  Students should take just a few notes in direct quotation from sources to help minimize the amount of quoted material in a research paper (Lester 46-47).  A plagiarized version:  Students often use too many direct quotations when they take notes, resulting in too many of them in the final research paper. In fact, probably only about 10% of the final copy should consist of directly quoted material. So it is important to limit the amount of source material copied while taking notes.

11  Follow along as I read the follow article aloud  Underline the most important points  Turn the paper over  Write out in your own words the main points of the article ◦ If you are having trouble remembering, turn the paper over and look at what you underlined for reference.

12  Writing Center  306 Brigham Hall  (608) 


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