WHEN TO... SUMMARIZE a Source To present main points of a lengthy passage (an entire article or book) To condense peripheral points necessary to discussion
SUMMARIZING: Explanation What is a summary? A brief restatement in your own words of the content of a passage (i.e group of paragraphs, chapter, article, book)
Necessary Skills In order to use secondary sources to support your research writing, develop the skills of summarizing, paraphrasing, & directly quoting material.
SUMMARIZING The skill that allows you to succinctly state the major concepts of a paragraph, essay, or article is summarizing.
Secondary Sources Keep in mind that you use secondary sources to assist in advancing your own arguments. Summarizing is particularly helpful when you are attempting to make technical or difficult passages more comprehensible to your reader.
Steps in Summarizing #1 Read and reread the passage, looking up difficult words in the dictionary. Determine the structure the author has used to organize the passage.
Steps in Summarizing #2 Divide the passage into major ideas or sections of thought using brackets outside the paragraphs. Then label each section using annotations in the major. Underline key ideas and terms.
Steps in Summarizing #3 In your own words, write one-sentence summary sentences for each section you have labeled with brackets.
Steps in Summarizing #4 Put the passage away and draft a concise version of it in your own vocabulary using your one-sentence summary sentences.
Steps in Summarizing #5 Check your summary against the original to make sure you preserved the meaning and organization of the original passage.
Steps in Summarizing #6 Revise your summary, inserting transitional words and phrases where necessary to ensure coherence. Check for style. Avoid a series of short, choppy sentences. Combine sentences for a smooth, logical flow of ideas. Check for grammatical correctness, punctuation, and spelling. Adapted from Behrens & Rosen, Part 1
Styles of Documentation When you are ready to incorporate your summary into your own paper you will need to document your source. In MLA (Modern Language Association) format it is required that you include the author's last name and the page number in parentheses or in the text of your summary. APA (American Psychological Association) also requires the year of publication.
Summary Models Examine the following examples of the three ways in which you can incorporate documentation into your summary:
MODEL 1 Summarizing You can incorporate all of the source information in your sentence. You may wish to do this when the exact page number may not be necessary. Example: In her 1990 book Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life, Natalie Goldberg makes it clear from page one that the basic maxim by which all writers thrive is through listening to their own minds.
MODEL 2 Summarizing You can work part of your source information into your text and part of it in parentheses. Example: In her book Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life, Natalie Goldberg stresses the importance of writers listening to their own minds (1).
MODEL 3 Summarizing You can include all of the documentation in parentheses at the end of the sentence. This method is generally used when you have already introduced the source earlier in your paper. Example: To gather the most effective material, all writers need to listen to their own minds (Goldberg 1).
WHEN TO... PARAPHRASE a Source To clarify a short passage To emphasize main points
Explanation for PARAPHRASING Like summarizing, paraphrasing is an important technique in helping you assimilate source material into your own writing to support your own views. Unlike summarizing, however, paraphrasing is used to reword the original without necessarily condensing it. It is a good alternative to simply "floating" direct quotations throughout your paper because while you must include documentation of these borrowed ideas, you can use your own writing style to include them. Using your own writing style will make the synthesis of outside source material seem less abrupt for your reading audience.
Steps for Paraphrasing In order to attain accurate and thoroughly rewritten paraphrases consider the following steps:
Paraphrasing Step 1 Change the order of information from the original version.
Paraphrasing Step 2 Find synonyms for important words in a dictionary or thesaurus.
Paraphrasing Step 3 Rewrite technical, jargon- ridden language into clearly understood passages.
Paraphrasing Step 4 If you must retain unusually well- worded phrases, use quotation marks. When you are ready to incorporate a paraphrase into your paper you will need to document it as you did your summaries. In the exercise that follows you will be asked to paraphrase source material, create lead-ins, and practice putting them in different positions.
Model 1 for Paraphrasing A lead-in can be placed at the beginning. Example: Lillian Schlissel, Director of American Studies at Brooklyn College, asserts that the pioneers of the West claimed rights to the land because the Indians had not farmed it nor had they put permanent structures on it (19).
Model 2 for Paraphrasing A lead-in can be placed in the middle. Example: The pioneers of the West claimed rights to the land because as Lillian Schlissel, Director of American Studies at Brooklyn College, explains the Indians had not farmed it nor had they put permanent structures on it (19).
Model 3 for Paraphrasing A lead-in can be placed at the end. Example: The pioneers of the West claimed rights- to the land because the Indians had not farmed it nor had they put permanent structures on it suggests Lillian Schlissel, Director of American Studies at Brooklyn College (19).
WHEN TO... QUOTE a Source: Criteria 1 for Direct Quotations 1.To use a direct quotation, you must meet one of three (3) criteria including … Another’s writer’s language is particularly memorable and will add interest and liveliness to your paper.
Criteria 2 for Direct Quotations 2.To use a direct quotation, you must meet one of three (3) criteria including … Another’s writer’s language is so clearly and economically stated that to make the same points in your own words would, by comparison, be ineffective.
Criteria 3 for Direct Quotations 3. To use a direct quotation, you must meet one of three (3) criteria including … You want the solid reputation of a source to lend authority and credibility to your own writing.
Use of Direct Quotations One way of incorporating source material into your research paper is using direct quotations. Use direct quotations when you want to include ideas expressed so precisely that you cannot improve upon them or condense them without sacrificing the meaning. The appropriate use of direct quotations can add emphasis, emotion and logic to your ideas.
Sparingly Used In order to achieve this effect, however, they should be used sparingly for two reasons: 1) Readers will become bored with endless strings of directly quoted material. They are interested in learning about your perspective on an argument. 2) You lose your role as the speaker of the paper if you use too many direct quotations.
Lead-ins Unlike summaries and paraphrases, all direct quotations should be integrated into your paper with a narrative lead-in and in most cases, a sentence or two after to explain their significance. In other words, you cannot simply "float" direct quotations into your paper without proper explanation. See my additional PowerPoint presentation on Lead-ins elsewhere on the website.
Models for incorporating direct quotations Again you have three stylistic options for incorporating direct quotations:
Model 1 for Quotations A lead-in can be placed at the beginning with an explanatory sentence. Example: In a recent Washington Post article Sari Horwitz and Valerie Strauss contend, "The D.C. public school system is one of the few in the Washington area that offers free all-day pre- kindergarten and kindergarten and, in many cases, free or low cost after-school programs" (B-1). This trend of decreasing free preschool programs leaves many parents with only one option: no preschool for their children.
Model 2 for Quotations A lead-in can be placed in the middle with an explanatory sentence. Example: "The D.C. public school system is one of the few in the Washington area that offers free all-day pre-kindergarten and kindergarten," claim Sari Horwitz and Valerie Strauss, "and, in many cases free or low cost after-school programs" (B-1). This trend of decreasing free pre- school programs leaves many parents with only one option: no pre-school for their children.
Model 3 for Quotations A lead-in can be placed at the end with an explanatory sentence. Example: "The D.C. public school system is one of the few in the Washington area that offers free all-day pre-kindergarten and kindergarten and, in many cases, free or low cost after-school programs," assert Sari Horwitz and Valerie Strauss (B-1). This trend of decreasing free pre-school programs leaves many parents with only one option: no pre-school for their children.
More rules for quotations Two additional rules for punctuating direct quotations are as follows:
Extra Rule #1 1. If a quotation is longer than four lines (MIA) or 40 words (APA) use block format. Indent ten spaces (five for APA) and do not include quotation marks. Use a colon after a full-sentence lead-in to introduce long quotations. See your Lester textbook, p. 191-192, for an illustration of handling longer quotations in research papers.
Extra Rule #2 2. In short quotations place the period after the parenthetical documentation. In long quotations, since there are no quotation marks being used, keep the end punctuation of the of the original followed by the parenthetical documentation.
PLAGIARISM: Explanation When you begin putting your paper together it is important for you to allow yourself enough time to think about the ideas you have read and develop your own perspective. After all, the purpose of writing a research paper is to develop the topic further-to present the information in a new light which is your own way of seeing the topic. Not only does this benefit the academic community, but it advances your own learning more meaningfully. Many students have difficulty managing their time thereby shortchanging this important stage of developing their own ideas. When this happens they run the risk of plagiarizing their sources in order to save time.
What is Plagiarism? Plagiarism is the practice of intentionally or unintentionally using another author's words or ideas as though they were your own.
What is Common Knowledge? One area that may pose a problem for you is deciphering whether an idea is considered "common knowledge" or not. In general if an idea is well-known to a general audience then it doesn't need to be documented. The following excerpts are examples of information that could be considered common knowledge.
Examples of Common Knowledge President Bill Clinton grew up in Arkansas. There are more fat grams in a cup of ice cream than in a cup of yogurt. In general, women live longer than men. The Confederacy was led by Jefferson Davis.
Examples of Kinds of Plagiarism There are several ways in which plagiarism can occur. Examples of plagiarism follow the excerpt from a book by Charles Moskos and John Butler titled All That We Can Be: Black Leadership and Racial Integration the Army Way.
Excerpt from a book By Charles Moskos and John Butler titled All That We Can Be: Black Leadership and Racial Integration the Army Way Original: Throughout our history, military service has been a source of stable family life in black America. Money earned in military service has paid for the educations of generations of black children.
WORD FOR WORD PLAGIARISM WITHOUT QUOTATION MARKS Plagiarized (MLA): Charles Moskos and John Butler point out that money earned in military service has paid for the educations of generations of black children (37). In this example of plagiarism the writer has copied the second sentence of the original verbatim without using quotation marks. This gives the impression that the wording is the writer's and not the authors', Moskos and Butler.
FAILURE TO ACKNOWLEDGE ALL QUOTED MATERIAL Plagiarized (APA): Moskos and Butler (1996) contend that "money earned" in military service has paid for the educations of generations of black children (p. 37). In this version the writer encloses only part of the directly quoted material in quotation marks failing to acknowledge the rest of the excerpt which is copied verbatim.
PATCHWORK PLAGIARISM Plagiarized (MLA): The educations of generations of black children have been paid for by the military. Indeed, military service has provided a source of stable family life for black America throughout our history (37). Even though the information in this version has been re-ordered, the writer is still using much of the passage verbatim. It appears that this is a paraphrase despite the fact that much of the exact wording of the original should be set off with quotation marks.
PARAPHRASE WITHOUT DOCUMENTATION Plagiarized. The U. S. military has given blacks the opportunity. to provide supportive family environments. Consequently many blacks have been able to receive an education through the benefits of being in such family situations. The ideas of the original have been completely reworded into a paraphrase; however, the ideas are the author's ideas and should be documented.
PARAPHRASE WITH INCOMPLETE DOCUMENTATION Plagiarized (MLA): The U.S. military has given blacks the opportunity to provide supportive family environments (Moskos and Butler 37). Consequently many blacks have been able to receive an education through the benefits of being in such family situations. This paraphrase is similar to the previous one except for the addition of parenthetical documentation after the first sentence. All paraphrased material should be documented. Passages of more than one sentence should be framed with a lead-in and documentation at the end.
MISREPRESENTATION OF ORIGINAL SOURCE Plagiarized (APA): Moskos and Butler (1996) assert that most educated blacks came from military families (p. 37). The content of this passage is unrelated to the content of the original. With this type of plagiarism writers may want to make certain ideas or their own ideas appear more credible or they may have simply taken careless notes. Acceptable (MLA): In their recent book Charles Moskos and John Butler suggest that the U.S. military has given blacks the opportunity to provide supportive family environments. Consequently many blacks have been able to receive an education through the benefits of being in such family situations (37).
DIRECTIONS FOR WP#1 EXERCISES Now print out the exercise for Writing Project #1. Complete each of the four exercises. Make sure the exercises are typed and in one MS Word document/file with a title page on the front Email the assignment to Professor Dye on or before the announced deadline.