2 Objectivesto improve summarising and outlining techniques, essential first steps in the research and writing of policy briefs
3 Summarising Skills What is the definition of “summary”? Brainstorm: What are some reasons why you might need to summarise? What are some situations where summarising is a useful skill to have? What do you find challenging about summarising?
4 Practise summarising… (Sentence #1 on your handouts) Summarise in 2 sentences or less.More than 30% of all greenhouse gas emissions come from the land-use, land-use change and forestry sector, with 18-20% estimated to result from deforestation and forest degradation, and between % from agriculture (Smith et. al 2007). About 70% of emissions from agriculture could be mitigated through activities in developing countries but so far only the forestry sector has featured in UNFCCC mitigation strategies and mechanisms. Agriculture is inextricably connected to deforestation and forest degradation in many countries, especially in Africa. Reducing emissions from agriculture and storing carbon in agricultural lands can increase the effectiveness of global efforts against climate change globally.From
5 The three pillars of summarising: Selecting main ideas, regrouping and recombining themGeneralizing and categorising ideas from your understanding of the readingDeleting unnecessary details that are not important to the overall meaning of the reading – always the most difficult!
6 How to summarise Skim article. Read it in-depth, (taking notes) Plan Write
7 Step 1: Skimming When skimming, look for: The title and subtitles The abstract, if there is oneCaptions to illustrations/diagrammesStructural hints: layout, graphs, chartsKeywords: words in bold, italics, highlighted, or just used frequentlySequential markers: first, next, then, in addition, in the section which follows, after this, finally, lastly, moreover, in conclusion, thus, accordingly…
9 Step 3: Planning Different kinds of writing plans: Outline/Bullet pointsMind mapNetwork/hierarchical diagramCompare/contrast tableFlow chartNB. These planning strategies can be used to direct all kinds of writing.
10 How to plan your summary: outline/bullet points HIV/AIDS IN AFRICAIntroduction-Overview of topicScience-HIV virus-Pathogenesis of AIDSHistory-Early reports of AIDS-Evolution of HIV from SIVCurrent Situation-Prevalence-by country-high-risk groupsTreatment and Prevention Strategies-Barrier methods- condoms- education-Anti-retroviral-Vaccine?ConclusionTry making your own outline of one of the following topics:Tourism in your countryThe World CupOr a subject of your choice!
11 How to plan your summary: mind map Try making your own mind map of one of the following topics:Climate changePopular MusicOr a subject of your choice!
12 How to plan your summary: tree diagram Try making your own tree diagram of one of the following topics:The organisation that you work inAnimalsOr a subject of your choice!
13 How to plan your summary: compare/contrast table BeyonceShakiraYear born19811977Country of originUSAColombiaFirst languageEnglishSpanishHeight173cm157cmEye colourBrownTry making your own compare/contrast table of one of the following topics:Fossil fuel versus nuclear energyYou versus your brother/sisterOr a subject of your choice!
14 How to plan your summary: flow charts Try making your own flow chart of one of the following topics:The legislative processHow to make a cup of teaOr a subject of your choice!
15 Exercise Read paragraphs 2 and 3 on handout 1. Choose one to make a plan of using any of the techniques we have tried:Outline/Bullet pointsMind mapNetwork/hierarchical diagramCompare/contrast tableFlow chart
16 Step 4: Writing Now you can start writing based on your plan Remember to follow the five steps of writing:PlanningDraftingRevisingEditingProofreading
18 Some tips to help you summarise What to do if the ideas are difficult to understandThe reading may contain ideas that you are not yet familiar with. If so, you can consult a more general reading (such as a textbook for that subject or a specialized dictionary), or talk to an expert.
19 Some tips to help you summarise What to do if the reading is poorly organised and/or writtenProblems may arise because the source is unclear to begin with. Talk with an expert or a colleague – don’t just give up on an important source!
21 Review: how to summarise First, skim the article.Second, read it in-depth, taking notes on its key points.Third, plan your summary via:Spider diagram, tree/hierarchical diagram, flow chart, bullet points, or outlineCross-check: does your plan match up with your expectations on skimming the article? If not, re-read to make sure you’re not missing something out?Write the summary based on your plan, making sure that it adheres to your plan. Follow the “Five Steps of Effective Writing”, and use all of the hints above to maintain brevity, clarity, and structure.
22 This presentation was originally written by Kris Anderson The presentation is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.You are free to modify and use this presentation for non-commercial purposes providing you retain the attribution of all images and credit INASP.For further information please contact
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