Summary 1 Pàgina següent

Aim: understand the characteristics of summaries and develop strategies to write effective summaries.

A summary is a shortened version of a spoken or written account of an event, text, section of text, or visual in which the main idea is given. It can be used to incorporate other writers' work into your own writing. A good summary shows that you have understood the text.

Read the following original text and its summary:

Original text:

The family, however, has to be a sacred unity believing in the permanence of what it teaches, if its ritual and ceremony are to express and transmit the wonder of the moral law, which it alone is capable of transmitting. When that belief disappears, as it has, the family has, at best, a transitory togetherness. People sup together, play together, travel together, but they do not think together. Hardly any homes have any intellectual life whatsoever, let alone one that informs the vital interests of life. Educational TV marks the high tide for family intellectual life.

Source: Bloom, Allan. 1987.The Closing of the American Mind. New York: Simon & Schuster: 57-58

Acceptable summary:

In his discussion of what is amiss in intellectual life in America, Allan Bloom points to the fact that families no longer provide their children with a moral code. Because the family no longer inspires a belief in wisdom, it limits the potential for learning (Bloom, 1987:57-58).


Now answer the following questions:

  True False
1. A summary is always shorter than the original passage.
2. You should include all details from the original passage in your summary.
3. A summary should provide the author and title of the original work.
4. You should use your own words when summarising.
5. A summary provides an analysis of the author's words.



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