Caribexams tutorial: How to write a summary?
This is a visual representation of what you do when you summarize a written passage.
Caribexams tutorial: English A writing a summary
How to write a summary
The following are the six (6) steps for writing a summary
Find the main idea of the passage:
Read the passage the first time for understanding.
(So you can get a sense of what point they are trying to make.)
Ask yourself, “ What was the passage about?”
(You should answer yourself with a sentence or a phrase)
Hint: If you are having problems, scan the passage to see which 'topic' word appears most often. This is likely the topic of the passage.
Read the passage a second time.
What is the overall point being made about the topic word? You need to be able to see the "big picture" being presented by the passage. This is the main idea of the whole passage; Write it down.
Never start writing a summary before you read the passage for a second time.
Find the supporting ideas in the passage:
(Supporting ideas are used to develop, explain or expand on the main idea.)
While "skimming" (reading through quickly) the passage for
(A paragraph expresses and develops one main idea or point)
Underline topic sentences in the paragraphs and the key ideas in them.
After reading the passage for the third time, write one or two summary sentences for each paragraph describing the main idea that you see expressed by the paragraph.
If you see yourself repeating the same ideas, you will need to read the passage again to get a clearer picture and then revise your summary sentences.
Join together the main idea of the passage and your paragraph summary sentences by using transitional words and/or phrases.
Reread (and edit if necessary) the summary to make sure it clear and to-the-point.
**Check your spelling and grammar.
Finally, check your summary against the author’s original. Have you correctly described the author’s main idea and the essential supporting points?
Make any necessary adjustments or changes to your summary.
|Example of a summary.|