CXC English A: Example of a summary exercise 1

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Caribexams tutorial: Example of a summary


Original passage:

Selection from Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Man Who Created Tarzan.

Aside from his efforts to explain the origins of the Tarzan idea, Ed was at times drawn into a discussion of the theories or philosophies he was trying to develop in his story, or those that others believed were inherent in the story. In relation to this, the question was also asked, “what does Tarzan, as a human in an animal environment, represent or symbolize?”


The philosophic themes that were generally associated with Tarzan of the Apes may be listed as follows: the conflict of heredity and environment; the lone man pitted against the forces of nature; the search for individual freedom; escapism—flight from the boring routines of daily life; a destructive civilization, with man, its representative, displaying all its vices, as opposed to the simple virtues of nature’s creatures.


 Regarding the basic scientific controversy of heredity vs. environment, Ed stated, “I liked to speculate as to the relative values of heredity, environment, and training in mental, moral, and physical development in such a child, and so in Tarzan I was playing with this idea.”


At present, environment is viewed as the decisive force in shaping or conditioning the individual. Possibly without being aware of it, Ed, in Tarzan of the Apes, created a unique situation in which heredity, within a civilized setting the lesser influence, now emerged as the greater. Clearly, heredity’s victory in the conflict was inevitable. Tarzan, even the infant Tarzan, could not repress his human attributes, his intelligence. These led to his curiosity about his surroundings and about his parents, his observation of differences between the apes and him, his discovery of weapons, his motivation to learn to read, and eventually his rejection of jungle life and a return to civilization. The outcome might be interpreted in another way: Tarzan and his circumstances represent abnormality; within this strange situation nature’s irresistible pressure for a righting, a balance, forces heredity to assume is proper place. 



Summary passage:

In this inquiry into Tarzan’s themes and appeal, the author provides Burroughs’ opinions about what the Tarzan character, a human among animals, symbolized or represented. Burroughs admitted to addressing the theme of “heredity vs. environment” through the Tarzan character.  Burroughs let “heredity” have the victory, because Tarzan’s innate intelligence and curiosity led him to reject ape life and return to civilization. The author sees Tarzan’s situation as so abnormal that nature’s “irresistible pressure” forced him to respond to his human heredity.   


Here is another summary example.

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timmy (not verified)

great site it's very informal

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jessica (not verified)

English is cool but i need to know more

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elladi (not verified)
English A

thank you for allowing me to be a part of this study it is really helping i am starting to understand what is and how to write a summary. i am going for one in my cxc

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guest (not verified)

not an easy subject

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Anna Bickram (not verified)

hi,maths is the very easy,but I have to practice more.

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Theresa Andrews (not verified)

i need help with maths

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terri30 (not verified)
need some help and advice

i am trying to teach my self pob,office administration, social studies and english but i dont have the syllabus, the first three i have never done and i don't know where to start, i also will like to know what textbooks do i have to use i'm trying to prepare for 2012 and 2013 by signing up for two subjects at a time as a private candidate. i really need all the help i can get to teach myself please.

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krissyk (not verified)

in steps how is the sumarry set up

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fabiola thomas (not verified)

do good an good will come to u

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