CXC English A exam: Past paper type summary writing question 6

This is another CXC past paper type summary writing question.

(with suggested answer)


These are the types of summary writing questions that appear on section 1, Paper 2
of the CXC English A exam

(Suggested time: 35 minutes)


1. Read the passage below then write a summary of it in not more than 120 words. Your answer should be in continuous prose and in paragraph form. It should NOT be in note form.


In 1980 doctors in New York and California were intrigued by cases they were seeing of an extremely virulent form of pneumonia,
usually found only in people with extraordinarily weakened system. They watched in alarm as patients, most of them young and
with no particular history of illness, succumbed rapidly to an illness they could do nothing to halt.

In twenty years, the disease has spread to every corner of the world. The HIV virus which causes AIDS is estimated to have infected
almost sixty million people worldwide, according to UNAIDS. Of this number, an estimated 22 million have already died and an estimated
36.1 million people are currently living with HIV/AIDS.

HIV/AIDS has had a devastating effect on the social and economic fabric of society. It affects most frequently the most reproductive section of society,
the parents, the breadwinners. It affects future generations: it pushes people deeper into poverty, widening the gap between the developed and the developing world.

HIV/AIDS has presented a major challenge to the medical establishment from the beginning. It was first wrongly seen as a disease that affected only a particular group of society,
or a particular race. Finally it was clear that AIDS was infectious, could be transmitted through sexual intercourse, among intravenous drug users,
through blood transfusion of infected blood, and by infected mothers to their babies. Still unknown was what caused the disease.

It was not until 1983 that the answer was found. The cause of AIDS was identified as a virus, or more correctly a retrovirus -
the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV for short.

From the beginning AIDS has been a virus like no other. It touches on many issues that are deeply personal, that are taboo, and that can polarise.
Issues like race and religious beliefs. Issues of how personal behaviour can have an affect on the public good.
Myths and denials have surrounded the disease in all parts of the world.

The disease has been notable too for the debate it has raises on the pharmaceutical industry. Issues have come to the fore such as how to handle intellectual property,
patenting of drugs, the availability of affordable drugs, and the rights of developing countries to import or produce cheap generic drugs.


Sample answer


30 marks



Are there more summary writing questions that I can look at? Great!


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