1. Annotation v. Summary
a. Annotating helps you establish understanding of what you are reading b. Summarizing demonstrates understanding of the text and communicates it to the reader 2. When to use:
a. Scholars in the humanities tend to summarize, paraphrase, and quote texts; b. Social scientists and natural scientists rely primarily on summary and paraphrase. 3. A Summary is
a. a distillation of the ideas or argument of the text, a reconstruction of the major point or points of development of a text, beginning with the thesis or main idea , followed by the points or details that support or elaborate on that idea
b. not an outline or synopsis of the points that the author makes in the order that the author gives them
4. A Good Summary…
a. Must be comprehensive. You should isolate all the important points in the original passage and note them down in a list. Review all the ideas on your list, and include in your summary all the ones that are indispensable to the author's development of his/her thesis or main idea. b. Must be concise. Eliminate repetitions in your list, even if the author restates the same points. Your summary should be considerably shorter than the source. You are hoping to create an overview; therefore, you need not include every repetition of a point or every supporting detail. c. Must be coherent. It should make sense as a piece of writing in its own right; it should not merely be taken directly from your list of notes or sound like a disjointed collection of points. d. Must be independent. You are not being asked to imitate the author of the text you are writing about. On the contrary, you are expected to maintain your own voice throughout the summary. Don't simply quote the author; instead use your own words to express your understanding of what you have read. After all, your summary is based on your interpretation of the writer's points or ideas. However, you should be careful not to create any misrepresentation or distortion by introducing comments or criticisms of your own.
5. You should use quotations in the following situations:
a. When you plan to discuss the actual language of a text.
b. When you are discussing an author's position or theory and you plan to discuss the wording of a core assertion or kernel of the argument in your paper.
c. When you risk losing the essence of the author's ideas in the translation from her words to your own.
d. When you want to appeal to the authority of the author and using his or her words will emphasize that authority.
6. The Introduction…
a. Contains a one-sentence thesis statement that sums up the main point of the source. This thesis statement is not your main point; it is the main point of your source. Usually, though, you have to write this statement rather than quote it from the source text. It is a one-sentence summary of the entire text that your essay summarizes.
b. Also introduces the text to be summarized:
i. Gives the title of the source (following the citation guidelines of whatever style sheet you are using);
ii. Provides the name of the author of the source;
iii. Sometimes also provides pertinent background information about the author of the source or about the text to be summarized.
The introduction should not offer your own opinions or evaluation of the text you are summarizing.
7. The Body (repeat as needed)…
a. Paraphrases and condenses the original piece.
b. In your summary, be sure that you-i. Include important data but omit minor points; ii. Include one or more of the author’s examples or illustrations (these will bring your summary to life);
iii. Do not include your own ideas, illustrations, metaphors, or interpretations. Look upon yourself as a summarizing machine; you are simply repeating what the source text says, in fewer words and in your own words. But the fact that you are using your own words does not mean that you are including your own ideas.
8. The Conclusion … “Forget about it!” Generally, summaries do not have conclusions! Do provide a Work Cited for the source of your original article though! Where did it come from? Questions for Revision
What do you like best about your peer's summary? (Why? How might he or she do more of it?) Is it clear what is being summarized? (i.e.: Did your peer list the source, and cite it correctly?) Is the thesis of the original essay clear in the summary? (Write out what you think that thesis is.) If you have read the original source, did you identify the same thesis? (If not, how does it differ?) Did your peer miss any key points from his or her summary? (If so, what are they?) Did your peer include any of his own opinions in his or her summary? (If so, what are they?) Did your peer include any unimportant details in his or her summary? (If so, what are they?) Where there any points in the summary where you were lost because a transition was missing? (If so, where and how might it be fixed?)
Where there any points where you were lost because some information seems to have been omitted? (If so, where, and what seems to be missing? Why do you think it might be important?)