Summary writing may be the most familiar writing task so far. We make summaries of many different things. In this paper, we are going to explain about writing an assignment summary. Writing an Assignment Summary
A good assignment summary has three principal requirements.
1. It should be focused on the relevant aspects of the source text or texts. 2. It should present the source material in an accurate fashion. 3. It should condense the source material and be presented in the summary writer’s own words. The length of a summary is often be determined by the instructor. Here are some preliminary steps in writing a summary.
1. Skim the text, noting in your mind the subheadings.
2. Consider why you have been assigned the text.
3. Read the text, highlighting important information or taking notes. 4. In your own words, write down the main points of each section. 5. Write down the key support points for the main topic, buut include minor detail only if necessary. 6. Go through the process again, making changes as appropriate. When you write a formal summary of someone’s else ideas, you should keep in mind the following guidelines. 1. Always try to use your own words, except for technical terms. 2. Include enough support and detail so that the presentation is clear. 3. Do not try to paraphrase specialized vocabulary or technical terms. 4. Focus on the content of the original.
5. Make sure the summary reads smoothly.
It is very important to identify at least the source author, if not the title as well. The following Language Focus provides some additional suggestions for how to refer to a source in your summary. Language Focus: Identifying the Source in a Summary
Most summaries will have a sentence near the beginning that contains two elements: the source and a main idea.
According to Boskin (2004) _______________________.
Bernstein (2004) states/claims/argues/maintains that _______________________. (main idea)
In Tyson’s article “Mapping Dark Matter with Gravitational Lenses,” _______________________. (main idea)
Language Focus: Nominal that- Clauses
In formal academic English, many reporting verbs are followed by a that- clause containing both a subject and a verb. That- clauses usually used as the direct object of the verb.
Benfield and Howard (2000) states that many medical journalist are now published in English because of a desire to attract greater readership ... (that as the direct object of the verb states)
In spoken English that in clauses which function as direct objects is often omitted.
Language focus: Summary Reminder Phrases
In longer summary, you may want to remind your reader that you are summarizing.
The article further states that …
The author goes on to say that …
In fact, if your summary is quite long, you may want to mention the source author’s name at different points in your summary. Mention is used for information that was most likely given without detail or support.
Bradley et al. also believe that …
Some of the following sentence connectors may be useful in introducing additional information.
Some Notes on Plagiarism
Plagiarism is best defined as a deliberate activity- as the conscious copying from the work of others. Borrowing the words and phrases of others can be a useful language learning strategy. Certainly you would not be plagiarizing if you borrowed items that are commonly used in academic English or that are part of common knowledge.
Paris is the capital city of France.
But do not borrow “famous” phrases without at least putting them in quotation marks.
Comparative summaries require you to analyze and use information from two or more sources rather than just one. In a comparative summary, you often need to infer and make explicit the relationship among your sources.
Language Focus: Showing Similarities and Differences
To show similarity
As in X, in Y …
To show contrast
In contrast to …
On the other hand …
Unlike X, Y …
Verbal Expression of Similarity
To show similarity
To correspond to
To show contrast
To differ from
To contrast with