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Unlocking summaries


Unlocking summaries Tips to writing an effective summary – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Unlocking summaries

Unlocking summaries
  • Tips to writing an effective summary

Why write a summary?
  • Think of summaries as a note-taking skill. You
    are summarizing an original document in order to
    help you express ideas in your own words and to
    avoid plagiarism.

Create a paper trail
  • Summaries and paraphrases help you to create a
    paper trail between evidence used in your essay
    and the original source.

Matching notes to documents
  • Each piece of evidence used in an essay must be
    found on one of your note cards. To not provide
    such evidence can easily lead to plagiarism.

Establish your credibility
  • Summaries and paraphrases help you to establish
    credibility. You are, in a sense, showing your
    work to your reader.

Respond to challenges
  • As a researcher, you should expect others to
    challenge your work. Providing a paper trail lets
    the opposition see how you came to your
    conclusions regarding some issue.

Show fairness in rebuttals
  • Taking good notes lets the opposition see that
    you have been fair in your rebuttal (as well as
    your overall approach). This establishes
    credibility for the conclusions you draw.

What goes into a summary?
  • The authors main ideas should be included in you
    summary. Look for the topic ideas in each

Delete unnecessary words
  • When writing a summary, you want to remove all
    words that are not needed to express a concept.
    Be concise. Use as few words as possible without
    losing meaning.

Use your own words
  • Say what the author says in your own words. Do
    not merely mimic the source.

Write objectively
  • Write summaries in the third person so as to
    avoid subjectivity. You do not want to reshape
    the sources intention. Capture the essence of
    the original idea.

Be accurate
  • Strive to be accurate when you write a summary.
    Stay true to the authors original intent.

Dont leave out details
  • Do not merely use information from sources that
    only agree with your viewpoint. This is not
    research. You need to confirm the good ideas of
    an opponent.

Keep a record
  • Your summaries and paraphrases should include the
    authors name, the page numbers, the topic, and
    the type of card you are writing. If the author
    is unknown, use the title of the document.

Use complete sentences
  • Your notes should be written in complete
    sentences. Also, use correct grammar when writing
    summaries and paraphrases.

Check for plagiarism
  • It is a good idea to conduct a mental check to
    see if the notes too closely resemble the
    material as expressed in the original document.

Strategies to avoid
  • Do not merely change word order, use synonyms, or
    use derivatives of words. These are poor
    strategies for writing summaries and paraphrases
    and can lead to plagiarism.

Dont overwork summaries
  • You must not include too much information in a
    summary. Avoid writing a summary that covers too
    many paragraphs and pages when summarizing an

When in doubt - document
  • While common knowledge does not have to be
    documented, it is often a judgment call. When you
    have a doubt about a need to document, be safe
    and do so.

Author, page number on left
Topic on the right
  • As you keep records, you need to learn the proper
    format for taking notes on your cards. Check your
    textbook for other examples. See the next slide
    for another example.
  • Type of card goes in the bottom corner

Brown 12
Censorship lawsuit
  • If this were a summary of a note taken about a
    lawsuit that relates to censorship, the note card
    could look this way. This summary would be for a
    book or a magazine article. Of course, the text
    on the card would actually summarize the original
  • Summary

Internet notes
  • Keeping records of Internet sources requires a
    slightly different format. It features the
    abbreviation par. (for paragraph).

Paragraphs, not page numbers
  • You must count the paragraphs and use the
    abbreviation par. when citing sources found on
    the Internet.

Author and paragraph
Topic on the right
  • Documentation of Internet sources require you to
    keep track of paragraphs. You must cite the
    placement of the paragraph within the Internet
    source from which your information was taken. You
    will need to do some counting.
  • Type of card goes in the bottom corner

Smith, par. 3
Censorship example
  • If you present an example of censorship from an
    Internet source, your summary could look similar
    to the presentation on this slide. Of course, the
    text on the note card would be the actual summary
    of the source document.
  • Summary

Number consecutively
  • Paragraphs must be numbered consecutively. Do NOT
    note that you are citing, for example, paragraphs
    4, 5, 8 and 10 when you write a summary. See
    example on next slide.

Smith, par. 4, 5, 8 and 10
Censorship example
  • A summary should be consecutively numbered. It
    should include all main ideas in the original
    document in the passage from paragraphs 4 to 10.
    To not do so indicates the researcher may be
    leaving out key information.
  • Summary

Summaries now unlocked
  • Those are the keys to writing a good summary.
    Now, be sure to write notes cards first before
    you write the actual research essay. Do not skip
    this important step in formulating ideas.

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