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Presentation over reading comprehension and precis
In this course
How to Write a Summary
In this lesson, you will practice using your own words to explain the main idea of something you have learned. This is called summarizing. We summarize for a variety of reasons in both speaking and writing. In this lesson, we will focus on writing summaries of texts.
Find an article or blog post (no more than three paragraphs) and try to find the main idea. Highlight the three most important details in the text. Discuss the following questions with a partner.
- What type of work did you choose?
- What was the piece mainly about?
- What were the three most important details in this piece?
Introduction to Summarizing
A summary is a condensed overview of the main idea(s) and essential details of a longer work (e.g., an article or story). A summary should be objective and concise. It should be able to stand alone as its own work. The target audience is a reader who is not familiar with the original work.
When you summarize, you use your own words but NOT your own opinions, ideas, or interpretations. You use attributive tags (e.g., the author suggests…) to show that the ideas are not your own.
A summary is NOT an outline. An outline is a summary in point form. You can write an outline first. Then you can use your notes to write a summary in paragraph form. A summary may be one paragraph or a few, depending on the length of the original work.
A summary does NOT include specific details such as dates, times, and statistics.
Look at the text on this page of the lesson. Identify the title. Circle the main idea. Place a star beside three relevant points that relate to the main idea. Place an X beside information that is irrelevant or unnecessary to the general idea of this page.
Choose a topic from ESL Library’s Historic Events section. Ask your teacher to provide you with the reading (page 2) from the topic you choose. You will use this reading at a later time.
How to Paraphrase
In this lesson, you will practice using your own words to present facts and opinions of others. This is called paraphrasing. We paraphrase for a variety of reasons in both speaking and writing. In this lesson, we will focus on writing. Let’s start by exploring a block of written text.
In writing, paraphrasing means rewording an excerpt (a block of text). The excerpt is usually a single sentence or paragraph. You might also paraphrase something you hear or see, such as a lecture or a video.
Paraphrasing is closely related to quoting and summarizing. A summary is an overview of a main idea. A quote is the exact wording of the original text in quotation marks. A paraphrase is somewhere in the middle.
When you paraphrase, you use your own words to rephrase the original thought or information. You also give credit where credit is due.
Keys To Paraphrasing
- Rephrase the excerpt or information in your own words with a new structure and style.
- Use quotation marks around any unique phrasing copied directly from an original source.
- Credit the original source (unless it’s based on very common knowledge).
Download Reading Comprehension and Precis PDF Course
How to Paraphrase? PDF
How to Write a Summary? PDF
Text 4 Euthanasia
The Reading Module: Orienting yourself to the text
Scanning for specific detail and Skimming for general understanding
Identifying main and supporting ideas
Improving global reading skills
Identifying writer’s views and claims
General training reading section 1
General training reading section 2
General training reading section 3
Other English Studies Modules
Turn to the main English Studies page to see all the modules (courses, summaries, exercises, exams, books).
Or visit the courses we offer from the links below:
- Reading Comprehension and Précis 2
- Composition I
- Grammar 2
- Oral communication
- Readings in Culture
- Business Communication