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Summarizing Tips

A Summary is...
  • A Summary is a comprehensive but brief statement of what has been stated previously in a longer form. 
  • A summary is a wrap-up --- a general picture of the information --- much like TV networks produce at the end of a year. 
  • Summaries provide a quick overview of a subject without having the reader wade through a lot of facts and details. Summaries help readers and writers boil information down to its most basic elements. 

A Summary of reading is...
  • An essential condensation in your own words. 
  • Answers the question, "What is the author really saying?"
  • Is the result of careful "Listening" to the author. 
  • Remains faithful to the author's emphasis and interpretation. 
  • Does not disagree with or critique the author's opinion. 
Here are some quick references of what to include in your summaries:
  1. What was the purpose of the reading/assignment/video? What was the main/big idea?
  2. How does the main idea work? Explain main idea.
  3. Examples of the information, what the information really means.
Example Summary: 

(From Starry Night, A1 and A2 for the Astronomy Class). 

    On Earth, we observe days, nights, months, and years. These occur because the Earth is rotating on its axis, while the Moon rotates around the Earth and the Earth and Moon system rotate around the Sun. It takes 24 hours for the Earth to rotate on its axis, which creates the day and night cycle. It takes approximately 28 days for the Moon to go around the Earth, creating a Month and it takes approximately 365 'days' for the Earth and Moon to make one full rotation around the Sun, creating the year. 

    Seasons are the result of Earth being tilted at a 23.5 degree angle as it rotates. This makes part of the Earth point more or less toward the sun. As the Earth goes around the Sun, the part that receives the most direct sunlight as a result of this tilt will be that which is warmer, indicating summer. The opposite is true for winter. Because of this tilt, each hemisphere receives a different amount of light measured in hours depending on the season. There are more daylight hours in the summer than the winter.