Monday, October 13, 2008

Summary Writing Tips


General guidelines

  1. Read the whole passage through once to get a general idea of what it is about. Do not worry if you come across unfamiliar words. Sometimes, it is not necessary to understand every word you read.
  2. Do read the passage a second time, if necessary. The second reading helps you take in the details and improve your understanding.
  3. Read the questions carefully. Use cue words in the questions to help you answer them. These can be the “wh” words (what, when, where, why, who, whose, how) and action verbs (identify, find, list).
  4. Questions sometimes contain words found in the passage. Use these words to help you identify the part of the passage where the answer can be found.
  5. You do not have to answer questions in complete sentences (look at the sample answers given).
  6. You can lift words, clauses or sentences from the passage to answer questions. You do not have to use your own words unless you are told to do so. Be careful not to alter/distort the meaning expressed in the passage and hence lose precious marks.
  7. For questions on vocabulary, if you are asked for a word, then give only ONE word and nothing else. Make sure you spell the word correctly. If you are asked for a phrase, then give the relevant phrase. If you copy the sentence where the word or phrase are found, you must indicate the chosen word or phrase by underlining it or putting it within quotation marks.
  8. Some questions require you to use your own words and you must do so.
  9. Do pay attention to the tense (and sometimes, pronoun) used in the questions when formulating your answers.
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