The first step to writing a summary of a specific reading material is, of course, to read the whole article. This is easier said than done because reading is not just scanning the whole page. It is about devoting time to understand the paper and digesting the whole article. Re-reading may also be needed to be familiarized with general information, hypothesis, results and interpretations found in the article. Reading the article is followed by taking down notes. Here, plagiarism should be avoided by all means.
There is a world of difference between taking down notes and taking down notes properly. Sometimes, a sentence appears plagiarized even when the author did not intend do, all because of the improper ways of taking down notes. Note taking is also important in creating the outline or backbone of the summary that is about to be written. After this, the actual writing of the summary is next. In writing the draft, it is important to follow the order from the original text.
The topic sentence must be mentioned first, followed by an explanation on why the article is a must-read. If there are methods, terms and variables and results included in the article, they, too, should be explained. This is the chance to omit sentences or information which the article can do without (Sweeney and Hooker, 2005). Critiquing the study comes next, where scouting for areas which need improvement is done. Here, questions about the credibility and value of the summary should be raised.
Critiquing is a way to make sure that the summary is helpful, ethical and significant. It shows why it needs to be done. The fifth step is editing, which is a means to double-check the summary for accuracy and completeness. If the summary lacks important information, add some. If anything sounds redundant, cut it. Editing is about ensuring that the style of the summary remains to be intelligent. Wordiness, informal language, grammatical slips and misspelled words and misrepresentation should be looked after.
The main purpose of editing is making sure that the summary is acceptable, readable and focused (Greenway, 1997).
Greenway, W. (1997). Writing a Summary. Youngstown State University. Retrieved July 9, 2008 from http://iws. ohiolink. edu/~sg-ysu/sumwg. html. Sweeney, T. and Fran H. (2005). Streamlining the Summary, Perfecting the Precis. Webster University Writing Center. Retrieved July 9, 2008 from http://www. webster. edu/acadaffairs/asp/wc/summary. html.
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