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How To Write a Summary

What is a summary?
Summary is a short passage giving the main points of an original article. What should we pay attention to w

hen we write a summary? 主题 文体 记叙文 write a summary 人称 议论文 时态 说明文

1、时态 2、人称 5要素 3、____________

时态、人称、5要素 Who What (a student) Alan Reed
was mistakenly given $50 extra by a bank clerk returned the money after consideration; impressed the clerk with his honesty


When where

A possible version:

The story was about Alan who was mistakenly given $50 extra by a bank clerk. He finally returned it after consideration. The clerk was impressed and contacted the newspaper to praise his honesty. (33 words)

* Read the criteria(评分标准) carefully

* Compare it with your version
* Find out how you can improve your summary

Practice makes perfect! Practice 1:
I don’t have many unhappy memories but one sad story took place on my last birthday. Before the birthday, I worked out a plan with my parents. We planned to have dinner together in McDonald’s, my favourite restaurant. Then we would go to the Xinghai Concert Hall for a concert given by a group of famous young singers. And the most exciting thing, of course, was the birthday presents. They promised to give me a new MP3 player. However, something unexpected happened on that day. I went home as early as I could. I waited and waited but my parents didn’t come back.

I felt angry at first and then upset. How could they treat me this way? They always forgot me just because they were busy with their work. Yes, they were always busy. They broke their promise and got home late. After that, my grandmother had a talk with me to help me understand my parents’ situation and that made me feel much better.

记叙文 文体:____________ 一般过去时 时态:________________
(The writer/author) He 人称:____________________ Exchange your answer with your partners

5要素 Who What How
When where

The author/writer, he
felt angry and upset because his parents forgot to celebrate his birthday with him understood his parents after talking with his grandmother

on his last birthday

A possible version: The author described what happened on his last birthday. He felt disappointed because his parents couldn’t have the celebration with him. But he came to understand them after talking to his grandmother. Tips: 概括不用第一人称

Practice 2:
A little boy is telling his Grandma how “everything” is going wrong. School, family problem, severe health problems, etc. Meanwhile, Grandma is baking a cake. She asks her grandson if he would like a cake, which, of course, he does. “Here, have some cooking oil.” “Terrible!” says the boy. “How about a couple raw eggs?” “Terrible! Grandma!” “Would you like some flour then? Or maybe baking soda?” “Grandma, those are all awful!”

To which Grandma replies, “Yes, all those things seem bad by themselves, but when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake! “Life works the same way. Many times we wonder why it would let us go through such bad and difficult times. But life knows that when it puts these things all in its order, they always work for good! “The trials(考验) of life serve a meaningful purpose in making us stronger. Do not lose heart if life is not easy for you right now, but encourage yourself and know you will be much stronger mentally and physically because of the trials of life.”

Exchange your answer with your partners

记叙文 文体:____________ 时态:________________ (a little boy) he, 人称:____________________ 5要素 Who What How
When where

a little boy
complained to his grandma about his problems

compared problems to cake materials; trials make us stronger

A possible version: A boy complained about difficulties in life. His grandmother, who showed that a cake tasted delicious but its materials tasted awful, taught him that the trials of life make people stronger.



Practice 3:
One beautiful spring day a red rose came out in a forest. As it looked around, a pine tree nearby said, “What a beautiful flower! I wish I was that lovely.” Another tree said, “Don’t be sad, we can’t have everything.” The red rose looked at a cactus (仙人掌) and said, “ What an ugly plant full of thorns (刺)!” The pine tree said, “ Red rose, what kind of talk is this? Who can say what beauty is? You have thorns too.” The proud red rose looked angrily at the pine and said, “You don’t know what beauty is. You can’t compare me to a cactus.”

Spring passed, and the weather became very warm. Life became difficult as no rain fell. The red rose was dying. One day the red rose saw birds suck water from the cactus. “Doesn’t it hurt when they bite into the cactus?” asked the red rose. “Yes, but the cactus does not like to see any birds suffer,” replied the pine. “The birds can bring water to you if you ask the cactus for help.” But the red rose felt too ashamed of its past words to ask.

Exchange your answer with your partners

(记叙文)寓言 文体:____________ 时态:________________ 人称:____________________ Who What How
When where


a beautiful rose
laughed at the cactus for its appearance felt ashamed when she saw the cactus giving water to help the birds

Once a beautiful proud rose, which was admired by other plants, teased the cactus for its appearance. However, when the weather became dry, the rose felt ashamed of itself as she saw the cactus providing others with water.

Score: 4-5

A possible version: A proud rose thinks that it’s superior to other plants in the forest because of its beauty. But it later learn that beauty is not the only thing when it sees the cactus helping thirsty birds.



A summary must:
include the main idea in your own words. 人称、时态、5要素 (记叙文) 把握主题、关键词

用好关联词(but, because, so ), 表达清晰 方法+练习+反思

Summary Aidea in yourmust: include the main summary own
words. phrases with similar meaning
different sentence patterns include supporting ideas. not include your own opinions. include some shortest transitional words.

Tips for writing a summary 1. Read the passage for overall content and identify the structure or style. 2. Reread carefully, highlighting the key words, phrases, and sentences. 3. In your final draft, insert transitional words and phrases where necessary. Combine sentences for a smooth, logical flow of ideas.

More techniques:
? ? ? ? Skill1: Omit (省略) the details Skill2: Omit the repetitions Skill3: Omit the examples Skill4: Use general(概括性) words instead of specific(具体的) words ? Skill5: Use the shortest possible transitions (but, then, thus, yet, for)

About the language
1. Change unnecessary clauses into phrases 2. Change useless phrases into single words

3.Change the sentence structure(结构)
4.Change the voice(语态) of the sentence 5.Use the synonyms(同义词)

1.注意:利用原文中所给的语言材料,用自己的话来写; 概括后的文章意思要通顺,行文连贯。

2. 概括要做到开门见山 1) According to the passage, we know… 2) This article is mainly about… 3) The writer states that… 3. 概括要抓住要点,语言精练.

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