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Thursday, 17 July 2014


3. Step 2: Selecting relevant points

  1. Read the relevant section of the passage, and as you read, underline (in pencil) or highlight each relevant point you find.

  1. Include only main points in your list. Leave out the following:
    • Dialogue
    • Examples
    • Repetitions
    • Quotes

If, however, the question specifically asks you to summarise the various examples, decide on which examples qualify to be main points.

  1. Select at least 8 main points to be included. – 8 marks are allocated to Content, so you will only be awarded marks for the first 8 relevant points you identify. More often than not, there will be at least 8 relevant points in the marking scheme. 7 marks are awarded for Language use. So, there is a total of 15 marks for summary.

  1. List out the main points you have selected (in point form). Re-examine each point to make sure they are relevant to the topics in the summary question.

  1. Sometimes it may help to organise the points and link them by using effective connectors in the order that you will present them in your summary. For example, if you are required to summarise the advantages and disadvantages of the transport system in Singapore, it may be good to write on the advantages first, then the disadvantages (or vice versa).

Task 2
For each of the following passages,

(1)  read the question carefully and highlight / underline the key words or phrases;
(2)  decide on the number of topics to be summarised for each question; then
(3)  create a list of relevant points for your summary.

  1. Changes in the design of the family home reflect changes in the lifestyle of modern city dwellers. In the 1950s, the typical suburban home had a kitchen, which was separate from the dining room. Most homes today have dispensed with this, and have a combined dining and kitchen area. During the last decade, it has become standard for home designs to include a family room, which is primarily for the use of children. This was not known in the 1950s. Today, parents retire to a master bedroom which will have an ensuite bathroom. For the previous generation, one bathroom was sufficient for the whole family.  

Q: Summarise the features of the modern home which were not present in earlier homes.

  1. Mr Tan was charming. He stood in front of us each morning and we all listened to his lessons attentively. He was witty and humorous. His presentation was not only instructive but also entertaining. He maintained interest by displaying slides of the places he described. His material was dazzling. He had collected spears and shrunken heads, all of which he brought into the classroom. Despite his great knowledge, he impressed us all with his modesty. 

Q:  Summarise the reasons why Mr Tan’s lessons were popular.

  1. witty and humorous

  1. presentation is instructive and entertaining

  1. maintained interest by displaying slides

  1. materials are dazzling

  1. modest despite being knowledgeable

  1. Beached whales are a regular occurrence on the Tasmanian coastline. There are several theories about why whales become stranded on a beach, but no one knows for certain. Some scientists believe it is a deliberate suicide, perhaps caused by the whales’ rejection from the pod. Others believe that an infection of the inner ear affects the sonar by which whales navigate, causing them to lose their way. There is another view that it is the coastal terrain which is to blame. Invariably, whales are beached on long, sandy beaches, where the incline of the sea-bed is gentle. It is thought that this somehow deceived them and they are accidentally run aground. They may be chasing fish who intentionally lead them to shallow water in order to avoid being eaten. Perhaps there is no single reason. Each one of the above may apply, depending on the particular circumstances of each stranding.  

Q:  Summarise the possible reasons why whales beach themselves.

  1. The Internet is perhaps the most remarkable invention of the twentieth century. It is an advertising medium through which commercial enterprises promote their products. Some businesses no longer operate through conventional retail outlet, but use the Net exclusively as the site from which their business is conducted. The Net is also a means of sharing knowledge, as a form of non-commercial transaction. There are many academic sites devoted to discussion between individuals about issues of importance. The Net has also revolutionised personal communications. Electronic mail allows instantaneous communication between individuals and ‘chat lines’ even facilitates conversations between people who may be thousands of miles apart. 

Q:  Summarise the uses of the Internet.

  1. \

r art.
  1. Before 1960, schooling was perceived as a means through which a set body of facts was transmitted to a new generation. However, in the second half of the twentieth century, it became apparent that what counted for a “fact” was open to dispute: many so-called “facts” were no longer facts. In Science, new theories in Physics changed our understanding of atomic particles, and astronomers changed our understanding of the universe. New maps of Europe, Africa and Asia turned a generation’s geographical knowledge into history. To accommodate this, education systems began to emphasise processes of enquiry rather than products of enquiry. Put simply, thinking becomes more important than memory. 

Q: Summarise the points which describe, exemplify and give reasons for the change in the  education system in the second half of the twentieth century.

  1. many so-called

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