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TOEFL PREPARATION CLASS ACADEMIC SKILLS (SUMMARIZING AND SYNTHESIZING)

SUMMARIZING
Related to paraphrasing because you use your own words When you paraphrase you include all of the information When you summarize you include only the main ideas Paraphrase is about the same length as the original; a summary is shorter than the original

PROBLEMS YOU WILL CONFRONT WHEN


SUMMARIZING
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A summary does not include everything in the original (try not to write too much) Details and examples that support the main idea are usually not included in a summary (you will have to discriminate between the main points and the details/examples) The author`s point of view must be maintained (you cannot express your opinion when you report the information)

HOW WILL THIS STRATEGY HELP YOU ON THE TOEFL?


By learning to summarize you will be able to answer the questions that are worth the most points on the Reading section There are also questions that require you to produce summaries on the Writing and the Speaking sections Research demonstrates that students who understand how to summarize and use this skill when they prepare for tests will be able to remember the information better

CONDENSE THE IDEAS STRATEGIES TO USE


1. Be brief - a summary is the shorter version of the original (e.g. if the original is 1000 words, a summary would be 200-500 words) a paraphrase is about the same number of words as the original, but a summary should be brief and concise Details and examples are used to explain and extend the main points in a reading/lecture / to be brief, avoid them in a summary

2. Combine sentences Another good way to condense the ideas Connecting words put sentences together and show the relationships between them Clauses of addition and, moreover Clauses of reversal but, however Clauses of result although, even though, because, since, when Clauses of contrast whereas Descriptive clauses which, who, that Chronology clauses while, before, after Conclusion clauses therefore, thus

IDENTIFY THE MAIN POINTS STRATEGIES TO


USE
1.

Find a topic sentence The topic answers the question : What is this reading/lecture about? Topic sentence very general statement that includes the subject of the reading/lecture and also the way that the author/speaker plans to develop the topic The first sentence in the summary should be a direct statement it should give the reader/listener a general idea of the topic for the reading/listening Sometimes you can paraphrase a topic sentence from the original reading/lecture but sometimes you must create it yourself from several sentences in the orginial

2. Identify the major points A major point is almost always directly stated It has examples and details that refer to it It is often found at the beginning of a new paragraph Inferences and conclusions or examples and details are usually not major points

3. Identify the minor points It can be an example/detail that supports the major point or it can be a point that is not very well developed It can be mentioned without supporting examples or details in the original reading/lecture It is usually not included in the summary If you can identify the minor points you can eliminate them You can shorten your summary

REPORT THE INFORMATION STRATEGIES TO USE


1.

Use the same organization as the original A summary should retain the same organization as the original reading/lecture A good summary begins with the first major point and follows with each major point in order that it appears in the original First, determine the organization of the reading/lecture Then list the main points in the order in which you read/heard them (this list gives you an outline for your summary)

2. Report the content accurately You will be evaluated not only on how well you use language to write a summary but also on how accurately you understand and report the content of the original Read and listen for meaning. When you finished it review the content. Ask yourself some basic questions who, what, when, where, why, how?

3. Retain the original emphasis The emphasis should be the same on both the original and the summary When you read, think in terms of space (how much space does the author devote to each point?) When you listen, think in terms of time (how much time does the speaker devote to each point?) When you do this, you are determining the emphasis for each point in the original and you will know how much emphasis to give to these points in your summary

4. Maintain the objective point of view An objective point of view is a neutral position A summary is not an analysis or a commentary It does not invite an opinion In it, you should not agree/disagree with the author`s/speaker`s ideas. Don`t make judgments Don`t add infromation When you report, you should include your opinions or comments The conclusion should be author`s/speaker`s and not yours

5. Check the summary Save some time at the end of your writter summary to re-read it and check it Keep a short check-list in mind as you review your content and organization

SHORT CHECK-LIST FOR SUMMARIES


Be brief Use the same organization as the original Include the major points Report the content accurately Retain the original emphasis Paraphrase using your own words Maintain an objective point of view

SYNTHESIZING
Means to combine two or more sources in order to create something new Probably the most complex academic skill because it includes all of the other academic skills (taking notes, paraphrasing and summarizing) The result of a synthesis should be more than the sum of parts

PROBLEMS THAT YOU WILL CONFRONT WHEN


YOU ARE SYNTHESIZING
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The relationship between the sources may not be obvious (you may have to figure out the connection) One source appears to contain all of the necessary information (you need to be sure to balance the information so that all of the sources are used) Synthesis requires a high level of thinking (you should have a plan in order to create a synthesis)

HOW WILL THIS STRATEGY HELP YOU ON THE TOEFL?

By learning to synthesize information from readings and lectures, you will develop ways of thinking that will help you prepare important integrated speaking and writing questions

INDENTIFY THEMES AND CONNECTIONS


STRATEGIES TO USE
1.

Identify the primary source At least 2 points are required for a synthesis The primary source presents the major points and the secondary source provides additional information The directions for a task or a question on a test will help you indentify the primary source Read the directions very carefully to determine which source you are being asked to use your primary source The primary source is usually but not always mentioned first

Example:

Primary source: Summarize the points that the lecturer makes, Secondary source: explaining how they cast doubt on the information in the reading

2. Analyze the task The wording of the question/assignment will direct your thinking Some words/phrases that refer to the secondary source demonstrate agreement and extension, the others show disagreement and contrast It is important to understand the meaning of these words/phrases in order to analyze the task; the way that you relate the secondary source to the primary source depends on these words

Agreement/ extension add to; affirm; agree; concur with; confirm; prove; support; validate; verify Disagreement/ contrast cast doubt on; contradict; contrast with; counter; differ from; discredit; oppose Neutral describe; explain; list; outline; relate; summarize

3. Clarify the relationships The relationships between the primary source and the secondary source is usually more specific than an extension or a contrast

Examples of relationships: Extension/agreement


Primary source Concept Theory Definition Cause Problem Secondary source Example/ case study Research study/proof Example/characteristics Effect/result Solution

Contrast/disagreement
Primary source Definition/explanation Issue/situation Opinion Advantages Secondary source Comparison Comparison/contrast Contrasting opinion Disadvantages

4. Get organized Read the directions for your assignment or the question for your test Ask yourself these questions: 1. What is the primary source? 2. What is the secondary source? 3. What is the task? Extension or contrast? 4. What is the specific relationship between the primary and the secondary source?

SELECT INFORMATION FROM BOTH SOURCES STRATEGIES TO USE


1.

Summarize the primary source You will often be asked to summarize the main points in the primary source and then relate the secondary source to it After you have taken notes on both sources, direct your attention to the notes for the primary source

2. Use transition sentences Very useful in a synthesis Can be used to contradict the information from the primary source with the information from the secondary source Show the specific relationships between the two sources (theory research study; definition example; case study concept; cause effect; solution problem, etc.)

3. Include the secondary source A synthesis is not complete unless information from the secondary source is included

FOLLOW A PLAN STRATEGIES TO USE


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Memorize a procedure and follow the steps Read the assignment/ test question Identify the primary source Identify the secondary source Decide whether the task is extension or contrast Determine the specific relationship between the primary and secondary sources Read the passage and take notes Listen to the lecture and take notes Plan and write a synthesis Summarize the primary source Create a transition sentence to connect primary with the secondary source Summarize the secondary source while making references to the primary source

2. Work within time limits Read the assignment/ test question 10 seconds 1. Identify the primary source 2. Identify the secondary source 3. Decide whether the task is extension or contrast 4. Determine the specific relationship between the primary and secondary sources Read the passage and take notes 3 minutes Listen to the lecture and take notes 3-5 minutes Plan and write a synthesis 20 minutes 1. Summarize the primary source 2. Create a transition sentence to connect primary with the secondary source 3. Summarize the secondary source while making references to the primary source