Students often find this more difficult than writing the essays. Yet, summary writing is a skill that can be acquired through practice. It requires the ability to be able to identify main points and condense them into a summary. Thus summary writing means you'll have to be able to write concisely and connect the main points in your own words. Try this simple exercise by summarizing the sentence:
Last Sunday I went out with my brothers and sisters and parents to an electrical shop where we bought a vacuum cleaner, two light bulbs and a decorative fan.
Clue: Replace the underlined words with one or more words.
Here's the answer:
Last Sunday I went out with my family to an electrical shop where we bought some electrical goods.
Here's another example.
I was driving along the busy Sg. Besi Road yesterday and there were so many cars, buses, pickups, lorries and motorcycles that I had to inch my way to the city.
This is how you can summarize the above sentence:
I was driving along the busy Sg. Besi Road yesterday and there were so many vehicles that I had to inch my way to the city.
By the way, you can reduce the sentence further. Discuss with a friend, or ask your teacher.
In the meantime, let's take a look at how you can use one, two or three words to indicate the occupation or work of the following people. Sometimes you may have to reuse the given words in the sentence.
He works in a hospital and he treats the sick and infirm.
He is a doctor.
a) She works at a swimming pool teaching people how to swim.
b) He works in a workshop repairing cars and trucks.
c) Karim goes from house to house cutting grass.
d) He writes novels and short stories.
e) Jeremy Lin sends articles about his travels to newspapers and magazines.
f) Dosh operates a clinic where he treats animals.
g) Kathy attends to customers problems and queries in a bank.
h) Kim is the head of a primary school in charge of 55 teachers.
i) Borhan lends money to people and charges them a high interest rate.
j) Sally works in a hospital treating and operating on patients who have a heart problem.
Now that you've done some exercises with single sentences, let's take a look at how to summarize a short passage. Try to summarize the following by using the summary writing skills that you've used so far.
Here's the winning answer:
I go to a co-educational school. We have to learn ten subjects. My favourite subject is art. Our art teacher is a famous artist who exhibits his paintings overseas.
Here's another exercise where you'll have to use one word to replace a few words. Replace the words in bold with one word. The first letter of each word is given.
Last Friday, I a.................... Sheila to the dental clinic in Segambut. Sheila and I e........... the dentist's room. The dentist told her that her tooth had to be ................. Sheila was usually quite brave, but on that day she c......... out of fear.