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TESTS: How to Write Summaries

Summary writing

A summary is the short and orderly compression of a text. It contains only the essence of the original, its heart. It leaves out:
- examples,
- illustrations,
- comparisons,
- direct speech,
- interpretation or appreciation.

How to proceed in writing a summary:
Read the text thoroughly
Find the main ideas and underline them
Mark the parts of the text which can be omitted
Make a topic outline
Write the summary from the point of view of the author.
Do it in your own words.
Join sentences by but, yet, however, therefore, although, since, etc.

Example:
THE COMPLAINT
The restaurant-car staff on first rate long-distance trains seem to belong to an arrogant race. They are frequently given to superior attitudes towards their customers. Only a bold and courageous man will argue with a dining-car waiter and complain to a foreigner in his native tongue. An act of heroism was recently performed by a Spaniard who dared to question the tenderness of a steak served to him in the dining-car of the Madrid-Paris express. The head-waiter appeared, full of contempt, and pretended he could not make head or tail — of the complaint. The Spaniard insisted, however, and finally the waiter, breaking off the exchange with scorn, informed him that there was a suggestions and complaints box at the end of the car. The Spaniard thanked him calmly and seizing the steak from his plate walked down the car ahead of the waiter and stuffed it inside the complaints box.



Outline
Restaurant-car waiters' attitudes towards their customers

A Spaniard's complaint

The head-waiter's reaction

The complaint box
Summary
Restaurant-car waiters often behave arrogantly towards passengers, of whom only the bravest dare to complain.
Once a Spaniard, on the Madrid-Paris express, did this not being satisfied with his steak.
The head-waiter pretended not to understand him, but under pressure, told the man of the existence of the complaint box.
Immediately the Spaniard took the steak and pushed it into the box.




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