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Writing a Summary

Dostanete delší anglický článek a máte z něho vytvořit krátké “summary” v angličtině. Takto vypadá zadání u zkoušek na vysoké škole, u zkoušek pro získání certifikátu (FCE apod.) a nebo při testování Vašich znalostí angličtiny u přijímacího řízení do zaměstnání. Dnes si ukážeme několik chytrých rad a tipů, jak se s tímto úkolem co nejlépe vypořádat a získat vysoké hodnocení.

Purpose of summary

The purpose of a summary is to provide your reader with a brief, unbiased overview of the original text.

Steps to writing a summary

  • Compare your summary with the original text and ask your self the following questions:
  • Write your summary – it should be approximately 1/4 to 1/3 the size of the original article. (This may not always be the case with your exam.)
  • Decide which, if any, details (and/or examples) are most necessary in order to understand the main ideas of the original text.
  • Identify and underline or highlight the main ideas of the article.
  • Read the article carefully.
  • Do you present the ideas of the text in the same order at the original does? If not, does your summary have a logical order?
  • Is the summary complete and accurate?
  • Is it written in your own words? (In the case of your bachelor´s exam, make sure that your summary is not simply a translation!)
  • Is it free of grammatical errors?
    • Subject / verb agreement
    • Verb tense (Generally present simple is udesd to discuss literature and is appropriate for summaries, even if the article is very old.)
    • Proper word order
    • Proper word forms
    • Singular / plural agreement
    • Pronoun agreement
    • Spelling

Suggestions and useful tips

  •  Be thorough, but concise.
  • Do not list statistics; just briefly describe general trends.
  • Use direct quotes sparingly, it at all.
  • Do not overuse examples.
  • Do not use the title of the original text of the author´s name as a „headline“ or a title for your summary.
  • Never offer any personal judgments of the original text in a summary!
  • Do not refer to yourself in the summary, e.g. I just read an article.
  • Avoid lists.
  • Avoid bullet points.
  • Avoid single sentence paragraphs.
  • Do not translate.
  • Do not use informal abbreviations such as „u“ instead of „you“.
  • Try to use proper vocabulary, e.g. Customer service instead of care of customer.
  • Using transition words is a good way to provide order for your summary.
  • Your summary should demonstrate that you understood the original text.
  • It is often best to keep your sentences short and simple.

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