What to Expect
In Exercise 5 of the IGCSE Reading & Writing Paper, you will have to read a text and provide a summary based on specific issues of the text relating to the task.
Read the following article about the jaguar, and then write a summary about why the jaguar needed help and how the species has been preserved in Belize. Your summary should be about 100 words.
Summarising is an excellent way of making sure that you understand and remember what you have read. The practice of summarising a text from notes you have made is a useful safeguard against the temptation to use the words of the original or lift chunks of language.
A good summary:
- conveys the information in fewer words
- expresses the content in fewer sentences
- omits information of little importance
- leaves out details and examples
- departs from the vocabulary and structure of the original text
- doesn't include your own opinions or feelings
To write a good summary follow these steps:
- Read the task carefully and underline what exactly you are required to summarise.
- Scan the text (read it quickly) to get the general meaning and underline or highlight the main points relating to the task.
- Read the text again and make notes of the main points.
- DO NOT look at the original text and write out your summary based on your notes.
- Don't forget to use linking words!!! ( First, secondly, finally, however, moreover, in addition etc)
- Read through your summary making sure you have not copied in extent from the original text or included irrelevant points. You can use words or short phrases from the original text but your summary must be your own writing!
- DO NOT exceed the word limit!
You can summarise ideas in different ways:
1. Through Vocabulary:
We spoke to the man who was wearing a white coat and a stethoscope = We spoke to the doctor
2. Through ellipses:
Sometimes, we can leave out words such as a subject or a verb provided that the meaning is clear.
Baby chickens are very sweet when they hatch = Chicks are sweet when hatched.
3. Through generalisation:
She went to the market and bought apples, bananas and oranges = She bought fruit at the market
4. Through shorter constructions:
Despite the fact that it was raining, I still went out. = Despite the rain, I went out.
5. Through rejection of unimportant details:
A few years ago, you could buy a property for next to nothing. Nowadays, however, many families can't even afford to buy a small flat. = Property is more expensive than it used to be.
NOW YOUR TURN!
Summarise the following passages:
(a) There was a heavy snowstorm and the two men, who were very good mountain climbers, climbed up to the highest peak in order to rescue the men who had been trapped at the top of the mountain and, in so doing, risked their lives.
(Write about 20 words)
(b) Although the town had been warned about the hurricane, the authorities did not have enough time to evacuate the residents from their homes. For this reason, there were more casualties than they had expected.
(Write about 20 words)
( c ) People should not kill each other because they have to respect the sanctity of life. Neither should they be prejudiced against a person's race or faith. Every individual has a right to free thought.
(Write about 15 words)
(a) The expert mountain climbers risked their lives in the snowstorm to rescue the trapped men at the peak.
(b) Despite the hurricane warning, there was not enough time to evacuate the residents. Therefore, there were more casualties than expected.
( c ) People should respect human life as well as a person's race and religion.
SOURCE: Reaching Out by Koula Afrodisi and Anthi Kyriacou - Hillside Press