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English for Academic Studies (Workshop) Session 9: Summarizing Skills

Semester 1, 2009/10 © PolyU HKCC

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Sessiun 9: Summarizing Skills

Part 4: Biagnustic 1est

Circle the letter of the title that best summarises the following selection. Then
summarize the paragraphs within 40 words.

Domestic violence has become a burgeoning problem in Hong Kong. It is
unsurprising that local news have frequently reported cases of domestic violence.
Victims, in most cases women and children, have frequently endured years of physical
and emotional abuses before any intervention is done. In some cases, the much needed
intervention simply comes too late.

It is often felt that more things, like stepping up the penalties and amending the
existing law, should be done by the government to reduce the number of domestic
violence incidents. While stricter policies may help deter certain forms of abuses such
as physical and/or sexual abuses, educating the public about the signs and seriousness of
spousal abuses is indispensible to the prevention of them. Enabling the abused spouse
to recognize abuse at the initial stage is particularly vital. Experiencing excessive fear
of one’s partner or having an extremely controlling partner may already be a telling signal
of having an unhealthy, and/or even, abusive relationship. Simultaneously, the public
should be encouraged to listen to those abusive stories and speak up if they ever suspect
that someone is being abused by his or her partner. If more people can notice and
acknowledge the seriousness of domestic violence earlier, fewer people need to suffer at
the hands of their abusers.

1. Which title best summarises the above selection?

a. Domestic Violence
b. Seriousness of Domestic Violence
c. Ways of Preventing Domestic Violence

2. Summarize the selection within 40 words:
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English for Academic Studies (Workshop) Session 9: Summarizing Skills
Semester 1, 2009/10 © PolyU HKCC

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Part B: Summarizing Skills - Review

Since the purpose of writing a summary is to shorten and revise the original materials, we
should follow the following steps in drafting a summary:

Step 1: Read the whole selection and pay particular attention to its title, headings,
and first and last paragraphs.
Step 2: Re-read the work and identify areas of importance (main ideas).
Step 3: Take note of the important points and remove all the unnecessary details.
Step 4: Draft the summary using synonyms and new sentence structures.
Step 5: Revise the summary so as to make sure the summary is phrased very
differently from the original text.

Part C: Cuncept Buusting Lxercises

Exercise C1: Sumamrise the following sentences within 25 words without changing their
meaning.

1. Of all the regrets in my life so far, one of my greatest regrets is that I didn't spend
enough time to have fun and enjoy my life when I was young and this perhaps
explains why I always crave for more adventures and excitement, and why I always
emphasize happiness should take precedence over other aspects like career, money,
etc.
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2. I always believe that unhappiness is caused by irrational thoughts and unrealistic
expectations. Some people may experience tremendous pains when their love
terminates prematurely or beyond their expectations. However, if they can stand
apart and reflect rationally, they will realize that love is by nature short-lived and it
will come to end, either through death, divorce, betrayal, etc., sooner or later. If they
can perceive the truth, it is clear that their pain can be assuaged.

English for Academic Studies (Workshop) Session 9: Summarizing Skills
Semester 1, 2009/10 © PolyU HKCC

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3. Although there is no single formula leading to success, a person’s ability to perceive
things differently and thus behave differently from the majority appears to be quite
essential. When people dare to undertake a different course of action, they tend to
leave a stronger impression upon others.
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Exercise C2: Read the following passage and then write a title and a one-sentence
summary within 40 words.

Although the Internet has frequently been characterized as a male-dominated
domain, recent evidence indicated that the gender gap in the Internet use has been rapidly
diminishing. Nowadays, both men and women appear to have equal access to the cyber
world. Despite the equal accessibility, some differences are still perceivable in terms of
the Internet use between the two sexes. One of the obvious differences lies in the type
of information that males and females search for or spend time on. While men tend to
spend more time exploring new information such as sports news, weather information,
news on stocks markets etc. through the Internet, women use it for sharing information
(through blogs and/or Facebook) and/or communicating with others (through email
and/or MSN). Such difference surely reinforces the established stereotypes we find
between the genders, which males are less sensitive to human relations and are more
adept at logical analysis and calculations and females are predisposed to connecting,
communicating and caring others.
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