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Section C

SPM Paper 2–
Comprehension and Summary
Comprehension – 5- 7 questions – 10 marks – 30
minutes
Summary – 1 question – 15 marks- 30 minutes
DESCRIPTIVE

NARRATIVE

COMPREHENSION : TYPES OF PASSAGES

FACTUAL EXPOSITORY
TYPES OF COMPREHENSION
QUESTIONS
Factual
-To give information Vocabulary
: How many children -Word Replacement
were there? : Find a word to replace…
-To state list -Word/ phrase explanation
: List two benefits of... : Explain the meaning of…
-Word identification
: Find a word or phrase which means..
Inferential
-To read what the writer Evaluative
implies but not stated -To give opinions
explicitly : What do you think…?
: How is the practice :Suggest other ways…
beneficial to students? : Do you agree with..Give reason
: What are the implications
of this discovery?
Comprehension
• Skim the passage to get a general idea first

• Read the questions carefully


• Read the passage again.
Underline the important points
• Answer the questions briefly but use
complete sentences
• When you are asked to give evidence, use
quotation marks for your answer
• Questions sometimes contain words found in the
passage. Use these words to help you identify
the part of the passage where the answer can
be found.
• You can lift clauses or sentences from the
passage to answer questions. You do not have
to use your own words unless you are told to do
so. Moreover, there is a danger in paraphrasing
– you might alter/distort the meaning expressed
in the passage.

• For questions on vocabulary, if you are asked for


a word, then give only ONE word and nothing else.
Make sure you spell the word correctly. If you are
asked for a phrase, then give the relevant phrase.
• When you are asked to quote a phrase or
give a word or sentence, make sure you lift
it from the text.
• Answer the questions in the order set. The
answer to the first question is usually found
in the first paragraph and so on.
• Some questions require you to use your
own words and you must do so.

• Do pay attention to the tense used in the


questions when formulating your
answers.
Pitfalls to avoid
1. Do not give more than the required information.
Sometimes, students copy chunks from a text,
giving two or more sentences. This only
highlights their weakness – failure to understand
the question and/or text.

2. Do not give two or more answers to a question.


Some students write down all the possible
answers to a question just to be on the safe
side.

3. Do not waste time paraphrasing answers unless


you are asked to do so.
My parents came across each other in 1975 at
Pumpkin Hollow Farm, a retreat centre in Craryville,
New York, where my mum taught ritual dance and
yoga and my dad was a general labourer and
groundskeeper. When they found out I
was on the way, they were both ecstatic. But my
mum and dad had different ideas about how things
would be once I was born. My dad loved my mum,
but she just did not want to be tied down. She told
him, “I’m free. You’re free.”
• 26 From paragraph 2,
• (a) where did the writer’s parents first meet?
…….................................................................(1 mark)
• (b) which word means ‘excited’?
…….................................................................(1 mark)
Still, Dad held out hope that things would change. After
Mum delivered me at St. Joseph Hospital in Albuquerque,
near her family, she sent him to get her suitcase. While he
was packing up her things, he did some snooping. He had
Been suspicious that she was seeing someone and found
love letters that another man had written to her. Heart-
broken, he decided to move back to Ohio, where he had
lived before.

27 (a) From paragraph 3, why did the writer’s


father snoop around when he was
packing the mother’s suitcase?
…............................................................... [1 mark]
I was about to turn 23 and I just felt compelled. My
mum was very supportive; she realised how important
it was to me. “I knew you’d eventually do this,” she
said. I decided to start by calling my father’s parents.
We have been in touch on and
off over the years, and they lived about an hour away
from my dad. I called them at home on Father’s Day.
When someone picked up, I asked, “Who’s this?” “This
is John,” the voice said. It was my dad.
(a) what was the response of the writer’s mother
when he tried to reach out for his dad?
..................................................................... [1 mark]
(b) how did the writer finally get in touch with his
father?
..................................................................... [1 mark]
That moment put both of us on the spot. We talked
for half-an-hour, and I told him I wanted to make a trip to
Ohio to visit. That July, my best friend and I drove from
Brooklyn to my grandparents’ house, and the next day, my
dad came over. I remembered being pretty nervous as he
pulled up in his van. Standing in the driveway, we hugged.
It was a little uncomfortable, but neither of us could stop
smiling. We talked briefly and looked at some baby pictures
of me he had brought. I asked him some questions, like if I
cried a lot when I was little. My dad, a special education
tutor, is a pretty quiet guy, but he really opened up to me
that afternoon. He told me how much he had loved my
mum and how hard it was for him when it ended between
them.
29 (a) From paragraph 8, which phrase shows that
John Dunbar explained everything to the writer?
................................................................. [1 mark]
What is Summary Writing?
• A brief restatement of the important points
of a text
• Involves putting the ideas in you own
words
• No personal opinion involved
• Considered the highest skill in language
acquisition
Skim Read the Whole Passage S
U Underline the main points

Minimize the words in the sentence M

M Make sure your points summarizes


the main idea

Arrange your points to link A

R Reread and rewrite your summary

YAHOOO!!! Finish!!!! Y
Techniques Of Summary Writing

• A- Understand the passage


1. Read the passage once through. Do not panic when you do not seem
to know some words in the passage. Try to understand the passage as
a whole

2, Read the question and understand what is required of you. You


may be required to focus on one aspect of the text but not another. For
example: Summarize the reaction of the children
Thus you are asked to summarize only the children’s reactions, not
what they did or what other characters said. Watch out for words such
as , reaction, what she did, how she felt.

3. Once you know what is required, read the passage carefully and
underline important facts, statement and ideas.
Techniques Of Summary Writing

• B – Selecting relevant information


When a writer constructs a paragraph , he or she normally has a
theme or a core idea. He then develops this theme with a main idea
and one or two supporting statements.

PARAGRAPH Theme Main Idea Supporting Statements

When we summarize a passage, it is important to select only relevant


information
STAY FOCUS OKAY !
Techniques Of Summary Writing
Read the paragraph below. Let’s say you were asked to summarize the
problems Ridzuan faced. What would you consider relevant in you
summary?
Ridzuan could not believe his eyes. All the money
that he had painstakingly saved was gone. The thief
had taken every single sen. Hr stared helplessly at
the empty dented tin which had held his savings.
Tears flowed from the corners of his eyes. He
caressed the tin lovingly, the memory of his money
once again threatening a fresh flow of tears. All the
hard work, the hungry moments and the sacrifices
were in vain. He would not be able to pay his
examination fees. His mother would be very
disappointed. He grabbed the tin and threw it against
the wall
Pick out the relevant sentences from the options given
A- A thief stole all his money
B- He felt very sad and helpless
C- His mother would be disappointed
D- He would not be able to pay his examination fees

The relevant sentences are sentence A and D. Sentence B is his


feelings and this, it is irrelevant. Sentence C, is about his mother’s
feelings and it is also irrelevant
Techniques Of Summary Writing

• C The art Condensing


Condensing is the art of reducing the number of words on
a sentence or paragraphs without losing its main
theme, idea and supporting statements. There are
several ways of condensing a paragraph or a sentence
Techniques Of Summary Writing
• C- The Art Of Condensing
i- Use A General Term To Replace A group Of Items
Example : bicycles, buses, cars, lorries = vehicles
washing detergent, soap powder, a bat of soap = cleaning
products
ii- Use A Phrase Or Sentence To Replace An Idea Or
An Opinion
Example: A new player was sent into the field at half-
time to take the place of the injured player.
A new player substituted the injured player at half time
Techniques Of Summary Writing
iii- Leave Out Unnecessary Words And Replace Them
With A Word Or Phrase
Example : Without any delay – immediately

Iv- Leave Out Unnecessary Details And Figures Of


Speech : Combine Sentences

Example : I woke up, went into the bathroom, had a wash,


brushed my teeth, picked up my bag and went to school-
After getting up from bed, I freshened up and went to
school
Techniques Of Summary Writing

V – Summarize Direct Speech and Dialogue

In a narrative essay, there will be a lot of dialogues


and direct speech. How do you summarize them?
Use reported speech and retain only necessary
comments and important points of the narration
Example “ I want to know right now what you did to my
book!” he shouted.
He demanded to know what I had done to his
book.
TIPS TO SUMMARY WRITING
1. Read the question carefully. Ask yourself:
“What am I required to summarise”.
2. Mark the first and last lines of the passage
you are asked to refer to.
3. Then select information that is relevant to your
answer. To do this, underline the relevant lines or
ideas as you read the text. Always ask yourself: “Is
this??” (For the summary below, you would ask: “Is
this what Yunus did to help the poor? Is this an
improvement in the lives of the women?”).
4. Look through the lines/ideas you have
underlined.

5. Summarise these ideas, using condensation,


reorganisation or paraphrasing skills.

6. If you cannot paraphrase ideas, see if there are


words in the text that you can replace.

7. Begin the summary with the 10 words given


and remember that the three dots after the tenth
word mean you have to complete the sentence with
some relevant information from the text.

8. Organise the ideas/points in the manner in


which they are found in the text.
9. Adhere to the word limit. Writing more
than the required number of words will not
get you any marks. Anything far too short of
the word limit means you lack content.

10. Pay attention to the tense (and


sometimes pronoun) used in the given 10
words.
11. Write the summary in one paragraph.
Common Errors
In Summary Writing
• 1. Do not include information not in the text.
• 2. Do not include your own ideas or opinions.
• 3. Do not spend too much time paraphrasing as
you might end up losing marks for content unless
you can do so without altering/distorting meaning.
• 4. Do not repeat ideas. Sometimes, an idea is
repeated in the text and you may not notice it as it
may have been paraphrased.
• 5. Do not include material from other lines in the
text.
Sample Passage
Read the following passage and summarize the causes of
poaching in Sabah in not more than 70 words.
Wildlife poaching is in the rise in Sabah. The growing slaughter of protected
species is due partly to job losses caused by falling cocoa process and government
curbs on raw timber exports. Most poachers are hungry villagers with homemade
weapons. Others are commercial hunters cashing in on the market for exotic food
and health products. One target is the proboscis monkey, prized for its liver. The
most sought-after is the endangered Sumatran rhinoceros, worth up to RM50,000.
There are only a few left in Sabah.
Thrill seekers are another threat. Some officials with gun licenses treat
these animals as their hunting game. Many go into the forest and kill endangered
species. Some even boast about their hunt to their colleagues the next day.
Although there are species which are not protected , the line between hunting and
poaching is blurred in the forests. Moreover there is also a shortage of
enforcement officers to nab the poaches.
This is how you do it
STEP 1 = Read the passage to determine the causes of
poaching
STEP 2= Underline the important points in the passage
Wildlife poaching is in the rise in Sabah. The growing slaughter of protected
species is due partly to job losses caused by falling cocoa process and
government curbs on raw timber exports. Most poachers are hungry villagers
with homemade weapons. Others are commercial hunters cashing in on the
market for exotic food and health products. One target is the proboscis monkey,
prized for its liver. The most sought-after is the endangered Sumatran rhinoceros,
worth up to RM50,000. There are only a few left in Sabah.
Thrill seekers are another threat. Some officials with gun licenses treat
these animals as their hunting game. Many go into the forest and kill endangered
species. Some even boast about their hunt to their colleagues the next day.
Although there are species which are not protected , the line between hunting
and poaching is blurred in the forests. Moreover there is also a shortage of
enforcement officers to nab the poaches.
STEP 3 = Jot down your main points

Example
1. Poaching is due to job losses caused by falling cocoa process
2. Also caused by government curbs on raw timber exports
3. Some are cashing in on the market for exotic food and health
products
4. Also caused by thrill-seekers with gun licences
5. Difficult to draw the line between hunting and poaching
6. Shortage of enforcement officers to nab the poaches
STEP 4 – Write out a draft of your summary, rephrasing and
condensing some words. Remember to use connectors to join
your sentences.

Example
There are many reasons why poaching is on the rise in Sabah.
Firstly, it is due to job losses caused by falling cocoa prices and
government restrictions on raw timber exports. There are those
who are taking advantage of the market for exotic food and
health products. It is caused by thrill-seekers who misuse their
gun licences. Morover, it is difficult to draw the line between
hunting and poaching. Besides, there is a shortage of
enforcement officers to nab the poachers.
( 82 words )
STEP 5 = You have exceeded the limit by 13 words. Revise your
summary by shortening or deleting some phrases.

Poaching is on the rise in Sabah. Firstly, it is due to job losses


caused by falling cocoa prices and government restrictions on raw
timber exports. Some hunters take advantage of the market for
exotic food and health products. Besides that, there are thrill-
seekers who misuse their gun license. It is difficult you draw the
line between hunting and poaching. Moreover, there is insufficient
enforcement to nab the poachers. ( 62 words)