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WT 166 Writing Summaries

Teacher Tips and Answers


WT 166

Page 166

Writing Summaries

The same ideas can come in different sizes: an article, a paragraph, and even a topic sentence. You know that you understand ideas if you can summarize them.

Panning for Gold

A summary expresses ideas in a short form. You sift out the main ideas of a longer work and condense them into a clear paragraph. (You can practice summarizing with this activity.)

WT 167

Page 167

Original Reading Selection

Read this article, and then study the summary below. The summary includes only main ideas.

Gold Rush Model
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Prospector with Summary
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WT 168

Page 168

Writing a Summary


Read Actively 🟪 Pay close attention as you read the material that you will summarize.
     🟪 Read once to get the general meaning.
     🟪 Read again to focus on specific details.
     🟪 Then jot down the main ideas from the reading. (See the steps below for help.)
How to Find Main Ideas
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WT 169

Page 169

Writing a Draft

Write Your Summary 🟪 Put ideas in your own words.
 🟪 Express the most important idea in your topic sentence.
 🟪 Write supporting sentences that express main ideas in the same order used in the original.


Read and Review 🟪 Revise to improve your summary:
 🟪 Have you captured the main idea of the original?
 🟪 Do other ideas appear in the best order?
 🟪 Do your sentences make sense?
 🟪 What should you add, remove, or rework in your summary?

Editing & Proofreading

Check for Errors 🟪 Check your spelling, capitalization, and punctuation. Then write a neat final copy to share.

Teacher Support:

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Lesson Plan Resources:

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Vocabulary List:
  • summary: short writing that provides the main point and key details of a longer work

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