This PowerPoint Presentation is ©2015 by Robin L. Simmons. All Rights Reserved. ENC 1102, Freshman Composition II Writing an Effective Summary As you collect sources for your research essay, you will need to summarize the research that you find. A summary is a significant reduction of the original source. To write an effective summary, follow these guidelines: • Determine the main idea of the piece you • • • have read or viewed. Write one sentence that captures that main idea. As you read or view, note the major areas of evidence that the piece provides. Then write one sentence that communicates the gist of each of these major areas. Avoid these common problems … To avoid plagiarizing, do not look at the source while you are composing the summary. Use what you remember from the reading or viewing. Write the summary in your own words. After you have written the summary, you can revisit the source to confirm facts. Do not express an opinion about the source. Neither disagree ... … nor sing its praises. Do not open the summary with “In this article, it says ...” or “This video is about …” Stinks! Use this formula: Specific name of piece + strong action verb + main idea. The 60 Minutes story “Thrift Shop Masterpiece” explains the controversy surrounding a possible Jackson Pollack painting. That sounds so much better! Show me what you can do! First Summary Directions • Watch the 60 Minutes video “Thrift Shop • • • • • Masterpiece.” Determine the main idea. Decide the areas of evidence. Write a summary of the video in 8 – 10 sentences. Be sure to follow the format guidelines on your syllabus! This summary is due at our next class meeting. Second Summary Directions • Read the New York Times article • • • • “Shocking Truth about Piranhas Revealed!” Determine the main idea. Decide the areas of evidence. Write a summary of the article in 8 – 10 sentences. This summary is homework. It is due at our next class meeting. For Tuesday, check out and bring to class two books for your topic. The END.