Answering *Short Answer Summary Response* Questions

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Reading Tasks
• A “Short Answer Summary Response” occurs
after reading an INFORMATIONAL (factual)
selection
• You are asked to “SUMMARIZE THIS
SELECTION. INCLUDE A MAIN IDEA AND ONE
DETAIL THAT SUPPORTS IT.”
• For those of you who did the Practice Test, you
read a selection about Northern Ontario mining
communities using converted passenger rail cars
as small schools during the early years of the
20th century.
• In general, these selections usually deal with
Canadian history, symbols, or attractions
• The wording of the question:
• SUMMARIZE this selection
• INCLUDE A MAIN IDEA and….
•ONE DETAIL THAT SUPPORTS IT.
• NOTICE: You are NOT asked to express your
opinion—do not include any personal ideas or
thoughts in your answer
• Determine what the main idea is (if you had to
explain to someone what the selection was
about, what would you say?). This should be an
overall general statement
• Determine which detail in the selection best
SHOWS what the text is about
• Begin your answer by rewording the question:
• “This selection is about….” and outline the topic
covered by the text
• Then, provide a detail from the selection that
best supports the topic of the text. CLOSELY
paraphrase the sentence(s) or even provide a
direct quotation, ensuring you use quotation
marks correctly. Use names, dates, specific
places, etc.
• Sum up what you’ve written with a concluding
thought that is closely related to the selection’s
topic.
• Do you use almost all the space provided (not
more and not less)?
• Do you avoid vague language (like “it”, “they”,
“the place”). Be as specific as possible, especially
when outlining your supporting detail (include
dates, names, specific places, etc.)
• Do you use proper language conventions (spelling,
punctuation, tenses)
• Have you accurately summarized the selection?
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