RD103 Outlining & Summarizing Study Guide Formal Outlining Outlining is a way of organizing main ideas, and the major and minor details that support them. An outline shows the relationship between ideas presented in writing. It uses both numerals (Roman and Arabic) and letters (upper and lower case). There are two kinds of outlines: formal and informal. Formal outlines may be written one of three ways: topical, infinitive phrases or complete sentences. For this class, we will be writing formal outlines with complete sentences. This requires paraphrasing from the original text since you cannot simply copy sentences from the source. Outlines are double-spaced. Outline symbols – the guide below indicates the order and symbols used in formal outlines. I. ________________________________________________________________ A. _________________________________________________ 1. ____________________________________ 2. ____________________________________ a. _________________________ b. _________________________ (1) ____________ (2) ____________ (a) ___ (b) ___ Paragraph Outline – the guide below indicates the order and content of an outline for a paragraph. I. Main Idea (implied or stated) also known as the topic sentence, written as a complete sentence. A. First Major Supporting Detail 1. Minor supporting detail 2. Minor supporting detail B. Second Major Supporting Detail 1. Minor supporting detail C. Third Major Supporting Detail 1. Minor supporting detail 2. Minor supporting detail All of the major supporting details support the main idea. The minor details explain or give examples to make the major details clearer. While the sample above stops at “C,” the third major supporting detail. You will encounter many paragraphs that have less than or many more than three major supporting details. Long Passage Outline - Basically the outline follows the same format as a paragraph, but is longer and usually more detailed. Thesis Statement (implied or stated main idea) is always written as a complete sentence. I. First Main Idea – a complete sentence that supports the thesis A. First Major Supporting Detail for first main idea 1. Minor supporting detail 2. Minor supporting detail a. an example of supporting detail B. Second Major Supporting Detail for first main idea 1. Minor supporting detail 2. Minor supporting detail 3. Minor supporting detail II. Second Main Idea – a complete sentence that supports the thesis A. First Major Supporting Detail for second main idea 1. Minor supporting detail B. Second Major Supporting Detail for second main idea 1. Minor supporting detail C. Third Major Supporting Detail for second main idea 1. Minor supporting detail III. Third Main Idea -- supports the thesis A. First Major Supporting Detail for third main idea 1. Minor supporting detail a. an example of supporting detail b. an example of supporting detail c. an example of supporting detail 2. Minor supporting detail B. Second Major Supporting Detail for third main idea 1. Minor supporting detail Each of the main ideas of the paragraphs supports the thesis. All the major supporting details support the main idea of the paragraph. And each of the minor details adds explanation or information to a major detail. Simon/Teuben-Rowe 01/03 *For our purposes, we will use the following Microsoft Word menu function for outlining: Format > Bullets & Numbering > Outline Numbering > Choose the first option Part I: Outlining As you discuss outlining, circle the response that best completes the statements below. 1. Outlining is a way of ___________________ ideas that helps else tell the difference between major and minor details. A. understanding B. organizing C. paraphrasing D. discussing 2. An outline shows the ________________________ between ideas presented in writing. A. understanding B. contrast C. relationship D. transformation 3. There are two types of outlines including ____________ and ________________ . A.academic & casual B. formal & informal C. similar & different D. informed & uninformed 4. For this class, we will be writing outlines using _______________________________. A. infinitives B. topics C. phrases D. complete sentences END OF PART I Part II: Key Terms Define the terms below using the “Formal Outlining” handout and your Reading for Thinking text. Term Meaning 1. Outlining 2. Thesis Statement 3. Main Ideas 4. Supporting Details 5. Major Supporting Details 6. Minor Supporting Details 7. Paraphrasing Part III: Outline an article As a class, begin outlining an article together. For homework, complete the article outline. Summarizing What is a summary? Summarizing means that you briefly restate, in your own words, the most essential information in a paragraph or longer passage. A summary usually focuses only on the main ideas and some of the most important major supporting details—only those details important for clarifying or proving the main idea. The controlling idea should be clear in the summary. As a result, a summary is usually much shorter than the original. A paragraph can usually be summarized in a sentence or two, and a typical textbook chapter can be summarized in a page or two. How Do You Summarize? To write a summary, you first identify the controlling idea and main idea(s) of the paragraph or passage. Then you identify the most important major supporting details—only those essential to proving or clarifying the main idea(s). From these, using your own words, you write a complete sentence or two for a paragraph or a paragraph or two for longer passages (how much you write depends on how long the original text is and how many main ideas there are). It is important to be accurate and only include the author’s ideas and none of your own ideas, attitudes, or interpretations. Why is Summarizing Important? Summarizing is an important reading skill for three specific academic purposes. Writing summaries is a useful tool for studying. Identifying the main ideas of a reading will help you understand and remember what you have read. Second, summaries are one of the most common types of college writing assignments, and “summarize” is a common direction given in written tests. Third, you will need to summarize source information in order to incorporate it into written research projects—another common college assignment. What Makes A Summary Incorrect? A summary goes wrong when it’s written in the first person (so when you are summarizing text you should not need to use the pronouns “I, me, myself, or mine), when it expresses your opinion about the original text (… in my personal opinion…), it contains too many minor details, it goes off topic, or it only partially summarizes the original text. An Example of Summarizing Original Text The invention of the process of printing from movable type, which occurred in Germany about the middle of the fifteenth century, was destined to exercise a far- reaching influence on all the vernacular languages of Europe. Introduced into England about 1476 by William Caxton, who had learned the art on the continent, printing made such rapid progress that a scant century later it was observed that manuscript books were seldom to be met with and almost never used. Some idea of the rapidity with which the new process swept forward may be had from the fact that in Europe the number of books printed before the year 1500 reached the surprising figure of 35,000. The majority of these, it is true, were in Latin, whereas it is in the modern languages that the effect of the printing press is chiefly felt. But in England over 20,000 titles in English had appeared by 1640, ranging all the way from mere pamphlets to massive folios. The result was to bring books, which had formerly been the expensive luxury of the few, within the reach of all. More important, however, was the fact, so obvious today, that it was possible to reproduce a book in a thousand copies or a hundred thousand, every one exactly like the other. A powerful force thus existed for promoting a standard uniform language, and the means were now available for spreading that language throughout the territory in which it was understood. (Baugh, A History of the English Language) Summary Printing, invented in Germany in the mid-fifteenth century, was introduced into England in 1476 by William Caxton. A century later manuscript books had almost disappeared. Before 1500, 35,000 books, most in Latin, were printed in Europe, but in England over 20,000 books in English had appeared by 1640. Books, within reach of poor and rich alike, promoted the spread of standardized English throughout the English linguistic territory. Simon/Teuben-Rowe 1/03 Part I: Summarizing As you discuss summarizing, circle the response that best completes the statements below. 5. When ________________, you briefly restate in your own words the most essential information in a passage. A. outlining B. understanding C. creating D. summarizing 6. A summary usually focuses on the ______________________ and some of the most important major supporting details. A. minor details B. thesis statements C. main ideas D. transformations 7. Summarizing is a good way to check your comprehension or ___________________ of a text. A. understanding B. ability C. relationship D. meaning 8. The controlling idea consists of the words that narrow or _____________ the main topic that the writer is conveying. A. initiate B. generalize C. expand D. limit 9. To write a good summary, you should first identify the ________________ idea and the main ideas of the paragraph or passage. A. controlling B. identifying C. general D. best 10. One or two _______________________ should be enough to summarize a paragraph. A. phrases B. fragments C. complete sentences D. details 11. When you synthesize information that is related to the same topic, it is wise to make a ____________________ between related ideas. A. connection B. correction C. definition D. comprehension 12. When summarizing, it is important to use your own words; however, do not include your own ___________________. A. objections B. opinion C. translation D. words 13. When writing a summary, never write using the _______________ person including words like I, me, and in my opinion. A. first B. second C. third D. indirect 14. It is not a good idea to use a summary for review when a text is highly _________________ including many facts, figures, and statistics. A. generalized B. detailed C. opinionated D. complicated END OF PART I Part II: Key Terms Define the terms below using the “Summarizing” handout and your class notes. Term Meaning 8. controlling idea 9. synthesizing 10. summarizing 11. transitions Part III: Based upon the model created in class, summarize a one page article. Bring both a copy of the article and your summary to class for peer evaluation.
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