Writing Summaries

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					Summaries & Framing

   Doug Bradley, UCSB Writing Program
            16 October 2007
Summaries & Framing
   Summaries
     What is a summary?
     How and why do we summarize?

     How do summaries frame a topic?
Summaries & Framing
   Framing
     How and why does framing arise?
     How does framing control thinking
      (via writing)?
     What is the role of language?

     How do different stakeholders utilize framing
      to control debate?
What Summaries Do
 Provide a condensed abstract of covered
  material, saving the reader time and
 Help readers organize and relate the
  material to other topics.
 Highlight the major points, and reduce or
  eliminate the minor points.
What Summaries Do (cont.)
 May or may not provide commentary on
  the material covered, depending upon
 May or may not suggest new areas of
  investigation and continued work.
Steps to Summarizing
   READ the material being summarized!!
       Give material a thorough reading
       Think about how the material develops
       Identify the author’s main objectives:
        •   Is it to inform?
        •   Is it to persuade?
        •   Is it to express an artistic vision?
Steps to Summarizing (cont.)
   Highlight the main points.
     Look especially at the beginning and end of
      each paragraph.
     Watch for transitions! These usually mark the
      beginnings and ends of important ideas.
     Identify the author’s sources and supporting
Steps to Summarizing (cont.)
   Identify and prioritize highlights from most
    important to least important.
     Separate main ideas from supporting (minor)
     Ask yourself. “Which ideas, if eliminated,
      would destroy the author’s thesis?” These
      are the main ideas!
Steps to Summarizing (cont.)
   Organize points according to a schema:
    chronological order, people, location,
    hypothesis, etc.
       Look for commonalities between ideas.
         • How do the ideas relate?
         • Which ideas depend upon other ideas?
       Organize a schema that most naturally
        combines and conveys the author’s main
Structuring Your Summary
   Introduce the material being summarized
       Lead off with a sentence that sets the tone of
        your summary, for example:
         • Quotation
         • Anectdoe
         • Current event
     Overview what is to follow.
     Transition to your first body paragraph.
Structuring Your Summary (cont.)
 Develop a series of body paragraphs that
  follow the author’s main ideas.
 If you are summarizing more than one
  work, group the authors’ main ideas
  together using your organizing scheme.
 Compare and contrast ideas as you go,
  always keeping the reader moving
Structuring Your Summary (cont.)
 Use a concluding paragraph IF you feel
  you need to review main points and/or
  give cohesion to your summary.
 Possible ways to conclude include:
     Commentary (yours)
     Make predictions based on ideas presented

     ???
 Strategic selection of language,
  information and perspectives to control
  how a topic is to be considered
 Establishes limits that control thinking and
  scope of consideration
 Sets a tone for discourse and debate
Framing via Language
   Word choice
     The single most powerful element in framing
     May be overt and obvious, or subtle and
     If accepted by all stakeholders, controls
      possible outcomes of the debate
Example of Framing Language
   Euphemisms
     Death
     Tax relief
     Freedom fighter

   Polarities
     Democrat vs. Republican
     Right and wrong
     Conservative and liberal
Framing Language Examples
   Offshore oil platform…
     “Removal”
     “Decommissioning”

     “Abandonment”

   Each stakeholder selects language that
    best supports their priority and
Let’s study some examples:
   Offshore oil platform removal POV for:
     Government
     Oil companies

     Anglers

     Trawlers

     Divers

     Environmental NGOs
Your Tasks:
 Identify specific framing language
 Map the limitations (to debate) inherent in
  each stakeholder’s statement
 Summarize your stakeholder’s position on
  the removal of offshore oil platforms
 Prepare to share with class and discuss
Thank you…!

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