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 effort. 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 framing. 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 logically 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 evidence. Steps to Summarizing (cont.) Identify and prioritize highlights from most important to least important. Separate main ideas from supporting (minor) ideas. 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 ideas. 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 forward. 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 ??? Framing 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 “sneaky” 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 perspective 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…!