A Multi-Stage Summary Writing Unit

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					Paraphrasing in Context – Classroom materials                                                         1
Keck & Tomaš
TESOL 2010, Boston

                  A Multi-Stage Summary Writing Unit
      Used in ENG 310, Composition for Multilingual Students Program
                     San Francisco State University
Day 1: Diagnostic Summary Task (can be done in a one-hour class)

Prompt: Read the article titled, “Where Have the Children Gone?” Then, write a one-
paragraph summary of what you have read. Explain the author‟s most important main
ideas (or arguments) in your own words. Do not include your personal opinion.

Source Text:
                                 Where Have the Children Gone?
                                       Joshua Meyrowitz

                             Published in Newsweek, August 30, 1982

About six years ago I was eating lunch in a diner in New York City when a woman and a young
boy sat down in the next booth. I couldn't help overhearing parts of their conversation. At one
point the woman asked: "So, how have you been?" And the boy--who could not have been more
than seven or eight years old--replied, "Frankly, I've been feeling a little depressed lately."

This incident stuck in my mind because it confirmed my growing belief that children are changing.
As far as I can remember, my friends and I didn't think that we were "depressed" until we were in
high school.

The evidence of a change in children has increased steadily in recent years. Children don't seem
childlike anymore. Children speak more like adults, dress more like adults and behave more like
adults than they used to. The reverse is also true: adults have begun to speak, dress and act
more like overgrown children.

It is not unusual to see children wearing three-piece suits or designer dresses, or adults in Mickey
Mouse T-shirts, jeans and sneakers. Adults now wear what were once considered play clothes to
many work locations, including the White House.

Education, career choice and developmental stages were once discussed primarily in relation to
children and adolescents. Now an increasing number of adults are enrolling in adult-education
programs, changing careers in midlife and becoming concerned with their “life stages.”
Meanwhile, alcoholism, suicide, drug addiction and abortion have become children’s issues.
Children also commit adult crimes such as armed robbery and murder.

The merging of childhood and adulthood is reflected in the shifting image of children in
entertainment. The Shirley Temple character of the past was a cute and outspoken child.
Current child stars, such as Brooke Shields and Gary Coleman, seem to be adults imprisoned in
children’s bodies.

Whether this is good or bad is difficult to say, but it certainly is different. Childhood as it once was
no longer exists. Why?
Paraphrasing in Context – Classroom materials                                                  2
Keck & Tomaš
TESOL 2010, Boston
Human development is based not only on innate biological stages, but also on patterns of access
to social knowledge. Movement from one social role to another usually involves learning the
secrets of the new status. Children have always been taught adult secrets, but slowly and in
stages: traditionally, we tell sixth graders things we keep hidden from fifth graders.

In the last 30 years, however, a secret revelation machine has been installed in 98 percent of
American homes. It is called television.

Communication through print allows for a great deal of control over the social information to
which children have access. Reading and writing involve a complex code of symbols that must
be memorized and practiced. Children must read simple books before they can read adult books.

On TV, however, there is no complex code to exclude young viewers. There is no sharp
distinction between the information available to the fifth grader, the high-school student and the
adult. Even two-year-old children, unable to read or write their own names, find television
accessible and absorbing. They watch over 27 hours a week.

While adults often demand more children’s programming, children themselves prefer adult
programs. In fact, everyone, regardless of age, tends to watch similar programs. In 1980 for
example, “Dallas,” “The Dukes of Hazzard,” “Love Boat” and “The Muppets” were among the
most popular programs in all age groups in the country, including ages 2 to 11.

The world of children’s books can be insulated to present kids with an idealized view of
adulthood. But television news and entertainment presents children with images of adults who
lie, drink, cheat, and murder.

Reading skill no longer determines the sequence in which social information is revealed to
children. Through books, adults could communicate among themselves without being overheard
by children. Advice books for parents, for example, can refer them to books that would be
inappropriate for children. Similar attempts on television are relatively useless because they are
as open to children as they are to adults. Advisory warnings on television often have a
boomerang effect by increasing children’s interest in what follows.

Even early conservative programs such as “Father Knows Best” and “Leave It to Beaver” reveal
important social secrets to children. They portray adults behaving one way in front of children
and another way when alone. “Father Knows Best,” for example, reveals to the child viewer the
ways in which a father hides his doubts and manipulates his behavior to make it appear to his
children that he knows best.

Such programs teach children that adults play roles for their benefit and that the behavior adults
exhibit to children is not necessarily their real or only behavior. Television not only exposes adult
secrets, it also exposes the secret of secrecy. As a result, children become more suspicious of
adults and adults may feel it no longer makes sense to try to keep some things hidden from
children. Television undermines behavioral distinctions because it encompasses both children
and adults in a single informational sphere or environment.

Many formal reciprocal roles rely on lack of intimate knowledge of the other. If the mystery and
mystification disappear, so do the formal behaviors. Stylized courtship behaviors, for example,
must quickly fade in the day-to-day intimacy of marriage. Similarly, television’s involvement of
children in adult affairs undermines many traditional adult-child roles.

Given this analysis, it is not surprising that the first widespread rejection of both traditional child
and traditional adult behavior occurred in the late 1960s among the first generation of Americans
to have grown up with television. In the shared environment of television, children and adults
know a great deal about each other’s behavior and social knowledge—too much, in fact, for them
to play out the traditional complementary roles of innocence versus omnipotence.
Paraphrasing in Context – Classroom materials                                                3
Keck & Tomaš
TESOL 2010, Boston

Day 2: Summary Feedback (+ for well done, “I” for needs improvement)

Feedback form used:

                          Characteristics of a good summary

 Identifies the overall main idea of the text, and expresses this idea clearly in written

 Identifies key excerpts in the text in which the author states his point of view,

        o His statement of the issue (problem) in focus

        o His statement of what is causing the problem

        o His explanation of how this cause-effect relationship works

        o His concluding thesis statement

 Uses your own words, through strategies such as:

        o Gist statements (sentences you create to summarize multiple paragraphs)

        o Paraphrase (important sentences you select from the text and then change

 Uses an appropriate balance of gist statements and paraphrase (rather than relying on
  just one or the other)

 Uses appropriate reporting verbs to attribute the ideas in the text to the author

 Uses transition words in order to:

        o Distinguish main ideas from supporting details and examples

        o Show the logic of the author‟s argument (cause-effect)

 Follows a common summary format expected in university settings (e.g., introducing
  the author and text in the first sentence, following the logic of the author‟s argument,
  providing a concluding sentence)
Paraphrasing in Context – Classroom materials                                 4
Keck & Tomaš
TESOL 2010, Boston

Day 2 & 3: Reading Strategies

Dividing text into sections – note-taking form:

Main argument of the whole article:

       Write one sentence to summarize the article‟s main argument:




Main sections of the article

Section 1 (paragraph 1 through 6): Establishing the problem
Important quotation that states the problem


       Write one or two sentences that explain the main idea of Section 1:



Paraphrasing in Context – Classroom materials                                 5
Keck & Tomaš
TESOL 2010, Boston

Section 2 (paragraph 7 through 16): The cause of the problem
Important quotation that states the cause of the problem

Important quotation that explains HOW this causes the problem


       Write one or two sentences that explain the main idea of Section 2:




Section 3 (paragraph 17 through 18): Author’s conclusion

Important quotation that clearly states author‟s main argument

       Write one or two sentences that explain the main idea of Section 3:



Paraphrasing in Context – Classroom materials                                        6
Keck & Tomaš
TESOL 2010, Boston

Day 4: Reporting verbs & transitions, group composing

Reporting verbs & transitions handout:

               Reporting Verbs & Transitions for Summary Writing

Reporting verbs

For introducing a topic or general idea

In “Where Have the Children Gone,” Meyrowitz (1982)         describes _______________.
                                                            discusses (noun phrase)

Other introductory phrases:

In his article, “Where Have the Children Gone,” Meyrowitz (1982) . . .

Meyrowitz (1982), in his article, “Where Have the Children Gone,” . . .

For highlighting an author’s main arguments

Meyrowitz        argues           that    ______________________________________.
                 claims                               (sentence)



According to Meyrowitz, ______________________________________________.

For adding detail, examples, or explanation

Meyrowitz        explains         that _________________________________________.
                 mentions                             (sentence)
                 points out
Paraphrasing in Context – Classroom materials                                            7
Keck & Tomaš
TESOL 2010, Boston

Transition words

For showing time relationships

Before           ______________, ________________________________________.
Prior to         (noun phrase)            (sentence)

Previously, __________________________________________________________.
Now, however, _______________________________________________________.
Not until ____________ did _____________________________________________.

For highlighting examples given by the author

For example,       Meyrowitz describes __________________________________ .
For instance,                                 (noun phrase)
In particular,
To illustrate,
By way of example,

For showing cause & effect relationships

As a result of                    ________________, ____________________________.
Because of                         (noun phrase)           (sentence)
As a consequence of

As a result, ____________________________________________________________.
Therefore,           (sentence)

The reason for _____________ is _________________________________________.
               (noun phrase)       (noun phrase)

Meyrowitz feels that ________________           has resulted in _____________________.
                      (noun phrase)             has led to         (noun phrase)
                                                has caused
                                                has created

Meyrowitz feels that ________________           has been caused by __________________.
                                                can be attributed to (noun phrase)
                                                can be explained by
                                                is a direct result of
Paraphrasing in Context – Classroom materials                                             8
Keck & Tomaš
TESOL 2010, Boston

Day 5: Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing homework:

Directions: Write a paraphrase of each excerpt below. Begin your paraphrase by giving
credit to the author (e.g., Meyrowitz argues, According to Meyrowitz).

1. Children speak more like adults, dress more like adults and behave more like adults
   than they used to. The reverse is also true: adults have begun to speak, dress and
   act more like overgrown children.

2. Television not only exposes adult secrets, it also exposes the secret of secrecy. As
   a result, children become more suspicious of adults and adults may feel it no longer
   makes sense to try to keep some things hidden from children. Television
   undermines behavioral distinctions because it encompasses both children and adults
   in a single informational sphere or environment.

3. In the shared environment of television, children and adults know a great deal about
   each other’s behavior and social knowledge—too much, in fact, for them to play out
   the traditional complementary roles of innocence versus omnipotence.
Paraphrasing in Context – Classroom materials                                             9
Keck & Tomaš
TESOL 2010, Boston

Paraphrasing Activity (Group and whole class discussion):

                                       Paraphrasing Activity

For each paraphrase, discuss:

o   Is this a good paraphrase? Why or why not?
o   What changes has the student made to the original excerpt?
o   What parts of the excerpt did the student keep the same?
o   In what ways is this paraphrase similar to or different from what you wrote?

Then, put an „X‟ beside any paraphrases that you think borrow too much from the
original. Circle the paraphrases that you like the best.

Original Excerpt
Children speak more like adults, dress more like adults and behave more like adults
than they used to.


Nowadays, children behave more like adults than they used to.

Children are acting more and more like adults everyday.

Modern children seem to be behaving, through dress and speech, like adults at an
alarmingly young age.

It seems like the things that children do and even the clothes that they wear are more adult-
like than ever before.
Paraphrasing in Context – Classroom materials                                          10
Keck & Tomaš
TESOL 2010, Boston

Day 6: Final Summary-Writing Assignment (take-home)

Assignment prompt:

Part I – Final summary of “Where Have the Children Gone?” (5 points)

Submit a revised summary of Meyrowitz‟s article. Your summary should be one
paragraph, typed, and double-spaced (Times New Roman 12 pt font). In addition, submit
the following materials, which show how you worked through the process of writing a
good summary:

 Your original summary, which you wrote on the second day of class
 Dr. Keck‟s initial evaluation of your summary
 Main sections of text homework (important quotes, main idea sentences, examples)
 Paraphrasing homework assignment
 Your peer review draft

Part II – Summary of “Socializing Digitally” (5 points)

Submit a one-paragraph, typed summary of Boyd‟s article about teenagers and MySpace.
In addition, submit the following to show some of your summary-writing process:

 A copy of the article, divided into sections

 One main idea sentence to show the thesis of the entire article, plus one main idea
  sentence for each section of the article. (These should be sentences you write prior to
  writing the entire summary draft.)

Please submit all materials in one folder, and put your name on all of the sheets of
paper you submit.

Thank you, and good luck!
Paraphrasing in Context – Classroom materials                                                       11
Keck & Tomaš
TESOL 2010, Boston

                                   Socializing digitally
  Written by Danah Boyd, and based on a longer scholarly article titled, Identity Production in a
                      Networked Culture: Why Youth Heart MySpace",
                                    February 19, 2006.

I have been following MySpace since its launch in 2003. Initially, it was the home to 20-
somethings interested in indie music in Los Angeles. Today, you will be hard pressed to find an
American teenager who does not know about the site, regardless of whether or not they
participate. Over 50 million accounts have been created and the majority of participants are what
would be labeled youth - ages 14-24. MySpace has more pageviews per day than any site on the
web except Yahoo! (yes, more than Google or MSN).

So what is MySpace?

MySpace is a social network site. In structure, MySpace is not particularly unique. The site is a
hodgepodge of features previously surfaced by sites like Friendster, Hot or Not, Xanga, Rate My
Teacher, etc. At the core are profiles that are connected by links to friends on the system. Profiles
are personalized to express an individual's interests and tastes, thoughts of the day and values.
Music, photos and video help users make their profile more appealing.

The friend network allows people to link to their friends and people can traverse the network
through these profiles. An individual's "Top 8" friends are displayed on the front page of their
profile; all of the rest appear on a separate page. Bands, movie stars, and other media creators
have profiles within the system and fans can friend them as well. People can comment on each
others' profiles or photos and these are typically displayed publicly.

Originally, the site was 18+ and all data was public. Over time, the age limit dropped to 16 and
then, later, to 14. The youngest users are given the option to make their profiles visible to friends-
only and they do not appear in searches.

Many teens access MySpace at least once a day or whenever computer access is possible.
Teens that have a computer at home keep MySpace opened while they are doing homework or
talking on instant messenger. In schools where it is not banned or blocked, teens check MySpace
during passing period, lunch, study hall and before/after school. This is particularly important for
teens who don't have computer access at home. For most teens, it is simply a part of everyday
life - they are there because their friends are there and they are there to hang out with those
friends. Of course, its ubiquitousness does not mean that everyone thinks that it is cool. Many
teens complain that the site is lame, noting that they have better things to do. Yet, even those
teens have an account which they check regularly because it's the only way to keep up with the


Every day, we dress ourselves in a set of clothes that conveys something about our identity -
what we do for a living, how we fit into the socio-economic class hierarchy, what our interests are,
etc. This is identity production. Around middle school, American teens begin actively engaging in
identity production as they turn from their parents to their peers as their primary influencers and
group dynamics take hold.

Youth look to older teens and the media to get cues about what to wear, how to act, and what's
cool. Most teens are concerned with resolving how they perceive themselves with how they are
perceived. To learn this requires trying out different performances, receiving feedback from peers
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TESOL 2010, Boston
and figuring out how to modify fashion, body posture and language to better give off the intended
impression. These practices are critical to socialization, particularly for youth beginning to engage
with the broader social world.

Because the teenage years are a luminal period between childhood and adulthood, teens are
often waffling between those identities, misbehaving like kids while trying to show their maturity in
order to gain rights. Participating in distinctly adult practices is part of exploring growing up. Both
adults and the media remind us that vices like sexual interactions, smoking and drinking are
meant for adults only, only making them more appealing. More importantly, through age
restrictions, our culture signals that being associated with these vices is equal to maturity.

The dynamics of identity production play out visibly on MySpace. Profiles are digital bodies,
public displays of identity where people can explore impression management. Because the digital
world requires people to write themselves into being, profiles provide an opportunity to craft the
intended expression through language, imagery and media. Explicit reactions to their online
presence offers valuable feedback. The goal is to look cool and receive peer validation. Of
course, because imagery can be staged, it is often difficult to tell if photos are a representation of
behaviors or a re-presentation of them.

Hanging Out

So what exactly are teens _doing_ on MySpace? Simple: they're hanging out. Of course, ask any
teen what they're _doing_ with their friends in general; they'll most likely shrug their shoulders
and respond nonchalantly with "just hanging out." Although adults often perceive hanging out to
be wasted time, it is how youth get socialized into peer groups. Hanging out amongst friends
allows teens to build relationships and stay connected. Much of what is shared between youth is
culture - fashion, music, media. The rest is simply presence. This is important in the development
of a social worldview.

For many teens, hanging out has moved online. Teens chat on IM for hours, mostly keeping each
other company and sharing entertaining cultural tidbits from the web and thoughts of the day. The
same is true on MySpace, only in a much more public way. MySpace is both the location of
hanging out and the cultural glue itself. MySpace and IM have become critical tools for teens to
maintain "full-time always-on intimate communities" where they keep their friends close even
when they're physically separated. Such ongoing intimacy and shared cultural context allows
youth to solidify their social groups.

Digital Publics

Adults often worry about the amount of time that youth spend online, arguing that the digital does
not replace the physical. Most teens would agree. It is not the technology that encourages youth
to spend time online - it's the lack of mobility and access to youth space where they can hang out

In this context, there are three important classes of space: public, private and controlled. For
adults, the home is the private sphere where they relax amidst family and close friends. The
public sphere is the world amongst strangers and people of all statuses where one must put
forward one's best face. For most adults, work is a controlled space where bosses dictate the
norms and acceptable behavior.

Teenager's space segmentation is slightly different. Most of their space is controlled space.
Adults with authority control the home, the school, and most activity spaces. Teens are told where
to be, what to do and how to do it. Because teens feel a lack of control at home, many don't see it
as their private space.
Paraphrasing in Context – Classroom materials                                                        13
Keck & Tomaš
TESOL 2010, Boston

To them, private space is youth space and it is primarily found in the interstices of controlled
space. These are the places where youth gather to hang out amongst friends and make public or
controlled spaces their own. Bedrooms with closed doors, for example.

Adult public spaces are typically controlled spaces for teens. Their public space is where peers
gather en masse; this is where presentation of self really matters. It may be viewable to adults,
but it is really peers that matter.

Teens have increasingly less access to public space. Classic 1950s hang out locations like the
roller rink and burger joint are disappearing while malls and 7/11s are banning teens
unaccompanied by parents. Hanging out around the neighborhood or in the woods has been
deemed unsafe for fear of predators, drug dealers and abductors. Teens who go home after
school while their parents are still working are expected to stay home and teens are mostly
allowed to only gather at friends' homes when their parents are present.

Additionally, structured activities in controlled spaces are on the rise. After school activities,
sports, and jobs are typical across all socio-economic classes and many teens are in controlled
spaces from dawn till dusk. They are running ragged without any time to simply chill amongst

By going virtual, digital technologies allow youth to (re)create private and public youth space
while physically in controlled spaces. IM serves as a private space while MySpace
provide a public component. Online, youth can build the environments that support youth

Of course, digital publics are fundamentally different than physical ones. First, they introduce a
much broader group of peers. While radio and mass media did this decades ago, MySpace
allows youth to interact with this broader peer group rather than simply being fed information
about them from the media. This is highly beneficial for marginalized youth, but its effect on
mainstream youth is unknown.

The bigger challenge is that, online, youth publics mix with adult publics. While youth are
influenced by the media's version of 20somethings, they rarely have an opportunity to engage
with them directly. Just as teens are hanging out on MySpace, scenesters, porn divas and
creature of the night are using MySpace to gather and socialize in the way that 20somethings do.
They see the space as theirs and are not imagining that their acts are consumed by teens; they
are certainly not targeted at youth. Of course, there _are_ adults who want to approach teens and
MySpace allows them to access youth communities without being visible, much to the chagrin of
parents. Likewise, there are teens who seek the attentions of adults, for both positive and
problematic reasons.

That said, the majority of adults and teens have no desire to mix and mingle outside of their
generation, but digital publics slam both together. In response, most teens just ignore the adults,
focusing only on the people they know or who they think are cool. When I asked one teen about
requests from strange men, she just shrugged. "We just delete them," she said without much
concern. "Some people are just creepy." The scantily clad performances intended to attract fellow
16-year-olds are not meant for the older men. Likewise, the drunken representations meant to
look "cool" are not meant for the principal. Yet, both of these exist in high numbers online
because youth are exploring identity formation. Having to simultaneously negotiate youth culture
and adult surveillance is not desirable to most youth, but their response is typically to ignore the

Parents also worry about the persistence of digital publics. Most adults have learned that the
mistakes of one's past may reappear in the present, but this is culturally acquired knowledge that
often comes through mistakes. Most youth do not envision potential future interactions.
Paraphrasing in Context – Classroom materials                                                        14
Keck & Tomaš
TESOL 2010, Boston

Without impetus, teens rarely choose to go private on MySpace and certainly not for fear of
predators or future employers. They want to be visible to other teens, not just the people they
they've friended. They would just prefer the adults go away. All adults. Parents, teachers, creepy

While the potential predator or future employer don't concern most teens, parents and teachers
do. Reacting to increasing adult surveillance, many teens are turning their profiles private or
creating separate accounts under fake names. In response, many parents are demanded
complete control over teens' digital behaviors. This dynamic often destroys the most important
value in the child/parent relationship: trust.


Youth are not creating digital publics to scare parents - they are doing so because they need
youth space, a place to gather and see and be seen by peers. Publics are critical to the coming-
of-age narrative because they provide the framework for building cultural knowledge. Restricting
youth to controlled spaces typically results in rebellion and the destruction of trust. Of course, for
a parent, letting go and allowing youth to navigate risks is terrifying. Unfortunately, it's necessary
for youth to mature.

What we're seeing right now is a cultural shift due to the introduction of a new medium and the
emergence of greater restrictions on youth mobility and access. The long-term implications of this
are unclear. Regardless of what will come, youth are doing what they've always done -
repurposing new mediums in order to learn about social culture.

Technology will have an effect because the underlying architecture and the opportunities afforded
are fundamentally different. But youth will continue to work out identity issues, hang out and
create spaces that are their own, regardless of what technologies are available.