Study guide and notes

Study guide and notes


Guidelines for Writing Study/Learning Guides

These guidelines provide suggestions on how to formulate a study/learning guide. This does not cover the administrative details that you will include in your Administration Guide. The Administration Guide template covers this area. The suggestions below are as important for delivery via Stream as they are for hardcopy guides. Stream provides the opportunity for study/learning guides to be dynamic and interactive.

The Study/Learning Guide is a guide, a road map, to the content/materials of the paper and the learning environment. Your guide will motivate students, provide navigation and encourage/facilitate interaction with the content and reflection on learning.  If your study/leaning guide is on Stream you will need to include opportunities for interaction between students and yourself.

The amount of detailed guidance you provide will depend on the level your students are learning at. More detailed guidance for first year students (100 level papers) and less for advanced learners (700 level papers). The level of guidance may also depend on your discipline area and on the knowledge and skills your learners bring to the subject.

Designing and writing a study/learning guide takes considerable time. Get started as early as possible before the deadline date, find mentors and support staff who can provide assistance (colleagues, departmental administrative staff, teaching consultants in the Centres for Teaching and Learning on each campus).

Consider the following points

  • Begin by considering who your audience/students are.
    • Background/prior learning issues
    • Demographic factors
    • Motivation – is your paper a requirement for a major? Is it a core requirement of the work environment?
    • Resource factors – where, when and how will your students learn? How much time will they have available?  What access will they have to support facilities, internet?
    • Knowing about your students (as best you can) will help you pitch your commentary, your guidance and help you select readings and activities.


  • Select content available from other sources – be mindful of student’s workload. What can students be expected to do in 185 hours per a 15 credit paper? This covers time for interaction, doing assignments and studying for exams, as well as directed learning.
    • Textbook/s students are required to purchase, and articles and chapters from texts.
    • Include only essential readings, and reference further readings for each topic that students can access themselves.
    • Consider Radio Podcasts and eTV, (recorded content from TV - contact the Library for details).
    • Check copyright allowances for readings and other media when making your selections. (This will make it easier when you come to put the material together. See for allowances and Copyright Advice on the National Centre for Teaching and Learning website) 
  • You will then need to write:
    • A guide/introduction/commentary to the textbook, readings and any other media
    • All or some of the content of the paper


  • When writing for distance students you are essentially writing for one person working alone, often at night after work, with little or no support or access to support. You are having a conversation with your student/s. In doing this try to anticipate the queries/questions they will have and provide answers or pointers in your commentary or direct them to where they can get the answers for themselves. Use the first person when writing your commentary as this will engage the learners, humour is useful too, as is expressing an appreciation of their situation from time to time.       
  • Divide the learning (content) into manageable and logical chunks (e.g. modules, units, sections, parts, topics, weeks)


  • Provide an introduction to the whole paper to begin (you may have done some or all of this in the admin guide, if so recap important information)
    • Outline how the paper is structured
    • Suggest order for the learning, eg. “Read the commentary first, followed by the text, then the included articles, and the activity…”
    • Outline your expectations
  • Guidance/commentary will highlight the main points and guide students through the material
    • Provide a brief introduction to each chunk and link to previous chunk/s – where does this chunk fit within the paper’s framework? This helps students make connections
    • Provide learning outcomes for each chunk as a guide to student learning
    • Be consistent with terminology throughout
    • Write a commentary/briefing notes about each chunk highlighting the main points/concepts to be mastered
    • Refer to the readings, text and or other media and indicate when to use these components – link to these if guide on Stream
    • Ask questions for the learners to consider while they read
    • Provide a glossary of jargon as applicable, suggest students make their own – use the Glossary tool in Stream
    • A brief summary can be useful, to reiterate the main points (this can be done as a recap or feedback after students have completed an activity. Keep this short.)
    • Provide additional reading list/and your references


  • Provide opportunities for active learning (learning-by-doing) within each chunk so students can test themselves on the effectiveness of their learning. (too many can be off putting.)


    • Start with an activity to help activate prior learning. (This could be incorporated with the link to the previous chunk, a previous paper)
    • Compare and contrast type activities help clarify ideas
    • Study questions within your commentary and or at the end of each chunk (these are helpful if used to ‘prime’ the students before reading)
    • Quizzes, discussions, group work in Stream (remember it takes students longer to do some activities online)
    • Others activities to consider may ask students to:
      • explain concepts/theories in own words
      • write a summary of the chunk
      • locate evidence to prove ...
      • solve problems
      • predict how something might work in a different setting
      • apply concepts to their own environment
      • reflect on their own experiences/learning
      • all these can be utilised within Stream using a variety of tools
  • Technical issues (relevant if you are producing a hardcopy guide)

          (consider the following if your paper is camera ready)

    • Provide a detailed contents page with page numbers (sometimes it’s useful to have a contents page for each chunk depending on the size of the guide) and a contents for the readings with full references (include the pages numbers used)
    • Page numbering – start numbering each chunk from one (this makes it easier to make changes in the future, especially when adding new readings)
    • Reference consistently with expected student assignment style
    • Place readings either directly after the topic/unit/module they relate to or all together at the end
    • Provide the full reference at the top of the first page of each included reading or in the contents, or both.
    • Each new reading should start on an odd numbered page (a right hand side page)
    • Each reading must be clean, that is, does not have ‘black’ around the text
  • Readings on Stream
    • Link to journal articles in the Library from Stream (contact for persistent links). Many databases allow ONLY for linking to articles rather than inserting PDFs on Stream. See “Locating Licence Permissions for Electronic Journal Articles Used in Teaching” at
    • Ensure each reading inserted as a PDF is ‘clean’, that is, does not have black around the text and that they are up the right way so students can read them online.
    • Provide the full reference at the point of link (include the full reference in the field below the toolbar when inserting and naming the link. The reference will appear in the Resources in the Activity block.)
    • See “Stream and Copyright” web pages for guidance of what can be used and suggestions on how to attribute in Stream



Teaching Consultants
Centres for Teaching and Learning on each campus


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How to write a summary, a few tips and practical steps
Throughout your college and professional career you will have to do a great deal of reading and writing. Good writing and reading is an important tool to increase your know-how and to give meaning to reality.
The goal of writing is usually not to repeat what others have written before you. On the contrary, it usually entails expressing things you feel are worthwhile. Your research and analysis of data will result in a certain view on the world. Through writing you are able to communicate your reconstruction of reality based on your investigation. Writing enables you, in short, to show others your ideas.
Clearly, summary writing is an important skill, yet many students struggle with it. Summarizing in English seems even a bigger challenge.
This handout on summary writing aims to be a handy guide manufactured to improve your summary writing proficiency. First, basic general reading strategies will be discussed, subsequently some information about text structure is given followed by a number of practical steps to improve your summary writing.
1. Reading techniques
A. Reading for gist: skimming
Reading quickly for the overall meaning or 'message', without attention to detail. Compare this strategy with what you do when you quickly leaf through a magazine in order to find out whether a particular article interests you enough to read it in detail.
When skimming, be selective. Use all the extra-textual information available and look for keywords or read only the first and last lines of the paragraphs, where you will find the theme of the article, the topic sentences or concluding statements.
B. Locating specific information: scanning
Scanning means quickly searching for information in a text (e.g. a name, a price, a date or specific word). You scan a dictionary, when you search for a certain meaning of a particular word. You scan the table of contents of a book trying to locate quickly which chapter will give you the information on the subject you are interested in.
When scanning, it is essential to concentrate on the relevant parts only and to ignore and skip the irrelevant parts. Make extensive use of all the clues in the text such as illustrations, subheadings, letter type (bold or italics), capitalization, paragraphing.
C. Close reading
When you read a text from A-Z you read every single detail of the text. This is called close reading. You read with the intention to digest all information and make a clear distinction between major and minor details. Although this reading technique is more time-consuming it enables the reader to really understand the text in order to be able to write a complete and well-structured summary.
2. Text structure, identifying the functions of different parts of a text
Every text has some sort of organization. Most articles are divided into paragraphs. For instance, a short article may have a first paragraph in which the subject is introduced, the thesis statement is given, and which indicates what happened, who is involved, and where and when something happened. Successive paragraphs normally explain or expand on the subject or argument of the article and then a final paragraph generally states a conclusion (see table of a text structure on page 6).
A paragraph is therefore a section in an article which is easy to recognize. It describes one aspect of the main subject. The sentence in which this aspect is introduced is called 'topic sentence'. This is the key sentence of the paragraph and therefore it often appears at the beginning of a paragraph, but sometimes at the end in order to conclude and summarise the paragraph. The other sentences in the paragraph further explain or describe the topic.
Paragraphs are related to one another. They can form a sort of hierarchy if certain paragraphs follow from or are dependent on other main paragraphs. It is therefore possible to rate paragraphs in terms of their importance. And that is an important notion when it comes to summarizing a text. A flowchart can be used to visualize the hierarchy or relationships of paragraphs. Flow charts and text structure will be discussed in class.
The relationship between paragraphs is expressed by means of certain words. For instance, when reading the word 'but' you know what follows will be in contrast with what went before. Or when you read 'in addition to' you know that something will be added to what you read before. These words are called 'connectives' or 'linkers' as they link sentences, paragraphs and ideas. They are signals for the reader so that he/she sees the relationship between the various parts of the text and they will help your readers move from one point to the next. See appendix I for more details.
So, what has all this got to do with summary writing?
When making a summary of a text you only make a brief statement of the main points. A summary does not include details or examples from the original text which do not move the argument forward. A summary usually reflects the general structure of the original text, but may also have its own organization of ideas as long as there is a clear structure. A text should ideally be summarised to approximately one third of its original length, depending on the nature of the text. In some cases, however, just a few lines suffice to summarise a lengthy text riddled with examples and with little content. (see summarizing steps and elements of a summary in chapter 3)
Writing a summary requires using your own words and sentence constructions. Sometimes this will entail the skill of paraphrasing words or ideas of the original text. If you make a paraphrase of a piece of text you reword it in such a way that it contains exactly the same information as the original but in different words. (see chapter 3 for more details)
The following chapter offers a practical approach to reading texts and writing summaries.

3. SUMMARY WRITING - Working in steps
3.1 Summary writing in short
Writing a summary is representing the content of a text in short, using your own words and in such way that someone who has not read the text can attain a good view of what the text is about.
A summary has quite a few characteristics. On the next page you see an overview of some strict rules of summing-up.
• name the author and the source of the original text, preferably in one sentence;
• reveal your comprehension of a text's subject matter;
• are shorter (at least 60% shorter!) than the original text--they leave out for instance examples, details and repetitions;
• focus exclusively on the presentation of the writer's main ideas--they do not include your interpretations or opinions;
• normally are written in your own words--they do not contain extended quotes;
• rely on the use of standard signal phrases ("According to the author..."; "The author believes...” etc.).
In order to write a good summary which has all these features, you will have to take quite a few steps and you might wonder where to get started. The following paragraphs give you an account of all the stages for writing an excellent summary. Try and do all the steps in English whether the article is written in Dutch or in English, since the end result in both cases is an English summary!
3.2 Prewriting Stage: Text Analysis
Before you can start writing a summary you need to analyze the original text to find the essence of it. The steps below will help you on the way!
Step 1 Skim
Read the title, the first and last paragraph (in longer texts the first two and last two paragraphs) quickly and decide at the outset the subject of the text (what the text is about) and what the author is saying (main thought). You write the subject and the main thought on paper in a complete sentences rather than merely keywords. Do this in English (even though the article is written in Dutch!).
Step 2 Look Back
You read the text quickly from beginning to end. Make sure you understand the text by looking up words you do not know in a dictionary. Check if the subject and the main thought you noted down earlier are correct. This step might include scanning, looking at special passages of the text in order to make clear that you’ve got all the key ideas of the text.
Step 3 Mark and make notes
Next to each paragraph jot down a few words which state what the paragraph is about. Read the text again and decide whether you can reduce the number of paragraphs, which is possible in the case of a summed-up connection (i.e. the parts can be reduced to the same denominator or put under the same heading). Reread the text again and underline or highlight the topic statements in your paragraphs. Information about the thesis statement and topic sentences will be provided in class.
Step 4 Rethink
Revisit a paragraph of the text. Try to say the main idea of that paragraph to yourself. Is the main thought a topic sentence? Did you highlight it? Is the topic sentence missing? If it is missing, did you make one, in the margin?
Step 5 Identify the functions of different parts of a text and visualize structure
Paragraphs are related to one another. They can form a sort of hierarchy if certain paragraphs follow from or are dependent on other main paragraphs. It is therefore possible to rate paragraphs in terms of their importance. A flowchart visualizes the hierarchy or relationships of paragraphs. How to make a flowchart will be discussed in class. Markers or signal words can give you a useful insight in these links. Create a flowchart for the article.
Step 6 Check and Double Check
Look at your notes and flowcharts and check if you did not repeat yourself or if you left something important out. Is it complete yet concise?
3.3 Writing and Rewriting Stage
Now it is time for the real writing. Important to remember is that good writing involves drafting, editing and rewriting. Read more about it in the following paragraphs.
Step 1 Draft: Summing up in simple form
Make a draft summary of the topic statements and key-words using your own words and your own sentence structure. State the article’s thesis statement simply and in your own words. Do the same for each paragraph’s topic. Use simple sentences. Paraphrasing helps you to avoid plagiarism. Make sure to create a clear structure using an introduction, a body and concluding paragraph.
In the next paragraphs useful information about text structure and paraphrasing is given. Read this before you get started working on step 1 of the writing and rewriting stage.
Text structure
A golden rule for good writing is: Don’t make your reader work too hard. By all means prevent ‘reader frustration’. It helps for that matter to assume that your reader is tired, not too sympathetic and not too willing to understand what you want to say. It also means giving a good structure to your text and using a clear framework. In the following paragraphs a short overview is given regarding text structure.
The overall structure
Every text has some sort of organization, usually an introduction, body and conclusion. The “Tell ‘em formula” in the table below gives a simple design of texts, but also of for instance presentations:
Introduction: YOU TELL ‘EM (the reader) WHAT YOU’RE GONNA TELL ‘EM

This structure helps your reader to get your message. The introduction tells you in general what the body is about, it usually includes no details. The body of a text is divided into paragraphs, usually with a topic sentence as the initial sentence. This is the key sentence of the paragraph, giving the most important information and therefore often appearing at the beginning of a paragraph. The other sentences in the paragraph further explain or describe the topic. The conclusion is, rather than a repetition of the main point, a summary of the results. Remember that well-written texts usually refer to the future. Also mind that, even though a text starts off with an introduction, the writing of the introduction and conclusion is usually part of the final stage of text writing. The table below gives an illustration of text structure.
Example of a text structure
Introductory paragraph
(as short as possible) Relevant background leading the reader into the thesis statement
Body Body paragraph 1 Topic sentence stating the first argument
• supporting examples, quotations, illustrations
Body paragraph 2 Topic sentence stating the second argument
• supporting examples, quotations, illustrations
Body paragraph 3 Topic sentence stating the third argument
• supporting examples, quotations, illustrations
Concluding paragraph
(as short as possible) Restatement/summary of the evidence
Restatement of the thesis statement
Final comments/Future reference.
From the above it shows that a clear structure helps understanding the message of an article. Your summary should therefore be clearly structured as well. Thus pay attention to the following aspects when writing your summary:
• Layout: a title and divide your summary into various paragraphs (without a title the reader is lost at the very first minute!);
• Introduction; should indicate the general theme/thesis statement of the summary;
• Include all of the main ideas, state facts in general terms and use different paragraphs to describe the main ideas separately
• Don’t include too many details; leave out examples; No need to mention people’s names;
• Use your own words, paraphrase sentences from the original text, however, maintain the original meaning
• Use the KISS Strategy!!!! (Keep it short and simple)
• Use transition and linking words and phrases
• Use the proper personal pronouns to avoid repetition (it, they, he, she)
• Use the right tenses:
The school was founded by ….. (*has been founded)
In 1951 they started the …. (*have started)
Difference between summarizing and paraphrasing
Below you will find an example of a summary of a small excerpt from a text on Japan's prosperity and an example of a paraphrase.
Sony, Toyota, Nissan, Ricoh are just a few of the large Japanese multinational companies with thousands of employees worldwide. It is to their management techniques, to their marketing strategies end work patterns that most of Japan's economic successes in recent years can be attributed. Is this true? It may be, but there could be another explanation of Japan's prosperity. ln Japan almost 60% of all manufacturing workers are in companies with fewer than 100 employees. This compares with a figure of below 20% for Britain and the United States and, for the "small is beautiful" advocates, this is the real reason for Japan's high productivity and success. (107 words)
The summary of this text could read as follows:
Japan's recent economic boom could be accounted for by the performance of the large multinationals. However, some people claim it is really due to the performance of the small companies employing some 60% of all industrial workers. (37 words)
A paraphrase is:
• your own version of important information and ideas expressed by someone else, presented in a new form.
• One legitimate way (when accompanied by accurate documentation) to borrow from a source.
The paraphrase of the underscored line in the text:
In Japan almost 60% of all manufacturing workers are in companies with fewer than 100 emplovees. (16 words)
could run as follows:
Nearly 60% of all Japanese industrial labourers are in businesses employing up to 100 workers. (15 words)

The steps described in the table below are useful to paraphrase correctly.
Paraphrasing: Step by step
Step 1
You need to understand what you are reading. If you did not get it, you will no doubt paraphrase incorrectly. Therefore reread the passage which you want to paraphrase until you understand its full meaning.
Step 2
Think for a moment about the ideas and how they relate to the subject of the text.
Step 3
Put the text aside and without looking at the original write down the ideas.
Step 4
Look back at the original and check if you have changed grammar and vocabulary. If you did not do this, change it now.
Step 2 Draft: Summing up in complex form
By now you have a simple version of a summary. You can improve the language of your summary by phrasing sentences using grammatical constructions, such as the Gerund and the Passive.
In order to improve the structure it is recommended to use “connectives” (also called “markers” or “linkers”). These words express relationships between paragraphs, sentences, or ideas. For instance, when reading the word 'but', you know what follows will be in contrast with what went before. Or when you read 'in addition to' you know that something will be added to what you read before. Connectives are signals for the reader so that he/she sees the relationship between the various parts of the text and they will help your readers move from one point to the next. It makes for that matter sense to use markers in your own writing too, since it will clarify the structure of your text.
The table in Appendix 1 shows a number of markers and linkers (i.e. connecting words) that will help you to structure your summaries more efficiently. They will also improve the coherency of your summaries
Step 3 Edit
Check if all the important aspects are in your summary. The checklist in Appendix 2 can be used for this. Some key points are:
• Decide whether your text makes sense (Ask a friend or relative to read it or read it loud so they/you can hear mistakes).
• Editing also may consist of rewording since this helps you to memorize the author’s words but also avoids plagiarism, i.e. stealing.
• Moreover check if your summary has a beginning, middle and end (think about text structure!).
• Then, rewrite it into a final improved version.
• Arrange your summary sentences in the identical order as the central ideas in the original text.
• Correct very carefully for neatness and accuracy: grammatical and spelling mistakes give a slapdash impression!
Step 4 Final Check
Compare your summary with the original text to see if you have got all the main information. After this final check it is the right time to hand your masterpiece in!
3.4 Ten Tips on Summary Writing
Tip 1: Be objective!
It is essential in summaries that you do justice to the author’s statements. Interpreting, i.e. expressing your opinion is therefore unwanted.
There are no guidelines for the use of “I”, “he” or “she” in a summary. On the whole there are three possibilities:
1. You represent the text the way it is represented, for example: “I hope that the school teaches pupils to respect humans and nature”.
2. Or you can render the text from your reading, i.e.: “the author hopes that the school will teach pupils to respect humans and nature”.
3. Your summary is an objective report of the presented text, i.e. “Hopefully the school teaches pupils to respect humans and nature”.
Tip 2: Note the author’s structuring activities
Sometimes authors help you understand the structure of their text by using markers. These markers usually do not give much information, but they mark information and help you find the core of the paragraphs.
Tip 3: Make your own topic sentence
Since not all authors put the main thought in the first, second or last sentence, it may happen that you have to create your own topic sentence. By and large it is handy to use your own words to express the central part of the paragraph, because the sentences in the original text are often too long for a summary.
Tip 4: Care about structure!
This tip is also useful to remember when you are writing your article in Dutch. Texts without structure or coherence are unreadable. Building up a consistent, clear text involves therefore avoiding the three following learner mistakes:
• The “and then… and then…. And then” style: Student writer gives a chronological overview of the text without mentioning the thesis statement and forgets to distinguish main ideas from less important ideas.
• The “about everything” style; Student writer tries to tell a little bit about everything and in the end states nothing.
• The “you solve that one for yourself” style: Text has neither head nor tail, so that readers have to find out for themselves what the student writer means.
In short: make sure you mention specifically thesis- and topic statements, leave out details and do not hesitate to use markers.
Tip 5: Oops, my summary is too short-Part I
Summaries can be too short because of insufficient content, i.e. you have forgotten some significant points or because of over-brief expressions. Check the original text and your summary again, asking yourself:
- Did I oversimplify a point?
- Did I combine two separate but related points and could I mention these one by one?
Tip 6: Oops, my summary is too short – Part II
It could be that your summary is too compact. The problem of this is that the reader will not be able to comprehend it. This might result in ambiguity and uncertainty. If this is the case, it makes sense to spend more attention to developing your sentences, possibly even adding an extra phrase, clause or sentence in which you go into more detail. Another possibility is that the problem might be errors in grammar causing your expressions to be too short. Check if all your sentences are complete. Does each sentence have a main verb? Simply adding the right word into the right spot might solve this hitch.
Tip 7 Blimey, my summary is too long – Part I
Summaries which are too long are more customary than over-brief summaries. If yours is too extended check your summary again if everything that you have included is relevant. First decide if you repeated anything or gave to much emphasis to a point which is only a supporting point. Then, scan if you added any details or examples, because these are the easiest elements to get rid off.
Tip 8 Blimey, my summary is too long – Part II
Over-lengthy summaries usually contain too many words. Crossing out words is therefore the key to redemption. Be brave, because deleting words will probably improve your work and clarify the ideas. Below you see some useful ways of reducing the number of words:
- Changing verbs
o For example; “accept as true”-> “believe”, “make a distinction”-> “distinguish”
- Splitting Sentences
o Complex sentences with 2 or 3 clauses can be divided into shorter sentences omitting the conjunction. You could consider using the semi-colon (;) instead.
- Remove Adjectives and Adverbs
o Omitting adjectives and adverbs mostly does not harm the gist of a passage.
- Shortening phrases
o Sometimes too many words are used where a single word would do too, i.e. “and” is short for “as well as”.
Tip 9 Use varied language
• Break long sentences into shorter ones, and combine short sentences for variety.
• Move the position of phrases for clearer sentences. Make sure your paraphrase considers the complete meaning of the original quotation
• Use a thesaurus for synonyms, but be careful for subtle changes in the meaning of words. For example, to express does not necessarily have the same meaning as to vent.
Tip 10 Dutch article -> English Summary?
Do not translate a Dutch summary into English. Do all the steps as described in chapter 3 in English, so you are not tricked into using Dutch sentences structures.

Appendix 1 : Markers and Linkers
The table below shows a number of markers and linkers (i.e. connecting words) that will help you to structure your summaries more efficiently. They will also improve the coherency of your summaries.
Feature Marker/linker
Additional detail also, besides, in addition, moreover, furthermore, similarly, likewise
Similarity neither .... nor, just as, similar to
Concession however, whereas, but, yet, only, although, some....others, now, not
only, indeed, even, unless, still, nevertheless, in spite of, despite
Cause or effect because of, due to, since, of course, consequently, thus
Condition if, provided, unless (=if not), whether, in case, although
Purpose the reason for this is ...., so that ....., in order to, so as
Sequence first, then, next, when, and, also, eventually, moreover, furthermore,
subsequently, finally
Reason because, since, as, for
Reference this, that etc., it, when, where, both, each, whatever
Conclusion therefore, consequently, thus, hence, so, that is why
Time As soon as, while, as
Enumeration and, first, second etc. (see sequence)
Ilustration like, e.g., for example, for instance, such as, shown by, in
particular, in this case
Some transitional phrases are:
as a result, at any rate, for example, in fact, in other words, in the second place,on the other hand, to the contrary.
Example: the following sentence doesn’t communicate as well as it might because it lacks a transitional word or phrase:
Production delays are inevitable. Our current lag time in filling orders is one month.
Use a semicolon (;) and a transtitional word or phrase to indicate the relation between the two sentences:
Production delays are inevitable; nevertheless/ therefore/ in fact/ at any rate our current lag time in filling orders is one month.
(each substitution changes the meaning of the sentence)

Appendix 2
Checklist Summary Writing
Checklist summary writing.
Content Yes: J No: L Comments
The topic/general theme is clearly stated at the beginning
The examples are left out from the original
All main ideas are stated
The summary contains no more than 150 words
The title is literally copied from the original text
The main ideas are ordered logically
The paragraphs are complete, including several sentences
Spaces are used to separate paragraphs
Each paragraph contains one and only one idea
The ideas and paragraphs are linked together somehow (e.g. by using secondly, finally)
Linking words or phrases are used (e.g. therefore, however, nevertheless)
The layout is clear
Grammar and Language
Everything is paraphrased (rephrased, synonyms, no literal quotations from the text)
Style (no contractions * he’s)
Punctuation (sentence starting with capitals, correct use of commas etc)
Spelling (* to much -> too much,
* bigger then -> bigger than)
Adverbs (*peculiarly currency -> peculiar currency)
Tenses (* Yesterday I have read the paper ->
Yesterday I read the paper
Concord (* He like -> he likes)
Word order (*He went two years ago to Italy ->
Two years ago he went to Italy)

Appendix 3: Punctuation
Mark Names Use Example
, Comma - Slight pause in sentence, esp. long ones
- list things - We had been looking forward to our holiday all year, but it rained all day.
- Tea, coffee, milk or hot chocolate.
! Exclamation mark End of sentence expressing joy, surprise, anger etc. That’s marvelous!
“…” Double quotes
quotation marks/invert-ed commas Direct speech
“Why on earth did you do that?” she asked.(Am Engl)
/ Stroke/oblique/slash Separate alternative words/phrases Have a pudding and/or cheese
(…) Brackets/parentheses Separate extra info from rest of sentence Mount Robson (12,972 feet) is the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies.
? Question mark At the end of direct question Where’s the car? But: He asked if I knew where the car was.
‘ Apostrophe - With s to indicate possession
- Abbreviations My friend’s brother.
I’m, They’d
`…’ Single quotes Draw attention to word that is unusual for the context He told me in no uncertain terms to ‘get lost’.
; Semi-colon Separate 2 main clauses, esp those not joined by conjunctions (and, as, but) The sun was already low in the sky; it would soon be dark.
: Colon - Introduce a list of items/ to give more info
- Introduce quotation These are our options: we go by train and leave before the end of the show.
As Morgan writes: The truth was, perhaps, that…..
. Full stop(BE)
period (AE) - At the end of sentence This is the end of the sentence.
- Hyphen - Form compound from two or more words Hard-hearted, mother-to-be.
-- Dash Separate comment/
afterthought from rest of the sentence He knew nothing at all about her – or so he said.

Appendix 4: Elements of the rating sheet for test summary
Criteria Assessment task Score
A Task content - give a summary of the most
important information, consisting of:
1. thesis statement
2. topic sentences/main ideas
- no minor details
- the message is clear to a native speaker
- the summary is professional and realistic All 6 main elements are present and are completely clear: 4 pts
5 out of 6 main elements are present and are completely clear: 3 pts
3 or 4 out of 6 main elements are present and completely clear: 2 pts
2 out of 6 main elements are present and completely clear: 1 pt
<2 main elements are present and clear: 0 pts
B Grammatical Accuracy Good grammatical control. Occasional "slips" or non-systematic errors and minor flaws in sentence structure may still occur, but they are rare.
The text is (almost) entirely correct: 4 pts
The text is fairly correct: 3 pts
The text contains systemic errors: 2 pts
The text is riddled with mistakes : 1 pt
C Orthographic control - Can produce clearly intelligible continuous
- Writing is well-structured (title/intro/body/conclusion)
- Spelling and punctuation are reasonably accurate but may show signs of mother tongue influence. Fluent and complete sentences; Spelling and punctuation are mostly accurate: 4 pts
Less fluent and complete sentences; Spelling and punctuation are fairly accurate: 3 pt
Hardly any fluent sentences; Spelling and punctuation are hardly accurate: 2 pt
No fluent sentences, bad spelling, etc. 1 pts
D Sociolinguistic Appropriateness Can adopt a level of formality appropriate to circumstances; (no contractions);
No copy-paste, leave out examples
Can vary formulation to avoid frequent repetition, variety of reporting verbs;
Lexical accuracy is generally high, though some confusion and incorrect word choice does occur without hindering communication.
Language is formal, own words, to the point, correct use of and a variety style and some passive constructions: 3 pts
Language is formal, mostly own words, to the point with some repetition; fewer passives or inappropriate use of words: 2 pts
Language is less formal, copied from original text, less to the point with repetition: 1 pt
Language is not formal, mainly copied from original text, not to the point with numerous repetitions: 0 pt
E Linking text and ideas Can write a clear and well-organised text, though there may be some jumps;
Can use a variety of linking words efficiently to mark clearly the relationships between ideas or facts
(excluding ‘and/but/because’; don’t use at the beginning of a sentence) The main points are presented systematically with appropriate highlighting of significant points and relevant supporting detail + good use of a number of linking words (minimum of 3): 3 pt
Main points are presented less systematically, there is appropriate use of 2 linking words:2 pt
The summary lacks systematic reasoning, hardly meets the requirements and hardly any linking words are used: 1 pt
Total score
Too many words
Too much copy paste 220 words
Max total 30 points for summary
(The weighting factor for each category will be announced during the course.)



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