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Exercise 1

Task : Write a summary on the benefits of cooking to children.

Cooking is one job that most children enjoy. Most parents do not allow their
children into the kitchen because of the potential accidents that can occur.
Research shows that children acquire many useful skills when cooking. Teaching a
child to cook is beneficial and fun.
By learning to weigh and measure ingredients and watching milk heats up,
children learn about Mathematics and Science. Besides, children can also learn
about the importance of food. They can be told to stop eating junk food and taught
to cook nutritious meals instead.
Social skills can also be learnt in the kitchen. Working together on a recipe
teaches children the importance of cooperation and sharing tasks. Hence, cooking
is a great joy. Even a cooking disaster can be funny, for example, when a freshly
baked cake ends up on the kitchen floor. Children can also enjoy the
companionship of cooking. Chatting while cooking and preparing a meal is a lovely
pastime.

Ask the question: “Does this sentence tell me the BENEFITS OF COOKING TO
CHILDREN?”

List Main Ideas (Content Points)

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Start your summary with:

Cooking can bring about numerous benefits to children. One benefit….

Summary Writing Workshop Sept 2008

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Exercise 2

Task : Write a summary on precautions for motorcyclists against accidents.

Motorcyclists are vulnerable to injuries in the event of an accident because


they have no seat belts or any protection other than the helmet. However, as a
motorcyclist, you can prevent accidents by recognizing safety hazards and taking the
necessary precautions.
Always wear bright-coloured clothes so that you can be seen. Dark clothes
tend to make riders less visible to other road users. Also, never tailgate the vehicle in
front of you, as the driver might brake suddenly, and you might not be able to react
fast enough.
Do not race on roads as the chances of losing control of your bike are much
greater at higher speeds. Another point to remember is to always keep a level head
and walk away from confrontation with other road users. Avoid weaving through
traffic and changing lanes suddenly to avoid accidents. Keep both hands on the
handle of your bike.
Common sense dictates not to use mobile phones while riding on a
motorcycle as it affects concentration. It also goes without saying that one should
never ride while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Lastly, never overload your motorcycle. The maximum capacity for a bike is
two persons. Excess capacity compromise steering control and braking efficiency,
and is thus dangerous.

Does this sentence tell me about “PRECAUTIONS MOTORCYCLISTS SHOULD TAKE?”

List Main Ideas (Content Points)

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Start your summary with:


Motorcyclists should recognize safety hazards and take the necessary precautions.

Summary Writing Workshop Sept 2008

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Exercise 3

Task : Write a summary on the abilities of two flightless birds.

There are a few birds such as the ostrich and the penguins that cannot fly.
The best known of all flightless birds is the African ostrich – the largest of all
living birds. A male ostrich can grow to a height of 3 metres and weigh up to 150 kg.
An ostrich egg is yellowish white and weighs about 1 kg. Although an ostrich cannot
fly, it can run very fast. It is the fastest creature on two legs. It can take strides of up
to 3.5 metres and can run up to 50 kilometers per hour for 15 minutes at a time.
Penguins come ashore by waddling on shore onto beaches or by jumping out
of the surf to land upright on ice or rocks. They can climb steep slopes and often
slide on their bellies over the snow. Penguins make up for their inability to fly with
their excellent swimming skills. By “porpoising” (swimming several metres under
water and then thrusting into the air before resubmerging) they can reach speeds up
to 40 kilometres an hour.

Does this sentence show the ABILITY of the ostrich or the penguin?

List Main Ideas (Content Points)

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Start your summary with:

The ostrich and the penguin are two flightless birds with….

Summary Writing Workshop Sept 2008

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Exercise 4

Task : Write a summary on the causes of accidents and how to reduce them.

Road accidents are on the increase. There are many reasons why these
accidents occur, consequently leading to injuries and loss of lives.
The main cause of road accidents is bad driving habits. Drivers and
motorcyclists alike exceed the speed limits on the highways and trunk roads. This
may cause their vehicles to go out of control and accidents may occur.
Dangerous road conditions such as potholes, poorly lighted roads and sharp
bends also add to the problem. Poorly maintained vehicles with faulty brakes, lights
or engines lead to accidents too.
We need to reduce the number of road accidents. For a start, more road
safety campaigns should be organized throughout the year. These campaigns
should focus on changing the drivers’ behaviours. In addition, road conditions should
be improved. More street lights should be installed and potholes repaired. There is
also a need for vehicles to be sent for inspection regularly to ensure that they are
wellp-maintained.

Does this sentence answer the question: “Causes of accidents and how to reduce
them”?

List Main Ideas (Content Points)

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Start your summary with:


We must recognize the causes of accidents and find ways….

Summary Writing Workshop Sept 2008

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Exercise 5

Task : Write a summary on the factors that cause the destruction of coral reefs.

Coral reefs cover less than half percent of the ocean floor but make up about twenty-
five percent of all marine species.
However, they are the most endangered species on earth. Coral reefs in half of the
one hundred over countries containing them have been damaged or destroyed by human
activities. If the rate of destruction goes on, another sixty percent could be lost in the next
twenty to forty years.
A major threat to coral reefs is sedimentation caused by poor land use.
Sedimentation is the process by which small pieces of rock and earth are transported and
washed into the sea. Another threat comes from overfishing and destructive fishing
techniques such as using fine mess nets, cyanide poisoning and blasting. Besides,
chemicals washed into the sea from factories and domestic sources cause certain algae that
live on the corals to grow too fast and as a result, they choke the corals.
Global warming is another culprit. Increased temperatures in the sea water results in
bleaching of the corals as they are sensitive to even slight temperature changes in the
water.
Lastly, physical damage is caused by the increasing numbers of scuba-divers and
tourists with their swimming and diving equipment. Damage is also caused by unscrupulous
tour operators who blast boat passages through reefs.

Does this sentence answer the question: “factors that cause the destruction of coral
reefs”?

List Main Ideas (Content Points)

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Start your summary with:

Man-made activities have been destroying corals reefs. Among these are….

Summary Writing Workshop Sept 2008