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UNIT


Summarizing a Passage




o e: e
u i o e ee s o

Example:
Read the paragraph and mark the text to show the main idea, the pattern of organization, and the
supporting facts and ideas. Then read the summary sentence that contains the most important
ideas in the paragraph.

200
People in poor villages and urban usually not served
by a piped water system.
These people have few other sources of fresh water.

Poor people in developing from


shortages of clean water because their homes do not have
piped in water and they have few other sources of water.

EXERCISE 1

A. Working with another student, read each paragraph and mark the text to show the main idea and
the supporting facts and ideas. Then fill in the information below.

Main idea:

Summarizing
2. om a io ogica oi o iew, we a s a e o was e a s a a , u a e
amo g e mos o uc i e ecosys ems i e wo . ey co ai a imme se
a ie y o a ima a a s ecies, w ic a e e o e o e mi io s o yea s a
w ic e e o we a ecosys ems o ei su i a . e i e cyc es o a ese
s ecies e e o e a icu a a i a o e we a s, wi i s ic mi u e o
wa e a o ga ic ma e ia om e eak ow o a s i wa e . e e ic e
ma e ia —k ow as detritus—feeds ma y sma a ima s i i g i e wa e , suc as
aqua ic i sec s, s e is , a sma is . ese sma c ea u es, i u , a ac
a ge e a o y a ima s a ee o em, i c u i g is , e i es, am i ia s,
i s, a mamma s.

Mai i ea:

a e o o ga i a io :
Su o i g ac s
a i eas:

Summa y se e ce:

. I ece yea s, ci y a e s a o i icia s a e egi i g o ea i e a


we a s a e a ua e o a o e easo as we . I 2006, . i c es (a ou 4
cm o ai e o e ci y o ew u y o i o eas e Massac use s. I e
eig o i g ci y o a e i , o y a ou 0 i c es o ai e . owe e , a e i
su e e mi io s o o a s wo o amage om oo i g, w i e ew u y o
su e e a mos o se ious amage. W y suc a i e e ce? o ci ies a e ui
a o g e Me imack i e , u i a e i e a ea a a o g e i e as ee
e e o e wi ousi g, oa s, a comme cia ui i gs. I ew u y o ,
owe e , e a ea a o g e i e as ee e i i s o igi a s a e—ma s a
(we a s . ese we a s ga e e i e wa e s s ace o s ea ou w e ee
was a su e i c ease i o ume ue o e ai . e we a a s a soi a so
ac e ike a gia s o ge o a so wa e . I a e i ,o eo e a , e
wa e cou o s ea ou , so i ose ig e a ig e , u i i o e owe e
a ks a oo e a eas o e ci y.

Mai i ea:

a e o o ga i a io :
Su o i g ac s
a i eas:

Summa y se e ce:

B. Compare your summary sentences with those of another student. Look back at the paragraphs
to check your work.

• ea e assage a e way o ee a ma k eo e a esis a e su o i g


oi s.
• e e mi e eo e a a e o o ga i a io .
• W i e a o e se e ce summa y o eac a ag a .
• W i e a s o a ag a y com i i g e summa y se e ces o e a ag a s (wi
a y ecessa y c a ges o co ec em .
• e mai i ea o e summa y a ag a s ou e simi a o e esis o e w o e
assage a e a e o o ga i a io s ou e e same as e o e a a e o e
assage.

O y e mos im o a i eas a su o i g oi s o e o igi a assage s ou


e i c u e i a summa y a ag a . I s ou o i c u e mi o e ai s o you ow
o i io s o i eas. A o e a , i s ou e muc s o e a e o igi a .

A. Look back at the three paragraphs in Exercise 1. Together they form a longer passage with a
thesis statement. Underline the thesis statement. Then write a summary paragraph that includes
the thesis statement and your summary sentences.

203
B. Compare your summary paragraph with that of another student and discuss any differences.
Look back at the passage and your summary sentences to check your work.

A. Preview the passage. Then read it carefully and mark the text to show the thesis and supporting
facts and ideas. Then fill in the information below.

Persistent Pests
I e 60s, e Wo ea e a e em o esis e c emica a ack. [...]
O ga i a io (W O ega a cam aig o e oiso ki s mos mem e s o e i sec
e a ica e e mosqui oes a a smi e o u a io , ea i g o y e esis a
isease ma a ia. I was a o e goa , si ce i i i ua s o e o uce. A w e ey o,
ma a ia ki s a es ima e mi io eo e ei o s i g i e i e ge es o es ici e
eac yea i e wo s o ica egio s, esis a ce. I eac ge e a io , e o o io
e omi a y sou e A ica. W O e a o es ici e esis a i i i ua s i e i sec
e o o s ay e mosqui oes a i a wi a o u a io i c eases, maki g su seque
c emica es ici e—a oiso use o ki s ayi gs ess a ess e ec i e.
i sec s—ca e . Ea y esu s we e 3 Si ce e wi es ea use o c emica
omisi g, a e mosqui o was e imi a e es ici es ega i e 40s, scie is s a e
om e e ge o i s a i e a ge. e e o ocume e es ici e esis a ce i mo e a
soo a e e , owe e , a e e a ica io 00 s ecies o i sec s. e o ems suc
a was o e . ow cou a i y mosqui o i sec s ose— oug ei im ac o
wa e es e o s o a a ge g ou o we ag icu u e a me ici e—a e us some o e
u e scie is s? ma y ways a e o u io as a i ec
2 Si ua io s ike is o e a e occu e co ec io o ou ai y i es. E e yw e e, a
o e s o imes i e as se e a eca es. I a e ime, o u a io s o o ga isms a e i e
commo sce a io, w e e e a ew y e o u i g a a a io s o oca e i o me s
es ici e is use o co o ag icu u a es s, oug e e o u io a y ocess o a u a
e ea y esu s a e e cou agi g. A e a i e y se ec io . Gi e e y amics o Ea a i s
sma amou o e oiso us e o o a c o i e, i is o su isi g a e e e ki s o
may ki o e i sec s. owe e , e o ga isms o e a e — e s ecies— a e
e a i e y ew su i o s o e i s es ici e c a ge o e ime.
wa e a e i sec s wi ge es a some ow

o com e e y ge i e o o es oy some i g
eradicate:
e a u a e i o me o a a o a ima
o ecome weake a u a e o co i ue
e e some i g om succee i g
:
offspring:

Comprehension Skills
Summa y o a ag a :

Summa y o a ag a 2:

Summa y o a ag a :

Summa y a ag a :

B. Compare your summary paragraph with that of another student and discuss any differences.
Look back at the passage and your summary sentences to check your work.

Summarizing Long Passages


W e you summa i e a o g assage (mo e a ou o i e a ag a s , you ee oa
a a i io a s e :
• ea e assage a e way o ee a ma k e mai oi s (i c u i g e esis
a e su o i g oi s .
• e e mi e eo e a a e o o ga i a io .
• i i e e assage i o a s. Eac a s ou ma c a su o i g oi a may
i c u e se e a a ag a s. (I e ooks, e c a e s a e usua y a ea y i i e i o
su sec io s o a s.
• W i e a summa y se e ce o eac a .
• W i e a a ag a a com i es e summa y se e ces (wi a y ecessa y c a ges
o co ec em .
• e mai i ea o e summa y a ag a s ou e e same as e esis o e
o igi a assage, a e a e o o ga i a io s ou e e same.
EXERCISE 4

A. Preview the passage. Then read it carefully and mark the thesis statement and important
details. Then divide the passage into parts and write the thesis statement, pattern of organization,
and a summary sentence for each part.

The Sunnier, Southern Side of the Street

O e i o ic ac a ou Eu o e s o sou ea
a e a e e o a ce o a o u e,
ami ies s ay oge e . O s i g emai a ome
s ee ." A s u y u is e as mo i e o ge , eque y o ei g a e o a o o mo e
i is Journal of Psychiatry ou a " e essi e ou u i ey a e i ei a e 20s. O eo e a e
iso e is a ig y e a e co i io i Eu o e." o so easi y a ke i " omes." Ge e a i i g, i
2 e e o o ows a ecisio y e Eu o ea S ai , o uga , G eece a I a y, ami y i e o a
Commissio o u a com a a i e s u y o e y u s ee e a o ge a i e" e e o "
e a e ce o e essio i e U i e Ki g om, o . Sou e e s ig a a ou ike a ami
I e a , o way, i a a S ai . A e ques ies, u ey e o s ick oge e agai s a e a
io i g 8,8 0 a u s i a 8, e s u y co e ou si e wo . I S a is os i a s, oc o s
c u es a us o e 8. o em a e e esse , a e o us oug a ks o e a i es o ge ea
a ways o i e iso es . Ge e a i e o e Eu o ea e a ie . O eo e o e ie i e ouse ow
U io as a w o e, is is a e i emic a a ec s
a ou 0 mi io eo e. ee e o mi ga c i e w ie o ae s
Wome a e wo se a me a , e ic a y,
e essio is ge e a y ess e a e i u a a i com o a ca e i ouse a e a ayi g
u a a eas. u e mos s iki g ac e ea e y
solidaridad. As o ga o o s,
u a o u a io i e U.K. a 2.8 i u a ey es o ge e ous y o u aise s.

u a a ua i a a o way, e i ci e ce me wi a S a is ui e . A you g mo e wi
a ges om 6. o . . u i u a S ai , e a ewis a yi a am a e e o ass. e
i e, as su e e om io e e o ism o mo e e e se o a k o e ki , o ee i s a c eeks. e
a y eame , i s mo e s a e a ki g a ou ow
oyme a es, o e o e wo s eco s o i us we i was aki g e eas , Emi io assu e e a
ia acci e s, a is ea e o o e a es o e i e e ow was a ic u e o ea . . . a my
age e a a . I was o i e sio a y ac ic—I
ig es e e o oise o u io . ee ami ie .
e e essio ma y Eu o ea s a e ee su
wi o e Eu o ea a io s—a a om mo e e i g si ce Se . is o ou a e o ea i
su —is w a e esea c e s i is s u y ca socia
ase — a i e easa coas a ci y o Sa
wi we a e o e um e o oc o s o syc ia
is s. ey a e ui o la familia. i e iews. u a i e e ce o e essio o mo e

prevalence: ow commo some i g is


episode: a s o e io o ime
afflict: o a ec i a a m u way
fatality: a ea i a acci e o io e a ack
ranks: i es
unsurpassed: e e a a eo es
beam: o smi e
diversionary: i e e o ake a e io away

Com e e sio Ski s


mac i e is o e i ki g w e we e u : "W e e
e A g o a i c a ac e i i e. a e you? A e you a ig ?" I use o ee a asse
y is. owa ays, e eco e oice makes me
i gs a e es a oi e : o su a ami ies. u mi e. A i e i o familia ca go a o g way o
is 86 yea o wi ow asses ou s o e o e ig e is e o i e , o e e essi g wo .

Source: Time Magazine, November 12, 2001)

harassed:

4
B. Now write a short summary paragraph that combines and connects your summary sentences.
The main idea of your summary paragraph should be similar to the overall thesis of the article.

C. Compare your summary paragraph with that of another student and check to see if you have
both followed the steps for summarizing a longer passage. Discuss any differences and look back
at your part summaries and the passage to check your work.

Summarizing a Textbook Chapter

o e:

Comprehension Skills
Preview the introduction to a section of a sociology textbook. Then read it carefully and look for
a sentence that states the purpose of the whole section (what it will be about). Write the
statement of purpose on the lines below.

In 1693, William Penn wrote that "the country and more than 50 percent will do so by the
life is to be preferred for there we see the end of 2010 (Haub, 1999; Linden, 1993;
works of God, but in cities little else than the Fischer, 1984).
work of man." Most people at the time
probably agreed with him. Less than 2 cities themselves have changed. We can

urban dwellers. But in 1998, about 44 percent


megalopolitan stages.

Preview the rest of the section. Then read it carefully and divide the section into parts. Write a
number in the margin beside each part and mark the important facts and ideas in the text. Finally,
fill in the information at the end of the passage.

For more than 99 percent of the time that we


and their families. Because of this food surplus,
have roamed about in search of food. They
their living by weaving, making pottery and
practicing other specialized crafts. Methods of

very long. They have had to move on, traveling mproved. The result was the emergence of
cities.
Then, about 10,000 years ago, Cities first arose on the fertile banks of
such rivers as the Nile of Egypt, the Euphrates
their wandering. This was the dawn of what is and Tigris in the Middle East, the Indus in
called the Neolithic period. People now had the Pakistan, and the Yellow River in China. Similar

parts of the world. The cities were


small compared with the cities of today. Most
they settled down and built villages. The had populations of 5,000 to 10,000 people.
villages were very small—with only about 200 Only a few cities had more than 100,000 and
to 400 residents each. For the next 5,000 years, even Rome never had more than several
villagers produced just enough food to feed
themselves. Several factors prevented expansion of the
About 5,000 years ago, humans developed preindustrial city. By modern standards,
more powerful technologies. Thanks to agricultural techniques were still primitive. It
innovations like the ox-drawn plow, irrigation, took at least 75 farmers to produce enough of a
surplus to support just one city dweller. For

Summarizing 209
a s o a io , eo e a o e e o ei
industrial city.
ei us ia ci y, e i us ia ci y was a ge ,
ci ies, a e e mo e i icu o a s o mo e e se y se e , a mo e i e se. I was
ea y ma e ia s o co s uc io i e ci ies. a ace w e e a ge um e s o eo e—wi a
oo sa i a io , ack o sewe aci i ies, a wi e a ge o ski s, i e es s, a cu u a
i e ec i e me ici e ke e ea a e ig .
E i emics egu a y ki e as muc as a o a a imi e s ace. A so, u ike e ei us ia
ci y s o u a io . Mo eo e , ami ies s i a a ci y, w ic a se e ima i y as a e igious
s o g a ac me o e a , w ic o go e me a ce e , e i us ia ci y was
iscou age immig a io o e ci ies. A ese a comme cia u . I ac , i s a u a o
c a ac e is ics o ei us ia socie y ke e o o u i ies a ac e so ma y u a mig a s
a mig a io accou e o e a ges s a e

mig a s, ci ies wou o a e g ow a a


o a mos ,000 yea s, ci ies c a ge i e. ecause o e ig mo a i y a e oug
a ou y e eme y oo sa i a y co i io s.
a i a i as ee ca e a urban
revolution urban explosion.

i ai i e i ci ies, u y 00, e ma o i y i us ia i e a io s ega o s ea


me o o ises, a ge
a e U i e S a es soo ac ie e e same u a a eas a i c u e a ci y a i s
e e o u a i a io i a e e s o e e io . su ou i g su u s. Some o ese su u s
a e o i ica y se a a e om ei ce a ci ies,
amo g e mos u a i e i e wo , a o g u socia y, eco omica y, a geog a ica y,
wi ma y a i Ame ica cou ies, w ic e su u s a e ci y a e ie oge e . e
a e ecome mos y u a i e i mo e ece U.S. Ce sus u eau ecog i es is u i y y
yea s. e i i g w a is ca e a Standard
e ma o s imu us o e u a e osio Metropolitan Statistical A rea, w ic cu s ac oss
was e I us ia e o u io . I igge e a o i ica ou a ies. Si ce 0, mos U.S.
se ies o e a e e e s, i e i ie y esi e s a e ee i i g i me o o i a
socio ogis ii ause ( 8 as o u a io
e osio , o owe y o u a io is osio
a o u a io im osio , a e y I e U i e S a es, e u e a mi e
ec o osio . I us ia i a io i s causes a c asses a e usua y s a ke e e a sio o
ise i o uc io g ow , a e
mec a i a io o a mi g i gs a ou a u a a eas mo e i o e ce a ci y, e
ag icu u a su us. ewe a me s ca wea ie c asses mo e o e su u s. e
su o mo e eo e—a us a ge u a au omo i e g ea y aci i a e is
o u a io s (population explosion). e e o me . I e cou age eo e o ea e

om u a o u a a eas (population
displosion) aa g ea e co ce a io o
eo e i a imi e a ea (population
mplosion).
ec o ogies (technoplosion) mo e a 26 mi io . Mea w i e, e
u a i a io . Im o e a s o a io , o

o e ma e ia s o u a ce e s.

Comprehension Skills
com i e wi e su u s o a ace
me o o i a a eas as occu e i e me o o i a a eas o o m a
as a ea i w ic ma y me o o ises me ge.
ou imes as e a i e ci ies, a s o es
a e e ai me aci i ies o owe e e e , su u s a ci ies a e me ge wi
eo e e e. Su u a o s i c ease 44 o e a o e o o m a co i ues egio i
e ce , w i e i e ci y em oyme o e w ic is i c io s e wee su u a , u a ,
a u a a eas a e u e . e u e s o
e e e se o e u a co e co i ue i e
o e suc mega o o is a o e s e c es om
ou um e ci y esi e s ee o wo (U.S.

As su u s e a , ey some imes

a e o o ga i a io :
Summa y se e ce(s :

a e o o ga i a io :
Summa y se e ce(s :

a e o o ga i a io :
Summa y se e ce(s :

C. Now write a short summary paragraph that combines and connects the summary sentences.

D. Compare your summary paragraph with that of another student. Discuss any differences and
look back at your part summaries and the passage to check your work.

Summarizing 211
EXERCISE 6

A. Read the textbook section on "Social Isolation" that you previewed in Unit 1, Exercise 5,
page 80. Divide the section into parts and mark the important facts and ideas. Then fill in the
following information.

Part 1—Topic:

Part 2—Topic:

B. Now write a short summary paragraph that combines the summary sentences.

C. Compare your summary paragraph with that of another student. Discuss any differences and
look back at your summaries and the passage to check your work.

Focus on Vocabulary

EXERCISE 7

A. Check your understanding of the following target words. Read each word aloud and then write
or beside it.

= you are sure of the meaning of the word


M = you think you might know the meaning of the word
you don't know the meaning of the word at all