Summary Writing: Examples of Summary Passage

by Powell

summary begins with an introductory sentence that states the text’s title, author and the main point of the text as you see it. A summary is written in your own words. A summary contains only the ideas of the original text. Do not insert any of your own opinions, interpretations, deductions or comments into a summary.

Here are some examples of summaries with answers to the summarized passages:

Example 1: Carifesta and Caribbean Diversity

Despite their geographical closeness and their common history, the countries of the Caribbean richly diverse and take pride in their diversity. Cricket is popularly seen as the activity that brings them together, but the cultural festival, Carifesta, is just as effective in a different way. The main purpose of Carifesta is to gather artists, musicians, and authors, and to exhibit the folkloric and artist manifestations of the Caribbean and Latin American region, in an international multicultural event organized on a periodic basis by the countries of the Caribbean.

The idea of Caribbean arts festivals was first proosed at convention of writers and artists held in 1970 Guyana. It involved a vision of the region’s peoples with roots deep in Asia, Europe and Africa, coming together to share their art forms, Literature inspired by the Caribbean’s own peculiar temperament, paintings drawn from awe inspiring tropical ecology and the visionary inheritance of our forefathers.

Two years later, Carifesta I was billed as a grand cultural exposition and was held in Guyana with almost 1000 participants from 30 countries in the Caribbean, Central, and South America. It was originally hoped that Carifesta would be held every two years in a different country, but the second festival, in Jamaica, did not take place until 1976. It was followed by a Cuban Carifesta in 1979 then Carifesta IV in Barbados in 1981. Various problems prevented staging of other and the ravages of Hurricane Gibert made it impossible. The islands of Monsterrat, St. Kitts and Nevis and Antigua and Barbuda offered to co-host the festival in 1989, but the idea was not practicable. Subsequent festivals were hosted in Trinidad, St Kitts, and Nevis and The Bahamas.

Carifesta aims to depict the lives heritage of people of the region, show their similarities and their differences, and by creating a climate in which arts can flourish, persuade artists who have migrated for their art’s sake, to return to the region.

The  Carifesta slogan, selected after a regional contest, was created by a Guyanese who lives in Jamaica. It aptly sums up Carifesta and its vision. ‘’ Sea of sounds, medley of images, world of peoples, common heritage’’.

Example 1: Summary

Although some Caribbean countries may have similarities they are diversed. However, they all desire cricket the cultural festival Carifesta brings people together to present Caribbean festivals which were first proposed at a convention of writers and artists held in 1970 in Guyana. Years past by Carifesta was built as a grand cultural explosion until it started to keep regularly all over the Caribbean. Then a problem occurred due to economic problems and the wreck of Hurricane Gilbert. Carifesta and differences in the region The Carifesta slogan were written by a Guyanese who lived in Jamaica. ‘’sea of sounds, medley of images world of peoples, common heritage’’. Which means how harmony it is in the region. – 115 Words

Example 2: Summarize in not more than 120 words

As what geographers have estimated, about twenty percent of the earth’s surface is occupied by deserts. A majority of us view deserts as one unique kind of landscape — areas with little or no rainfalls.

In actual fact, there are differences between the deserts, though in varying degrees. While it is common for laymen like us to see deserts as rocky or covered with gravel or pebbles, there are somewhere large sand dunes inhabit. Despite the fact that rainfall is minimal, temperatures do change in deserts, ranging from seasonal ones to daily changes where extreme hotness and coldness are experienced in the day and night.

Unfavorable conditions in the deserts, especially the lack of water, have discouraged many living things from inhabiting these landscapes. Nevertheless, there are exceptionally surviving ones which through their superb tactics, have managed to live through and are still going strong. One such kind is the specialist annual plants which overcome seasonal temperature changes with their extremely short, active life cycles. In events of sudden rain, the plant seeds pullulate

The Cacti, a native in American deserts, adapts to the dry surroundings by having unique body structures. The plant has swollen stems to help store water that carries it through months. By having sharp pines instead of leaves, water loss through respiration is minimized. Besides, these pointed pines also help the plant ward off grazing animals, thus enhancing its survival period.

Besides plants, there are also animals with distinct surviving tactics in deserts too. For instance, Skinks ( desert lizards ) metabolize stored fats in their bulbous tails, producing water to supplement their needs, just like what camels do with the stored food in their humps during long journeys through deserts. Antelopes like the addax, have very low water needs and hence are able to tolerate the conditions in deserts, extracting moisture from the food they eat. Finally, there are the sandgrouses (desert birds ) which do not have special features to overcome the drought-like nature in deserts. Hence, to survive in these hot, dry deserts, they need to spend a large part of their time flying in search of waterholes.

Example 2: Summary

Some plants and animals still manage to survive despite the dry conditions in the deserts. One of them is the specialist annual plants. Their short life cycles allow them to germinate, grow and produce seeds during short rainy seasons. These seeds are drought-resistant and are able to wait for the next rainy season before starting their life cycles again. The Cacti adapts to the dry weather by having swollen stems for water storage and pine-like leaves to minimize water loss through respiration. Skinks generate water from stored fats in their tails and antelopes which requires very little water, survives in deserts by extracting water from the food they eat. Finally, Sandgrouse with no adaptive features turns to waterholes constantly for help. – 119 words

Read the following magazine article on drug testing carefully and then write a summary of it.

In not more than 120 words. Your summary should be in continuous prose.

In your summary you will be assessed on how well you :

Were able to identify the main ideas and opinions

Organized and expressed main ideas and opinion

Used appropriate grammar, sentence structure, vocabulary, spelling and punctuation.

Example 3: Drug Testing

Most of us know that cancer, heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death in the west. But many people would be surprised by the next biggest killer: the side effects of prescription medicines. Adverse drug reaction kills more than 110,000 people in a year in the United Kingdom, and more than 100 000 in the United States of America.

Many studies published in the scientific literature comparing drug side effects in humans and animals have found animal tests to be unlikely to predict any more accurately than if you had simply tossed a coin. One review of human- animal correlation in drugs that has been withdrawn found that animal tests predicted the human side effects only six out of 114 times. Hundreds of drugs used to treat strokes have been found safe and effective in animal studies, and then injured or killed patients in clinical trials.

Dr Richard Klausner, former director of the US National Cancer Institute lamented that the history of cancer research has been a history of curing cancer in the mouse. ‘’we have cured mice of cancer for decades, antisimply did not work on humans’’. Cigarette smoke, asbestos, arsenic, benzene, alcohol and glass fibre are all safe to ingest, according to animal studies. Penicillin , the world’s first antibiotic, was delayed for more than 10years by misleading results from experiments on rabbits, and would have been shelved forever had it  been tested on guinea pigs, which it kills. Even the handbook of laboratory Animal Science admits that uncritical reliance on the results of animal tests can be dangerously misleading and has cost the health lives of tens of thousands of humans.

Example 4: Summary

Chronic disease is the leading cause of death in this world, but the biggest killer is the side effects of prescribed medication. Studies have shown the side effects of drug testing on animals have a low percentage compared to the side effects in humans. 

Hundreds of drugs used to treat strokes have been found safe and effective in animal studies but when used in clinical trials many patients injured or killed. The cure for cancer has been discovered but only works on animals instead of humans.

Many substances that might be bad for humans to ingest aren’t for animals. Animals testing inaccurate information have cost the health and lives of tens of thousands of humans. – 114 words

Example 5: The emergence of paper money used widely today

Buying things today is so simple. Just enter a shop, say a book store, choose the desired book and pay for it. Long ago, before the invention of money, how did people trade?

The most primitive way of exchange should be the barter trade. In this form of transaction, people used goods to exchange for the things that they had in mind. For instance, if person A wanted a book and he had a spare goat, he must look for someone who had the exact opposite, that is, that someone, say person B, must have a spare book of person A’s choice and is also in need of a goat. Having found such a person, the problem does not end here. A big goat may worth not only one book, hence person B may have to offer person A something else, say five chickens. However, he runs the risk of person A rejecting the offer as he may not need the chickens. The above example clearly illustrates the inefficiency of barter trading.

Many years later, the cumbersome barter trade finally gave way to the monetary form of exchange when the idea of money was invented. In the early days, almost anything could qualify as money: beads, shells and even fishing hooks. Then in a region near Turkey, gold coins were used as money. In the beginning, each coin had a different denomination. It was only later, in about 700 BC, that Gyges, the king of Lydia, standardized the value of each coin and even printed his name on the coins.

Monetary means of transaction at first beat the traditional barter trade. However, as time went by, the thought of carrying a ponderous pouch of coins for shopping appeared not only troublesome but thieves attracting. Hence, the Greek and Roman traders who bought goods from people faraway cities invented checks to solve the problem. Not only are paper checks easy to carry around, but they also discouraged robbery as these checks can only be used by the person whose name is printed on the notes. Following this idea, banks later issued notes in exchange for gold deposited with them. These banknotes can then be used as cash. Finally, governments of today adopted the idea and began to print paper money, backed by gold for the country’s use.

Today, besides enjoying the convenience of using paper notes as the mode of exchange, technology has led man to invent other means of the transaction too like the credit and cash cards.

Example 5: Summary

Long ago, people bought things through barter trade. However, the difficulty of having to look for the right partner and dividing the goods led people to switch over to monetary transactions. at first, beads, shells and fishing hooks were used as money. Near Turkey, gold coins with irregular denominations were used for trade. Later, King Gyges standardized the individual coin value. People soon found carrying coins around for shopping troublesome and thieves courting. Hence, merchants started to issue checks with the names of the users on them to discourage robbery. Following that, banks started to issue cash notes in return for gold deposited with them. Finally, adopting the idea, today, governments printed paper money backed by gold for the country’s usage. ( 120 words ) 

Example 6: The advantages and disadvantages of television

With the invention of televisions, many forms of entertainment have been replaced. Lively programs like television serials and world news have removed from us the need to read books or papers, to listen to radios or even to watch movies. In fact, during the 1970s, when televisions were first introduced, cinema theatres suffered great losses as many people chose to stay in the comforts of their homes to watch their favorite programs.

Indeed, television brings the world into our house. Hence, by staying at home and pressing some buttons world happenings are immediately presented before us. Children nowadays develop faster in language, owing to early exposure to television programs. At such a tender age, it would be difficult for them to read books or papers. Thus, television programs are a good source of learning for them. Furthermore, pronunciations by the newscasters, actors or actresses are usually standardized, hence young children watching these programs will learn the ‘right’ pronunciations too. Owning a television is also extremely beneficial to working parents who are usually too busy or tired to take their kids out for entertainments. Surrounded by the comforts of their home, the family can have a chance to get together and watch their favorite television programs.

Of course, we should not be too carried away by the advantages of the television and overlook its negative points. Watching television programs takes away our need to read. Why bother to read the papers when we can hear them from the television news reports? Why read books when exciting movies are screened? The lack of reading is unhealthy especially to younger children as they will grow up only with the ability to speak but not write. I have a neighbor whose six-year-old child can say complete sentences like “I like cats,” but when told to write out the sentence, is unable to do so. Not only are the writing skills of children affected, their thinking capacities are also handicapped. Television programs remove the need to think. The stories, ideas, and facts are woven in the way television planners wanted. Exposure to such opinions and the lack of thinking opportunities will hinder the children’s analyzing ability.

Despite the disadvantages of watching television programs, personally, I think that choosing the ‘middle path’, which is to do selective television viewing and not overindulging in the habit should be the best solution to reconcile both the merits and demerits of owning a television.

Example 6: Summary

The television keeps us informed of world affairs. Early exposure to television programs helps to develop the language skills of young children. These children can also learn to pronounce words accurately because of the standardized pronunciation in the programs. In a family where both the parents are working, the television provides the family an opportunity to get together at leisure times. One disadvantage of watching television programs is that we do less reading and hence our writing skills are affected. Younger children may learn to speak but not write from television programs. Furthermore, television programs often spare viewers, especially the young ones, from pondering upon opinions presented before, which will, in turn, handicap their ability to analyze facts.. ( 119 words )

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