Tag Archives: summarising

Interactive Writing Session #4: October 16th, 2009

The writer, the written and the writing tool
Image by Ravages via Flickr

UPDATE: Test yourself! Try this vocabulary quiz about chapter 1 of Little Plum.

Test yourself! Try this quiz on some of the words we read today in chapter 2.

  1. Review of basic rules of English writing:
    1. 5 conditions for a simple sentence
    2. complex sentences + common errors (fragments, run-ons, and comma splices)
    3. the paragraph – unity, grouping of sentences, topic sentence, major supports, transitions.
    4. the essay (according to Andy Gillett) –made up of several paragraphs; introduction, main body, conclusion; all written about one main topic; needs to have a clear purpose; “you should present ideas you have learned but in your own words, and say something for yourself about the subject; the ideas and people you refer to must be made explicit by a system of referencing.”  (c.f. Using English for Academic Purposes: A Guide for Students in Higher Education )
  2. Show me your notebooks for “Little Plum
  3. Today, we will read the rest of Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.
  4. Take notes (in Japanese OK) about today’s mini lecture on British children’s author Enid Blyton.
  5. We will begin to think about research projects.
    1. Rumer Godden’s life
    2. Rumer Godden’s books for children
    3. Rumer Godden’s books
    4. Famous British children’s authors and books
    5. Compare 1 British children’s book with 1 famous Japanese children’s book
    6. Compare Rumer Godden with a famous Japanese writer for children
    7. Compare British books for children with Japanese books for children.
  6. We will learn about how to write a summary. From Andy Gillett’s page:

One of the most important aspects of academic writing is making use of the ideas of other people. This is important as you need to show that you have understood the materials and that you can use their ideas and findings in your own way. In fact, this is an essential skill for every student.

It is very important when you do this to make sure you use your own words, unless you are quoting. You must make it clear when the words or ideas that you are using are your own and when they are taken from another writer. You must not use another person’s words or ideas as if they were your own: this is Plagiarism and plagiarism is regarded as a very serious offence.

The object of academic writing is …  for you to present ideas you have learned in your own way. You can do this by reporting the works of others in your own words. You can either paraphrase if you want to keep the length the same, summarise if you want to make the text shorter or synthesise if you need to use information from several sources. In all cases you need to acknowledge other people’s work.


  1. Write a summary of Chapter 1 and 2
  2. Write your notes (in Japanese) to today’s talk, and post them to your blog by Wednesday Oct. 21, 18:00
  3. Visit Andy Gillett’s website Using English for Academic Purposes: A guide for students of higher education. Especially look at the sections on “Paragraph”
  4. Watch theses slideshows on paragraph writing and on summarising.
    1. slideshow #1
    2. slideshow #2
    3. Slideshow #3
  5. Prepare chapter 3 of “Little Plum”.
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