Module 19: Synthesizing and Documenting Information
March 14 2012
How do I summarize Information?
- Read and listen for meaning; then write a synopsis, paraphrase or précis.
- When you summarize, you condense the data you’re hearing or reading.
- Pre-read, skim and scan the article, document, or visual.
- Identify and analyze the context, use PAIBOC analysis to answer.
o What’s the medium?
o What’s the purpose of the document?
o Who’s the intended audience?
o Who wrote it?
o How does the writer develop the argument, or thesis?
o When was it published?
o What’s the language level?
- Find the thesis, or main idea which is usually in the introduction.
- Read the concluding paragraph.
- Find the topic sentences that control each paragraph.
- Look for proof.
- Set the text aside and jot down or cluster an overview of the material: note (1) the main idea, (2) medium, (3)
the author’s name, (4) an example or proof, (5) your questions about the material.
- Reread the document to ensure your summary information is correct.
- Find the answers to your question.
- Record all biographic data if you are using the summary in your report or presentation.
- Ask a peer or friend to check your summary against the original text.
- Add anything relevant.
Summarizing Oral Communications
- Listen for understanding; identify and analyze the context.
o Pre-read the topic.
o Listen for an overview.
o Identify the speaker’s purpose
o Identify the speaker’s expectations of the audience.
o Listen for the thesis
o Identify and analyze the organizational pattern.
o Listen for the proof. o Listen for the points of emphasis.
o Listen for the close
o Read the handouts, or supplementary material if provided.
o Note your questions
o Ask questions
- Jot down or cluster an overview of the material: (1) the thesis/main idea, (2) the speaker’s name, (3) evidence
and examples, (4) points of emphasis, (5) the conclusion.
- Check your summary for accuracy.
- Add any relevant information.
- You put information you’re recording or reporting into your own words, while keeping the integrity of the
- You write a précis when you paraphrase and summarize inf