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Writing: Summary Writing

Writing a clear and concise summary is an often overlooked characteristic of strong writing. There’s no definite length for a proper summary, but a summary should always contain three parts: the introduction, the support, and the closing.

Let’s discover some strong summary writing techniques 

Look at the summary below.

In "The English Language is My Enemy," Ossie Davis argues that English is inherently racist by presenting the reader with two lists of synonyms for the words white and black. The lists present clearly divergent sets of meanings associated with the two words. White is associated with purity, cleanliness, and goodness. Black is associated with evil, dirt, and death. The differences in meaning suggest to Davis that the language is inherently biased against blacks. 


What information is provided in the introduction (the first sentence)?
???
What information is provided in the support (sentences 2, 3, and 4)?
???
What information is provided in the closing (the last sentence)?
???

What new information is added to the summary?

    In "The English Language is My Enemy," Ossie Davis argues that English is inherently racist by presenting the reader with two lists of synonyms for the words white and black. The lists present clearly divergent sets of meanings associated with the two words. White is associated with purity, cleanliness, and goodness. Black is associated with evil, dirt, and death. The differences in meaning suggest to Davis that the language is inherently biased against blacks. While the differences in meaning are undeniable, I suggest that the differences are due to ability of humans to think metaphorically, not racism necessarily.

The new information includes
???


Final Remarks 

Summaries can vary in length depending on their purpose. In all cases, you want to provide the reader with enough information to understand the summary and how it connects to your own ideas. Sometimes you can do this in one sentence, but sometimes it takes multiple paragraphs. No matter the length, you should always include these three parts in your summary: the introduction , support, and closing.


Special thanks to Daniel Kiess for providing the example summary.

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