Summary Writing is tested in Text 3, Paper 2 (15 marks)
Content: 8 marks
Language: 7 marks
What to Do:
- Identify the main ideas
- Write the important ideas in fewer words
- Make each idea concise and to the point
- Include only main ideas and important information from the text
What to Avoid:
- Examples or repetitions
- Your knowledge, ideas or opinion
- All that is irrelevant to the main theme of the passage, and the sub-themes of the paragraphs
- Ambiguity and vagueness
Often, students have difficulty writing the important ideas in fewer words and making them concise to the point. As a result, they cannot include all 8 points in the 80-word summary. Following are practical tips to help you to overcome this difficulty of making your ideas concise so as to maximise the 80-word space.
1. Practical tips to overcome this difficulty of making your ideas concise
1.1 Use the present participle
This is formed from a verb and ends in ‘-ing’. Eg: loving, being, seeing, wanting
He wanted to climb the skyscraper. He looked at the enormous skyscraper.
Answer (Saves Two words):
Looking at the enormous skyscraper, he wanted to climb it.
1.2 Use the past participle
This is formed from a verb and usually ends in ‘-ed’. Eg: loved, seen, wanted
The man was amazed. The man fainted from shock.
Answer (Saves Three words):
Amazed, the man fainted from shock.
1.3 Use conjunctions
Eg. and, but, so (coordinating conjunctions) Eg. where, if, when, as, who, whereas, whenever, whose, because, whom (subordinating conjunctions)
He went into the city. In the city, he discovered a beautiful temple.
Answer (Saves Two words):
He went into the city where he discovered a beautiful temple.
1.4 Change phrases into single words
He approached the problem in a careful manner.
Answer (Saves three words):
He approached the problem carefully
1.5 Change clauses into phrases
Example – Clause:
Although he was in great pain, he struggled on.
Answer – Phrase (Saves three words):
Despite great pain, he struggled on.
1.6 Combine two sentences into one sentence
The villagers faced incredible hardships. As a result, they were forced to sell the animals they needed for their fields.
Answer (Saves three words):
Incredible hardships forced the villagers to sell the animals needed for their fields.
2. Summary Writing practice
Now, they face even further hardship. While the three phases of New Delhi’s waste management programme are in place, working to achieve the goal of a ‘clean Delhi’, the city’s informal waste pickers are facing the prospect that their livelihood is on the brink of being taken away from them. Today, there are well over 350,000 waste pickers working throughout New Delhi, and their numbers increase daily. Many have migrated from rural locations in some of India’s poorest states. Due to the lack of work, survival is becoming more and more difficult, so they have been moving to the ‘big city’ in search of a better livelihood. Those who take to waste picking, mostly unskilled and uneducated, find themselves living in some of the worst slums imaginable. They are surrounded by their work: tonnes of New Delhi’s solid waste material they have collected and brought home in order to carry out the segregating process.
This is where families-men, women and children-work, rest and play, so it is not surprising to learn that they suffer from a multitude of diseases and that their life expectancy can be as little as 40 or 50 years. As for their earning capacity, this varies, broadly speaking, on the mode of transport they use. Those who use a cycle rickshaw or a bicycle can expect to collect somewhere between 150 and 200 kilograms a day and possibly earn about US$2.70 to US$4.60 a day, while those on foot earn about US$1.50 to US$2.70 a day.
The city’s waste pickers’ lifestyle was at the lowest possible level in society. “The biggest issue is their survival,” says Shashi who represents a trade union for waste pickers in New Delhi. “In 2005, the government brought in privatisation of the waste management programme and now, there is a conflict – the waste pickers depend on waste – the private companies depend on waste. However, the private companies are the big players. They have money, police protection and a contract with the government. The waste pickers, they have nothing.
Adapted from National Geographic Issue 8, 2008
Using your own words as far as possible, summarise the challenges that the waste pickers in New Delhi face from the above paragraphs 
Your summary must be in continuous writing (not note form). It must not be longer than 80 words, not counting the words given to help you begin.
According to the writer, waste pickers in New Delhi………………………………
Points to include:
|living in some of the worst slums imaginable||have extremely poor living conditions.|
|are surrounded by their work: tonnes of New Delhi’s solid waste material they have collected and brought home||They live in homes surrounded by waste materials they have collected.|
|suffer from a multitude of diseases||suffer from many diseases|
|their life expectancy can be as little as 40 or 50 years||and their life expectancy is shortened.|
|their earning capacity … US$1.50 to US$2.70 a day||their earnings are meagre|
|The city’s waste pickers’ lifestyle was at the lowest possible level in society||their quality of life is extremely low.|
|The government brought in privatisation of the waste management programme||The government brought in private waste companies.|
|there is a conflict – the waste pickers depend on waste – the private companies depend on waste||so they face competition from private waste disposal companies.|
|However, the private companies are the big players. They have money, police protection and a contract with the government. The waste pickers, they have nothing||These companies have an edge over the waste pickers as they have These companies have an edge over the waste pickers as they have the money and are backed by the police and government contracts.|
3. Summary writing model
According to the writer, waste pickers in New Delhi have extremely poor living conditions. They live in homes surrounded by waste materials they have collected. As a result, they suffer from many diseases and their life expectancy is shortened. In addition, their earnings are meagre. The government brought in private waste companies so the waste pickers face competition from these private waste disposal companies. These companies have an edge over the waste pickers as they have the money and are backed by the police and government contracts. (79 words)
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