Writing: Summary Exercise

Summary Writing Exercise

This artefact was part of a University project to write a descriptive and informative summary from a newspaper article. I chose this because it demonstrates skills in writing. I particularly enjoy summary writing and I perform this type of work on a regular basis.

Planning and Development

I started by printing out the article and reading it. I read it once from beginning to end without making notes or pausing; this helped me to understand what the article was about, who the target audience was and to plan my approach. The original document was 10 pages long and was taken from the Guardian Newspaper (see references section for details). I decided to start with the informative summary first, as this was the longer summary (200 words). I then used this as an aid to write the descriptive summary (50 words).

Techniques

After reading the document I started to identify key information. I scribbled all over the document with a big red pen. I have some proofreading and editing experience and used this to my advantage. I divided the document up into sections – essential information and non essential information. I started by writing a draft, I then left this and came back to it a few days later to proofread it. I then edited the document again, saved it and proofread it again the next day. This is my usual working practice. I then performed a spelling and grammar check and ran the document through Grammarly and PerfectIT (these tools are part of my writing tool kit).

In my experience you can suffer from “document blindness” (I don’t think this is a technical term, but this is what I call it!). When you work on a document for a long time it helps to leave it and come back to read it later, that way you read it with fresh eyes and can pick up on errors and spelling mistakes. You also come back to the document with a clear head – maybe you missed out a critical piece of information? Maybe the document just doesn’t read well? Or maybe you have a new idea or a new approach?

Summary

Overall I was happy with the final summary and enjoyed the project. I received good marks and useful feedback. The subject of the paper was outside of my skillset so it was good to tackle something I was unfamiliar with – I had to research some of the topics covered in the paper to make sure I was using correct terminology and accurate references. You can view the final summary document here.

Skills demonstrated
  • Writing
  • Research
  • Proofreading and editing
Tools Used
  • Microsoft Word 2016
  • PerfectIT
  • Grammarly

References

Abrahamian, A. (2017). How a tax haven is leading the race to privatise space. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/sep/15/luxembourg-tax-haven-privatise-space [Accessed 17 Mar. 2018].