Tuesday, November 1, 2011

English Departmental Exams: Annotating and Summarizing

For Departmental Reading and Writing Exams and Practice
If you want to do well in these departmental exams from the English Department, you should do the following:

1. Annotate (each parapraph), but you shouldn't spend too much time doing this, especially when you are taking a timed Departmental Reading test .  They don't have to be in complete sentences as long as you can understand what you've written.  (You'll convert them into complete sentences when you summarize in step #4.)
2. Write down Main Idea in one sentence.  Attitude, and Tone in another sentence.  (MAT)  You may do this on top of the article.
3. Answer the questions.  (This step applies only to the Departmental READING.)
4. Write the summary.  (Most likely, one of the questions in the Departmental Reading Exam asks you to do this.  For the Departmental Writing Exam, you should do this summary along with #1 and #2 when you receive the reading ahead of time .)
How To Write A Good Summary
To write a good summary, simply turn your annotations into complete sentences.  Then add the first sentence to include the Main Idea, Author, and Title (MAT).  Go over and revise the summary if you have time.  (In doing this, you will automatically have a good summary that is as brief as possible while including all the important points.)

Here are examples of how I annotated and summarized an article 

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