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TEACHER: Anthony Simukonde
A summary is a brief account of a larger work that gives the reader comprehensive understanding. To write a summary, a writer will gather the main ideas of the passage be it article, story, television show or speech and condense the central ideas into a brief overview.
A summary will provide a condensed description of the given work in the form of a paragraph, providing enough detail so that the reader understands the subject of the summary while highlighting the summary writer’s understanding of the subject matter. In the context of the examinations, the objective of the candidate in a summary component should be to answer the question by bringing out only the relevant points from a given passage as opposed to just condensing the passage.
Remember this

  1. Strictly stick to the required number of words. No word estimation will suffice. Pay keen attention to the instruction, “In not more than …… words, write a connected summary ……”
  2. Marks are given according to the number of required relevant points brought out. Candidates ought to know that the relevant points in the passage are spread across the passage hence the need for them to read and understand the whole passage.
  3. While candidates are allowed to use their own language, the meaning of the original passage should at no time be altered. The candidates ought to give grammatical competence precedence.
  4. Candidates must avoid falling prey to including unnecessary examples, adjectives, definitions and over-flowery expressions which are not in any way helping them to answer the question.
  5. Always write in prose unless the question demands otherwise.
  6. Use of generic words have proven priceless in summary. Generic words refer to words which can be used to absorb other words, and in most cases, the words belonging to the same word class.
    For example: John bought grapes, oranges, guavas, tomatoes, berries, apples, mangoes, pine apples, water melons and bananas.
    The sentence above would be summarized as; John bought fruits. [Note that three words have been used as opposed to fifteen in the original sentences]. The generic word in this example is the word fruits.134 Kitwe District English Language Senior Pamphlet
  7. Do not include points, though relevant, that are not in the passage. All the relevant points must be derived from the given passage.
    Steps to follow when handling Summary
  8. Read and understand the question.
  9. Scan the passage to have a feel of it before reading it carefully in order to identify the needed points. You may take note of the points by ticking against them. Other candidates do this by underlining the said points.
  10. Arrange the points in chronological order. Rearrange the points logically. During the examination, due to limited time, you may identify the relevant points by neatly underlining them using a pencil.
  11. Having noted all the relevant points, candidates can now begin to write a final copy of a well-connected summary in one paragraph.
  12. Edit your summary by checking for gross errors of tense, repetition, wrong sentence construction, Paragraph inadequacy, wrong use of words, subject-verb agreement, use of run-on sentences and most of all errors of rubric before submission.
    NOTE: Summary is allocated 20 Marks. It therefore follows that the candidate should strive to bring out ALL the relevant points in order to score 20 marks.
    Examination Practice
    Read the following passage carefully and then answer the question that follows.
  13. Carbonated drinks have flooded the market. These are effervescent drinks that release carbon dioxide under conditions of normal atmospheric pressure. Carbonation may occur naturally in spring water that has absorbed carbon dioxide at high pressures underground. It can also be a by-product of fermentation, such as beer and some wines.
  14. Many curative properties have been attributed to effervescent waters, which aid digestion and calm nerves. Carbonated drinks have high acidity level. This creates an imbalance in the body in that it leads to acidosis. Too much acid also creates a problem of digestion in the system. All carbonated drinks are beneficial to the body because a large proportion of them is water, which is greatly needed by those people who rarely take it in its pure form. On the other hand, Carbonated drinks have carbonic acid that inhabits the use of calcium in the body, thereby adversely affecting bone formation. This gives rise to osteoporosis or softening of the teeth and bones. Such drinks, therefore, are not ideal for children and women after menopause. Consuming carbonated drinks in excess forces the body to harbor carbon dioxide, which can cause more distension (swell out by pressure from within) of the stomach and more acid reflux.
  15. Some carbonated drinks contain sugar and this helps to supplement the body with glucose, which is responsible for energy. In the grand scheme of all the complexities regarding carbonated drinks, it is very clear that people are stuck with them, as they will always be readily available on the market at affordable prices.
  16. The biggest challenge that we have is that people are not being given the correct information concerning the content of carbonated drinks. Carbonated drinks, just like others, result in loss of appetite if taken shortly before meals. Artificial carbonation was first introduced in 1767 by Joseph Priestley and was commercialized in 1807 by Benjamin Silliman, a Yale University Chemistry Professor, who bottled and sold carbonated water. After 1830, sweetened and flavoured carbonated drinks became popular and the trend evolved.
  17. Today, heavily sweetened carbonated drinks and sodas are among the most popular beverages in the world. In the last two decades, the introduction of diet drinks containing artificial sweeteners has increased sales of carbonated beverages. Some carbonated drinks contain caffeine, which causes addiction. In this regard, when carbonated drinks are not taken by people used to them, unexplained tiredness and headache result.
  18. It is stressed that people should opt for pure fruit juices. Pure juices may be expensive but you do not need to buy them all the time. You may instead, just buy oranges, guavas and mangoes. Then squeeze out the juice from these fruits, and give it to a child as opposed to buying carbonated drinks. Experts say one can or bottle of a carbonated drink has about 10 teaspoons of sugar, 150 calories, 30 to 55 milligrams of caffeine and is loaded with artificial food colours and sulphites. Carbonated drinks that are caffeinated lead to jitters, insomnia, irregular heartbeat, vitamin and mineral depletion and breast lumps. The sugar added to carbonated drinks increases insulin levels, which can lead to diabetes and excessive weight gain.
    According to the passage, what are the negative effects of the consumption of carbonated drinks by human beings? Use not more than 140 words. Excess words will be cancelled.

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