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What is a Summarise Written Text?

What is summarising and how do you do it? The skill of summarising is a necessary academic and life skill. You need to take the main ideas from a written text, and write them into a single sentence! In this way you have literally, summarised the main ideas, and written a much shorter text than the original, capturing all the main ideas.

What does Summarise Written Text look like?

This is a short-answer writing task type that tests your reading and writing skills. You have 10 minutes to write a one-sentence summary of a reading passage and have 2 or 3 Summarise written text tasks in a test.

pte summarise text sample question e2language

You are given a text to analyse, space to write, and a word counter. Your sentence length must be between 5 and 75 words. We recommend that you write a sentence of about 35-40 words. This is manageable, you will make fewer errors,  and it will enable you to score a top score!

What method should I use in Summarise Written Text?

Skim read the text to “get the gist”. This means work out the general topic of the text.

Re-read, and note down keywords from the text. You want 6-8 key phrases overall, from the beginning, middle and the end.

From your notes, begin to write your sentence. Keep adding, from your notes and from your memory.

Go back to the original text, and check that you have covered all the main ideas.

No spelling, grammar or punctuation errors!

You have ten minutes to complete the task. So:

  • Take good notes.
  • Write thoughtfully.
  • Check your writing for completeness and errors.

Examples

Recording artists are frequently the face of commercial products, and children and adolescents are frequently their target audience. Now, a new study by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center finds that the vast majority of the food and beverage products marketed by some of the most popular music stars are unhealthy. And this type of advertising is contributing to the alarming rise in childhood and teen obesity in America, the authors warn.

Soda and other sugary drinks, fast food and sweets are among the most common food and beverage products endorsed by famous music personalities, according to the descriptive study, which publishes June 6 in Pediatrics. Equally alarming, none of the music stars identified in the study endorsed fruits, vegetables, or whole grains. Only one endorsed a natural food deemed healthy–pistachios.

Tips:

The “gist” of this article is that recording artists are frequently the face of unhealthy commercial products, and this is contributing to childhood obesity. Great! But there’s also some extra information here that we don’t need to cover in our summary.

For example:

  • It’s not necessary to name the medical centre that conducted the study- instead, we can just say, “a new study indicates that…”
  • We don’t have to mention the date the study will be published, as it’s the content of the study that interests us!
  • We also don’t need to mention that recording artists are the face of many commercial products, as what is important here is the unhealthy food products they are promoting.
  • It’s not essential to talk about the one celebrity who endorsed pistachios, although you could if you wanted to. It’s interesting information, but not really a part of the overall theme of the article.

Here’s what our response could look like:

Famous recording artists often promote unhealthy food and beverage products rather than fruits and vegetables, and a new study suggests that this promotion of fast foods, sugary drinks and sweets is adding to the childhood and teen obesity problem in America.

How will I be scored in Summarise Written Text?

You will be graded on your sentence making sense (logic and cohesion = written discourse), covering all the main ideas  (content), vocabulary, spelling and grammar.

Where to from here?

Head to www.e2language.com and practise! The best way to improve writing skills is to have an expert teacher mark and give feedback on your writing. We promise a 48-hour turn around on your assessments, and you can take your assessed work in to a tutorial and discuss it with your teacher! Learn what you did well, and where you need to improve!


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