Answering “Short Answer Summary Response” Questions Reading Tasks
What is it? • A “Short Answer Summary Response” occurs after reading an INFORMATIONAL (factual) selection • You are asked to “SUMMARIZE THIS SELECTION. INCLUDE A MAIN IDEA AND ONE DETAIL THAT SUPPORTS IT.”
Remember? • For those of you who did the Practice Test, you read a selection about Northern Ontario mining communities using converted passenger rail cars as small schools during the early years of the 20th century. • In general, these selections usually deal with Canadian history, symbols, or attractions
Things to Note: • The wording of the question: • SUMMARIZE this selection • INCLUDE A MAIN IDEA and…. • ONE DETAIL THAT SUPPORTS IT. • NOTICE: You are NOT asked to express your opinion—do not include any personal ideas or thoughts in your answer
First Things First (use the Rough Notes area!) • Determine what the main idea is (if you had to explain to someone what the selection was about, what would you say?). This should be an overall general statement • Determine which detail in the selection best SHOWS what the text is about
Next: • Begin your answer by rewording the question: • “This selection is about….” and outline the topic covered by the text • Then, provide a detail from the selection that best supports the topic of the text. CLOSELY paraphrase the sentence(s) or even provide a direct quotation, ensuring you use quotation marks correctly. Use names, dates, specific places, etc. • Sum up what you’ve written with a concluding thought that is closely related to the selection’s topic.
Now check it over… • Do you use almost all the space provided (not more and not less)? • Do you avoid vague language (like “it”, “they”, “the place”). Be as specific as possible, especially when outlining your supporting detail (include dates, names, specific places, etc.) • Do you use proper language conventions (spelling, punctuation, tenses) • Have you accurately summarized the selection?