Monday, November 2, 2009

More on summary writing




LAST week, we had a look at reading comprehension and summary writing. Here is question 31 which could not be included in last week’s article due to space constraints.

31. Based on the passage given, write a summary on:

- the reasons the writer and her husband migrated to Malaya, and

- the problems the writer and her husband faced in Malaya.

Credit will be given for use of own words but care must be taken not to change the original meaning.

Your summary must:

> be in continuous writing form (not note form)

> use materials from lines 21 to 46

> not be longer than 130 words including the 10 words given below.

Begin your summary as follows:

My husband felt that migrating to Malaya was the only ...

Answers to summary writing

Below are the sentences taken from the passage, and the summary points are in italics.

First uncle had mortgaged the land to a local bank many years ago when the crops had failed.

He was too old to work the farm alone and my husband was not interested in farming at all, having spent most of his growing years in Malaya.

Worse still, due to the outstanding mortgage payments first uncle was heavily in debt and

the banks had refused to give the farmers any more loans

My husband often left me alone because he had to work outstation.

I was extremely lonely as I had no one to talk to.

Our only neighbours were some Malay families and I could not talk to them because I did not understand a word of the local language

In those days, there was no electricity supply.

The wooden house we lived in had no piped water, either

For a while, we led a quiet and happy life that is, until the tin mine ceased operations and my husband lost his job

After three months, my husband had still not found a job.

He finally gave in to the demands of second uncle and his wife.

My husband had to scrub the drains and

cut the grass on their five acre piece of land

Meanwhile, I had to do all the tedious household chores.

Here is a sample summary using phrases and sentences from the passage.

My husband felt that migrating to Malaya was the only solution because his uncle had mortgaged the land (reason 1) and he was heavily in debt (reason 2). Moreover, the banks had refused to give farmers any more loans (reason 3). Besides, my husband was not interested in farming (reason 4). However, life in Malaya was just as difficult. My husband often left me alone (problem 1) when he had to work outstation. I was extremely lonely (problem 2). I had no one to talk to as I did not understand the local language (problem 3). Worse still, there was no electricity supply (problem 4) or piped water (problem 5). Things became worse when my husband lost his job at the tin mine (problem 6). We had no choice but to move to Kuala Lumpur. After three months, my husband was still without a job (problem 7).

(125 words)

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