Secondary 2 English Singapore: 2 Best Practices To Find The Main Ideas And Create A Great Summary Easily

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The Secondary 2 English syllabus is really the beginning year for O level preparation. 

Your Paper 2 will comprise of 3 sections which have high weightage. 

Comprehension Text B, Text C and the summary section.

The Summary section alone carries 15 marks and all you have to do is to find the main ideas and summarise the portion of the text needed for the summary question in Secondary 2 English paper.

Just how is this done?

Understand the question first. 

Locate the points only in the paragraphs mentioned in the question.

Most Secondary 2 English students will underline it and do a first draft but I prefer a pencil drawn grid as shown below.

A pencil drawn grid like this helps you to keep track of your word count as you start paraphrasing your 8 underlined points. 

You will have to focus on these 2 factors – the main ideas and how to summarise or paraphrase them.

Locate The Main Ideas In Secondary 2 English Paper

Make sure that you underline the main ideas which are relevant to the Secondary 2 English question only. 

You have to make the judgement whether to include a point or not so please be careful in your selection.

Next, make sure that you have 8 points in total. 

You may have an extra point or 2 but these could be linked to one of the 8 main points.

Once you have got the main points, go to the next step which is to summarise the points.

If you prefer to write drafts in doing the summary, you may proceed with the steps given below.

Summarise The Points

Summarising is not as straightforward as locating the main points.

You will need to paraphrase and edit the 8 points. 

Each point should be partly paraphrased. 

This is a prerequisite in Secondary 2 English so start strengthening your vocabulary skills.

The example below discusses how to find the main points and summarise them.

I have done the Location of the Main points for you.

Example Of A Secondary 2 English Passage

Summary question – What were the obstacles and sources Jason encountered during his adventures?

Jason of the golden fleece is a well-known character from a legend. The stories are medieval filled with fantasy characters. Jason soon becomes proud, forgetting his simple start. There is no evidence that these tales are real even though they sound true.

Location Of Main Points

Jason is one of the most famous legendary heroes.

Medieval magic, heavenly deities and sorcerers are part of his adventures and he eventually becomes proud.

These tales have endured and it is difficult to believe that they are not true as they seem so real.

Correct Interpretation (Understanding The Meaning)

Fantasy heroes from legends are not as popular as Jason of the golden fleece. 

His adventures brim with medieval magic with beings from heaven and magicians on earth over whom he triumphs and has a simple start in life. 

Though these tales are untrue they seem very real and there is no record to validate them.

Summarise (First Draft) – Breaking Down The Points

Jason was the most popular of legendary heroes with his adventures with heavenly beings, magicians on earth who use magic. 

He triumphs and forgets his simple beginnings. 

Though these tales are fiction, they seem real and no record validates their existence.

Summarise (Second Draft)

Popular hero Jason, was triumphant in encounters with celestial beings and forgets his past in fictional tales which are realistically portrayed.

This is a straightforward way to find the points and paraphrase. 

Note that the second draft is much easier to read than the first. 

I have given a concise summary in the second draft.

Your final summary should aim for clarity and concise writing – the two Cs.

All you need are the 2 steps when you work on your summary – location of the main points and summarizing them. 

That is all you have to do and the 15 marks will be yours. 

Make sure you put in lots of practice in paraphrasing so that you do not waste time during the Secondary 2 English exams. Good luck!

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