Saturday, January 26, 2013

Summaries in everyday life

The importance of summaries

The ability to write an effective summary might be one of the the most important writing skill you possess.

You need to be able to summarize to be effective at writing demanded by your work, schoolwork, and it is a vital part of note taking too.

To answer questions such as “what was the movie about?” “how did the game go?” and “what did I miss in class today?” you must be able to summarize.  Your questioner doesn't want to know every line and action in the movie, every play in the game, or every word from class;  the question asks you to select the important details and summarize them.  Similarly, when you summarize a reading you need to be able to find the important data and then present it as clearly and concisely as possible.

Many organizations employ people to read newspapers, social media, news feeds and summarize relevant stories and articles. The more concise the summary the better, yet if any major details are omitted the purpose of the summary is lost - its readers will be uninformed on key aspects of the news and may make critical errors as a result.

Summaries in everyday life

 If we look around it clearly visible that we are surrounded by summaries. In fact, a great deal of information we consume are summaries. We may think about the summaries as forms of advertisement where the purpose is to catch the attention and attract.

Let's have a look at some examples. Of course this list incomplete.

1. Headlines: summaries of newspaper articles  

 A headline's purpose is to quickly and briefly draw attention to the story. For journalists and editors a headline is to provide the center of the story, the beating heart of what the story is about.

2. Table of Contents: summary of a book, magazine  

Table of Content, is a list of the parts of a book or document organized in the order in which the parts appear. It is a list that provides a quick overview of what the reader is going to find in the content.

The Table of Contents usually includes the titles or descriptions of the first-level headers, such as chapter titles in longer works, and often includes second-level or section titles within the chapters as well, and occasionally even third-level titles.

3. Digest: summary of stories on the same topic  

A digest format provides a sampling of favorite articles on many subjects from various monthly magazines, often condensing and rewriting them, and then combing them for convenience into one magazine. Well known examples are Reader's Digest, Golf Digest, Consumers Digest, and various electronic mailing lists.


The importance of summaries - interactive diagram

4. Highlights: summary of an event (meeting, sport event, etc.) 

The purpose of a highlight is to provide an especially significant or interesting detail or phenomenon to draw reader's attention.

The importance of summaries - interactive diagram

  5.  Abstract: summary of a scientific paper  

An abstract is a concise summary of a research article, review, thesis, conference proceeding or any in-depth analysis of a particular subject or discipline, and is used to help the reader quickly understand the paper's purpose. An abstract always appears at the beginning of a manuscript.
It is the point-of-entry for any given academic paper or patent application. Abstracting and indexing services for various academic disciplines are aimed at compiling a body of literature for that particular subject.


 6. Bulletin: weather forecast, stock market, news  

There are physical bulletin boards, typically made out of cork to pin messages and advertisments. And there are electronic bulletin boards which serve the same purpose as a physical bulletin board.
The purpose is to provide brief information snippets and essential facts. The emphasis is on brevity and facts.


7. Biography: resume, obituary  

A biography is a detailed description or account of someone's life. It entails more than basic facts (education, work, relationships, and death), a biography also portrays a subject's experience of these events.
A biography presents a subject's life story, highlighting various aspects of his or her life, including intimate details of experience, and may include an analysis of a subject's personality.

  8. Abridgment: of books 

Abridgement is a term defined as "shortening" or "condensing" and is most commonly used in reference to the act of reducing a written work, typically a book, into a shorter form.
A written work may be abridged to make it more accessible to a wider audience; for example, to make an adaptation of it as an audio book or a television show, to make a more convenient companion to an already established work, or to create a shorter reference version.


 9. Review: of books, music, plays 

A review is an evaluation of a publication, a product, a service or a company such as a movie, video game, musical composition, book, car, home appliance, or computer; or an event or performance, such as a live music concert, a play, musical theater show or dance show.
In addition to a critical evaluation, reviewers may assign the work a rating to indicate its relative merit.

  10. Scale-downs: maps, thumbnails 

A map is a visual representation of an area—a symbolic depiction highlighting relationships between elements of that space such as objects, regions, and themes.
It is to give us a quick visual orientation. Thumbnails are reduced-size versions of pictures, used to help in recognizing and organizing them, serving the same role for images as a normal text index does for words. In the age of digital images, visual search engines and image-organizing programs normally use thumbnails


11. Trailer: from film, speech, presentation  

A trailer or preview is an advertisement or a commercial for a feature film that will be exhibited in the future at a cinema. A book trailer is a video advertisement for a book which employs techniques similar to those of movie trailers. 
About WebSummarizer: WebSummarizer is a powerful text mining and visualization application.  It offers rapid summarization of web pages and documents, creation of personal and corporate knowledge bases. The summarization results are presented as:
•   Visual Summaries
•   Visual Knowledge Maps
•   Tree Views (structured text)
•   Keywords Cloud, and
•   Visual Summaries and Visual Knowledge Maps can be exported to HTML, word editors and mind mapping applications. 

You can summarize text in English, French, German and Spanish.

         VISUALIZE and SUMMARIZE web pages and documents with WebSummarizer.

No comments:

Post a Comment