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Easy SPM Summary Writing Steps - Story Passage (SPM

2008)
Hi kind folks!
In SPM English Examination Paper, summary writing gives a total of 15 marks. 10 of the marks go for
contents while 5 for language. It is actually fairly easy to score at least 10 marks in summary writing
provided you know the tips and techniques. Don't worry, I'll share with you 5 simple steps.
Before that, bear in mind, although the question gives 10 marks for content, there are usually more
than 10 points given in the text suitable for your summary. So, you can actually have more than 10
points in your summary but the full mark for content will still be 10.
Easy SPM Summary Writing Steps
1.

Read and understand the question. Identify the key words in the question.

2.

Cross out the unnecessary texts of the passage given.

3.

Identify the key points in the text related to the keyword and underline them.

4.

5.

Read and understand the key points. Choose the best points related to the summary
question.
Write down your summary. Use linkers and complex sentences to score marks in language.

Okay, the points may seem quite general (like who don't know that you need to identify the key words,
right?) So, we will go through a few types of passage and try to summarise the passage using the
Easy SPM Summary Writing Steps.
The first one, A story passage.
If you get a story passage then it is pretty much easier for you, yay! That's because a story will have
characters and usually the summary is about the characters' action. Thus, here's what we should do
to tackle a story passage summary writing.
The story is about a professional hunter of wild animals being attacked by a leopard.
FIRST: Read and understand the question. Identify the key words in the question.

Picture 1

As you can see in Picture 1, the question has 2 Points. The first is how the leopard attacked the writer
and the second is what he (the writer) did to save himself.
Since this is a story passage, as I mentioned earlier, we need to identify the characters. As highlighted
in orange, there are 2 characters being 1- the writer and 2- the leopard.
The one highlighted in yellow are the points required by the question while the green colour is the
necessary parts. For now let us take a look at Green and Orange.
SECOND: Cross out the unnecessary texts of the passage given.
Okay, read the information in Green. It says use materials from lines 13 to 37. (For those who don't
know, the numbers on your right are the lines and on your left are for paragraphs) So what we have to
do is draw a line under line 13 and above line 37. Then we cross out what is not needed. The result
will look like this.

Picture 2

There you go. From a long passage, you are now left with a shorter version to focus on and
summarise. Psychologically, this will help us tend to the task better as there are less words and it
looks so much easier.
THIRD: Identify the key points in the text related to the keyword and underline them.
After we know which part to focus on, the next step is to identify the characters (the orange key words
in the question). I have done this as well but instead of underlining, I highlighted the characters. Here
comes the knowledge of pronouns to be tested.
For the writer. We can highlight the word 'I' in the text. (Since the text uses 'I'. If the text uses He or
She then go for that)
For the leopard. There are a few choices in the text such as 'The leopard', 'the creature', 'the animal'
and 'it'.
For beginners, I tell them to just underline all the characters-related words you can find. After that only
we filter them. So, here is the highlighted version of the text.

Picture 3

From Picture 3 you can see that there are PLENTY OF CHOICES! for students to choose as content
for their summary. I did this purposely to show that no students should hand in empty paper
because identifying the key words is actually very easy!
FOURTH: Read and understand the key points. Choose the best points related to the summary
question.
Here comes the more challenging part of summary writing. We have identified ALL the key words in
the text (in this case, the characters). Now, we need to read the questions again and identify the key
points. As highlighted in yellow in Picture 1, the 2 key points are: 1- How the leopard attacked and 2What the writer did to save himself.
Reading from these points in the question can help us understand that the points involve actions.
Actions by the leopard to attack and actions by the writer to save himself. Hence, the fourth step for
us is to identify, from ALL the key words we have highlighted in orange, which are suitable to be used
as content points for the question. How to know? First is by understanding the text or if it's too hard,
just select the key words that comes together with a suitable action verb. How? Like this
following example.

Picture 4

Allright, in Picture 4 you can see I have highlighted the points. The ones in yellow are the points
related to the leopard's attack and those in green are the actions of the writer to save himself. Here
the knowledge of vocabulary and identifying verbs are tested.
If you count, there are 13 points suitable to be used as content. You can choose to use all 13 or select
10. It's up to you but don't forget, never go beyond 130 words including the 10 words given.
FIFTH: Write down your summary. Use linkers and complex sentences to score marks in language.
The last step is to write down your summary. Don't forget to use the 10 words given in the question.
And use linkers to score at least 3 marks for language. Linkers like secondly, thirdly, then, next,
furthermore, moreover, after that and so on. However, please do not forget to change the word 'I' for
the writer with 'He' when you write the summary.
Let's take the first few points and write a simple 'copy paste' summary using suitable linkers.
Example: He realised he was being attacked by a leopard when the leopard leapt onto its back.
Secondly, the leopard claws at his back. Then, he still managed to gather enough strength to roll over.
Next, the creature had grabbed his right shoulder and became more aggressive. Furthermore, it
started shaking me vigorously... (and so on)
Reading the example, I actually copy and pasted most of the words from the text but I join them using
linkers. This should be easy for students with limited language skills because they can just copy and
paste the points identified. If they score more than 8 correct content points, they may get at least a 3
for language. Add that up it becomes 11 out of 15. Not too bad huh?
For those who want to score perfect marks, we will cover it up in another article, okay? Until then,
Man Jadda Wajada, practice, practice and practice. :)
Footnote:

This summary question is taken from SPM Examination Paper 2008.

This is not the real answer scheme so it may differ from the official answer scheme.