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The Art of Summarizing/Quoting - Essay Example

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Gerald Graf and Cathy Birkenstein have accurately touched the basic weakness of students or rather people in general who often have to quote or use other people’s ideas to prove their own theories or assertions. Summarizing and quoting other people’s point of views and their…
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The Art of Summarizing/Quoting
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Gerald Graf and Cathy Birkenstein have accurately touched the basic weakness or rather people in general who often have to quote or use other people’s ideas to prove their own theories or assertions. Summarizing and quoting other people’s point of views and their perspectives on various issues are quite common amongst the students and scholars. It lends credibility to one’s claims. This is true but as the authors emphasize, summarizing is often used as tool to validate one’s point or thesis claim without correct or limited interpretation of the basic premise of the author’s work. People do not look at the broader perspectives of the author’s ideas and perspectives but summarize them to suit one’s own narrow views. Indeed, I am also guilty of that! I totally agree that lack of knowledge and deeper understanding of the summary is the main culprit.
According to the authors, students must be open minded to accept other people’s different ideas or views. To do so, one needs to play ‘make believe’ game and summarize the ideas per se, irrespective of the fact whether one actually believes it or not. Summary is somebody else’s ideas which the person uses to not only support his/her point but also to explain as to how it actually does so. Thus, person needs to prepare a background to introduce the summary and then validate one’s point by explaining how other people’s ideas support or refute his own thesis. The authors’ suggestions for good summary are really good and need to be used to justify not only individual’s claim but also to put forward the unbiased views of the author as such.
(words: 275)
Reference
Graff, Gerald & Birkenstein, Cathy. They Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing. NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 2010. Read More
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