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Summarizing Exercise - Advanced
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Writing is an important aspect of learning. As you listen to a lecture, or read a section of your textbook, you'll find that taking notes will not only help you remember the information later, it will also help you process the information as you hear or read it.
Taking notes requires the ability to listen for the main idea or find it in a piece of writing, and summarize it briefly. The key is briefly. It can be counterproductive to try and take down every word the professor says in a lecture, or to copy a complete sentence describing a concept or an idea. Instead, use phrases that contain the key idea and a brief description of its meaning.

In the following exercise, practice summarizing each idea listed by writing a short description of it in the space that is provided. Try to keep each note to about ten words. Use abbreviations that you know and will remember when reviewing the material later.


The ongoing project that is Shanghai leaves many observers uneasy, especially westerners. Asian cities, from Bangkok to Manila to Saigon, share caffeinated lifestyles and organizational impulses with their Chinese counterparts, and have the same urgent needs as rapidly urbanizing populations. Visitors from the West, whose own cities seem church-hushed by comparison, are more awed and, often enough, disconcerted by such places.

Source: Foran, Charles. "A Resonant Boom." The Walrus 3.9 (Nov 2006). 36.


Dr. Robert Hunter, a Las Vegas pioneer in the treatment of problem gamblers, dubbed VLTs "the crack cocaine of gambling" at a 1990 conference in London, England. Not only did the machines induce a trancelike state, Hunter argued, they could also turn an occasional player into a full-blown addict within two and a half years. In contrast, racetrack gambling takes twenty years to make an addict and rarely leads to suicide.

Source: Nikiforuk, Andrew. "Alberta's Gamble with Gambling." The Walrus 3.9 (Nov 2006). 42.


A generation or so ago (and even today), the typical one-earner family usually described the father as responsible for the economic health of the family, with the mother assigned to roles such as homemaker or helpmate. To the extent that she had an economic role, it was seen as one of careful spending: it was her job to ensure that Dad's salary went as far as possible, and so she mended torn shirts, packed bag lunches, and counted the family's pennies. Her economic contribution, in effect, was that of careful guardian of what her husband brought home.

Source: Warren, Elizabeth, and Tyagi, Amelia Warren. The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke. New York: Basic Books, 2003. 58.


In addition to playing the role of backup earner, the stay-at-home mother plays another critical economic role: backup caregiver. The full-time homemaker does more than change diapers and check homework; she is available to provide extra care for anyone—child or adult—who needs it. She is on hand to care for an elderly relative who can no longer take care of himself. Three out of four caregivers to the disabled elderly (excluding husbands and wives) are daughters, daughters-in-law, or other female relatives and friends (such as nieces or granddaughters). A generation ago the majority of these women did not work outside the home.

Source: Warren, Elizabeth, and Tyagi, Amelia Warren. The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke. New York: Basic Books, 2003. 62.


Davenport's eugenics turned the moral order of the world's great religions upside down. Why help those unfortunates born with defects of mind or body? Better they should never be born. He wasn't too keen, either, on modern medicine and its newfangled notions that certain small organisms cause infections such as tuberculosis. Berating physicians for focusing entirely on germs and conditions of life as the causes of disease, Davenport wanted the emphasis back on something universally applicable, on those traits that travel through time and determine what men and women will become. Medicine, he railed, "has forgotten the fundamental fact that all men are created bound by their protoplasmic makeup and unequal in their powers and responsibilities."

Source: Dewar, Elaine. The Second Tree of Clones Chimeras and Quests for Immortality. Toronto: Random House, 2004. 26.


Many eugenics laws were passed. In 1927, long before anyone had shown what genes are made of or which complex traits, such as intelligence, were embodied by them, the U.S. Supreme Court gave the green light to eugenics enforcement. In the case of Buck vs. Bell, the court allowed Carrie Buck, the daughter of a mildly retarded woman, who was herself mildly retarded and had already given birth to an allegedly retarded child, to be sterilized against her will. Mr. Justice J. Holmes wrote for the majority about why this cruel assault on the dignity of an individual should be carried out by society: "It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind."

Source: Dewar, Elaine. The Second Tree of Clones Chimeras and Quests for Immortality. Toronto: Random House, 2004. 26-27.


Libraries are the repository of the most solid and reliable information. You can obtain access to most secondary sources through your university and local libraries. Secondary sources include books, journals, magazines, newspapers, yearbooks, and other published materials in which authors communicate to you through their publications, not in person. You can visit your library in person or on the Web. If you go to the physical facility, you can obtain the help of your reference librarian.

Source: Ferguson, Sherry Devereaux. Public Speaking in Canada: Building Competency in Stages. Toronto: Oxford UP, 2006. 170.


The artist most typical of the High Renaissance is Raffello Sanzio, known as Raphael (1483-1520). The pattern of his growth recapitulates the sequence of artistic tendencies of the fifteenth century, and although strongly influenced by Leonardo and Michelangelo, Raphael developed an individual style that, in itself, clearly states the ideals of High Renaissance art.

Source: Tansey, Richard and Kleiner, Fred S. Gardner's Art Through the Ages. 10th ed. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace, 1996.740.


"Flaming" as a concept emerged from popular discourse surrounding the online community to describe aggressive, hostile, or profanity-laced interactions via email and in online discussion groups. Commentators expressed concern that this antisocial use of the then-new technology of the internet was an indication of the dark side of technology's social effects. The term has evolved in the popular literature so that lay observers commonly represent flaming as a highly negative message that functions like a metaphorical flamethrower that the sender uses to roast the receiver verbally.

Source: O'Sullivan, Patrick B., and Flanagin, Andrew J. "Reconceptualizing 'flaming' and other problematic messages." New Media & Society 5.1 (2003). 69.


In order to give an idea of how complex is the task of the psychologist who studies the depths of the human soul, C.G. Jung asks his readers to consider the following comparison: "We have to describe and to explain a building the upper story of which was erected in the nineteenth century; the ground-floor dates from the sixteenth century, and a careful examination of the masonry discloses the fact that it was reconstructed from a dwelling-tower of the eleventh century. In the cellar we discover Roman foundation walls, and under the cellar a filled-in cave, in the floor of which stone tools are found and remnants of glacial fauna in the layers below. The would be a sort of picture of our mental structure."

Source: Bachelard, Gaston. The Poetics of Space. Translated by Maria Jolas. New York: Orion, 1964. Xxxiii. Jung quote from Contributions to Analytical Psychology, translated by H.G. and Cary F. Baynes. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1928. 118-19.

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