Tips and Tricks for Summary Completion Question

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Tips and Tricks for Summary Completion Question

  1. You need not read the whole text in detail, just the part that is summarised, so scanning is the best skill.
  2. The answers are usually in the same order in the text as the order of the missing words.
  3. Take care of the word limit, e.g. NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS.
  4. When you’ve entered your answer, check the sentence to ensure that it is grammatically correct. Should the gap be filled with a verb, noun, adjective or adverb? If your answer makes the sentence grammatically wrong, then you have the wrong answer. tips and tricks for summary completion question
  5. Look for synonyms and paraphrases in the text rather than words that directly match.
  6. If it is the summary with answers, there will be more words in the list than there are gaps in the summary to fill so you won’t need them all.
  7. Cross the wrong answer through in pencil which does not fit the grammar
  8. If you’re struggling to find a specific missing word, take an educated guess and move on.

What is a Summary Completion question?

In summary completion question types, you will be given a summary of information from the text and there will be some gaps in that summary. Your task is to choose the most appropriate word or phrase to complete the summary. This requires you to skimscan and read the passage intensively so that you can find specific words to answer all questions. Remember that it has a word limit and your answer should be correct grammatically.

There are two types of Summary Completion questions:

  • with possible answers
  • without possible answers

Summary Completion questions with answers

Let’s look at the example of a one-paragraph summary of the reading passage:-

Questions 1-4

Complete the following summary using words from the box.

For millennia, stories have been told and achievements recorded using 1………………… . Even following 2…………………, it was used so that the illiterate could understand 3………………… . However, when the first comic strips and books appeared in the 19th century, they were seen as harmful for young people because they encouraged 4……………….. .

  • pictures
  • religious rituals
  • looking at pictures
  • sequential art
  • the invention of writing
  • written inscriptions
  • illiteracy
  • the start of storytelling
Tips and Tricks for Summary Completion Question

The Process for Summary Completion question with answers

To understand the process, let’s consider this passage and question:-

Passage

B Much later, after the invention of writing, sequential art continued to be used for the instruction of those among the population who were illiterate. Carved or painted friezes (bands of graphic decoration) accompanied written inscriptions in ancient Egyptian temples, so that those who could not read could understand and participate in religious rituals; the interior walls of many medieval cathedrals and churches in Europe were covered with painted squares depicting religious stories – again, so that the illiterate could ‘read’ them. This type of art can be regarded as one of the forerunners of the modern comic book.

Complete the following summary using words from the box.

For millennia, stories have been told and achievements recorded using 1 sequential art. Even following 2……………….., it was used so that the illiterate could understand 3…………… and stories.

  • pictures
  • religious rituals
  • looking at pictures
  • Sequential art
  • the invention of writing
  • written inscriptions
  • illiteracy
  • the start of storytelling

Step by step process:-

Step 1

Go to the Summary Completion question and read it to underline the keywords.

For millennia, stories have been told and achievements recorded using 1………

tips and tricks for summary completion question

Step 2

Look at all of the answer choices and choose possible answers for each question.

You should make sure that:

  • the words fit the sentence grammatically
  • the meaning of the completed sentence makes sense.

Possible answers

  • pictures
  • religious rituals
  • sequential art
  • the invention of writing
  • written inscriptions

Not possible Answers

  • the start of storytelling
  • illiteracy
  • looking at pictures

tips and tricks for summary completion question

Step: 3

Scan the Passage for key words or synonyms

For millennia, stories have been told and achievements recorded using 1 ……….. Even following 2……………….., it was used so that the illiterate could understand 3…………… and stories.

A Comics, or something very like them, have been used for instruction for thousands of years. Sequential or serial art – a series of pictures which tell a story – has a history almost as long as that of mankind itself. Before the invention of writing, drawing was the only way in which the story of a hunting success, or any other story, could be recorded. Prehistoric cave paintings from areas such as Lascaux in France show simple stories in which a hunter successfully brings down his prey. Later generations could learn of the achievements of their ancestors from the paintings, which may have been used as an aid to oral storytelling.
  • Millenium= thousands of years
  • Tales= story, narratives
  • Achievements= success, accomplishments

tips and tricks for summary completion question

Step 4

Read intensively the part of the paragraph containing key words or synonyms to find the correct answer.

The second sentence contains the key words ‘tell’ and ‘story’. By reading the second sentence carefully, we find that sequential or serial art means ‘a series of pictures which tell a story’. Comics are also ‘a series of pictures which tell a story’, therefore ‘sequential art’ or ‘serial art’ are synonyms for ‘comics’. ‘Sequential art’ is one of the phrases in the box with the question, so this is our answer.

Comics, or something very like them, have been used for instruction for thousands of yearsSequential or serial art – a series of pictures which tell a story – has a history almost as long as that of mankind itself……

For millennia, stories have been told and achievements recorded using 1 sequential art 

Summary Completion questions without answers

The second type of Summary Completion question can seem more difficult than the first because it doesn’t give you a box of possible answers. Instead, you have to identify the appropriate word or phrase from the passage.

Example

Questions 1-6

Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS.

Complete the summary using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage.

For millennia, stories have been told and achievements recorded using 1………………… Even following 2…………………, such recordings were used so that the illiterate could understand 3………………… and stories. However, when the first comic strips and books appeared in the 19th century, they were seen as harmful for children because they hurt their 4……………….. .

Notice the instructions tell us we can use NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage to answer each question. Always check this word limit. Although the word limit is usually three words, it could be onetwo or even four words.

Tips and Tricks for Summary Completion Question

The Process for Summary Completion question without answers

To understand the process, let’s consider this passage and question:-

C Comic strips and books first appeared in the 19th century. For a long time, they were regarded as a hindrance to education. It was believed that comics would in some way destroy a child’s ability to concentrate on writing without illustrations. It was also widely believed that comics promoted the use of substandard language and bad spelling, therefore hindering a child’s reading development. These attitudes were probably strengthened by a reaction against the violent element found in some comics, but they extended even to those with the most harmless subject material – animal stories, for example, or even the ‘classic’ comics of the 1960s and 70s, based on stories from Shakespeare or other ‘high culture’ authors. Many educators and parents believed that the latter were especially harmful in that, by providing a shortcut to the classics, they prevented young people from tackling the real thing. Catherine L. Kouns, the Marketing Director of Warp Graphics, a company which produces comics, states that ‘Comics were regarded as one of the lowest forms of life on the scale of literary evolution’. Dr Elaine Millard of the University of Sheffield believes that ‘this view arises from the fact that all comics are created from the interaction of images, which are dominant, with a small amount of text. Critics regard reading comics as “looking at pictures” which they equate with a lack of literacy in children’. Questions 1-6

Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS.

Complete the summary using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage.

For millennia, stories have been told and achievements recorded using 1………………… Even following 2…………………, such recordings were used so that the illiterate could understand 3………………… and stories. However, when the first comic strips and books appeared in the 19th century, they were seen as harmful for children because they hurt their 4……………….. .

Step by step process:-

Step 1

Go to the Summary Completion question and read it to underline the keywords.

However, when the first comic strips and books appeared in the 19th century, they were seen as harmful for children because they hurt their 4……………. .

Step 2

Determine which part of speech fits each question.

What part of speech is the missing answer?

However, when the first comic strips and books appeared in the 19th century, they were seen as harmful for children because they hurt their 4…………….

The missing part of speech is noun or noun group

Step: 3

Scan the Passage for key words or synonyms

However, when the first comic strips and books appeared in the 19th century, they were seen as harmful for children because they hurt their 4…………….

comic strips= sequential arts 19th century= 1800’s children= child, young hurt= hinder, damage
C Comic strips and books first appeared in the 19th century. For a long time, they were regarded as a hindrance to education. It was believed that comics would in some way destroy a child’s ability to concentrate on writing without illustrations. It was also widely believed that comics promoted the use of substandard language and bad spelling, therefore hindering a child’s reading development. These attitudes were probably strengthened by a reaction against the violent element found in some comics, but they extended even to those with the most harmless subject material – animal stories, for example, or even the ‘classic’ comics of the 1960s and 70s, based on stories from Shakespeare or other ‘high culture’ authors. Many educators and parents believed that the latter were especially harmful in that, by providing a shortcut to the classics, they prevented young people from tackling the real thing. Catherine L. Kouns, the Marketing Director of Warp Graphics, a company which produces comics, states that ‘Comics were regarded as one of the lowest forms of life on the scale of literary evolution’. Dr Elaine Millard of the University of Sheffield believes that ‘this view arises from the fact that all comics are created from the interaction of images, which are dominant, with a small amount of text. Critics regard reading comics as “looking at pictures” which they equate with a lack of literacy in children’.

Step 4

Read intensively the part of the paragraph containing key words or synonyms to find the correct answer.

 It was also widely believed that comics promoted the use of substandard language and bad spelling, therefore hindering a child’s reading development(also a noun).

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