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4 Easy Teaching Strategies for Summarizing Skills By Susan Fitzell Summarizing is a life-long skill that greatly affects student learning. It is also a skill that students struggle with significantly. One of the worst consequences of a lack of summarizing skills is the ease with which students will mistakenly plagiarize. Early in my teaching career, I noticed that when students were assigned a summarizing assignment, they would simply copy sentences from the book – rearranged. Rather than read a sentence and tell it in their own words, they simply switched the wording around.

Not only were they simply copying, they were doing it poorly. When I’d question their methodology and suggest that they were plagiarizing, they were adamant that they were not plagiarizing because what they wrote did not look exactly the same as the text from which they were copying. Finally, through trial and error, I discovered that if students read a paragraph, then covered it, then stated what the...See More

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