Candidates are to note that there are certain factors or reasons which can make a passage lengthy but which do not add new points to or change the main theme. These are examples, illustrations, dialogues, repetitions, verbosity or usage of more words than necessary to present a point. Candidates are therefore advised not to be taken in by all that is in the passage to decide the main or central theme.

To present a good summary take the following steps

(a). Read the questions first then read the passage. In reading the passage don’t be sluggish by moving forward and backward. But don’t skip any part either.

(b). Read the passages three times to get used to the subject and to pick the main points which will help you focus on what your answer to the questions will likely be.

To find the main points please note that:

(a). The writer may present the main point directly or indirectly.

(b). A direct presentation may include the use of words that may help the reader to understand “ when where and how” of the main points. This is usually achieved by paraphrases such as firstly, secondly, thirdly, next, then ,furthermore, moreover, again, also, besides, another, apart from, lastly, in conclusion, to round off etc.

(c). When a new point is introduced in a paragraph other points made within the main paragraph only serve to explain the main point being made.

(d). An indirect presentation may pose more problem to the student because there are no clear clues indicating the main points. However each paragraph usually has a point. This must be remembered always.

Once the main points are identified the real question to ask is how they can be presented properly as answers! This may be done in two ways: The PREAMBLE METHOD or the DIRECT SENTENCE METHOD.

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