Lesson 4 - R&W, Culture - CIVILIZATION
Writing a summary
It is an important skill to be able to summarise a text, especially for academic purposes. Study the guidelines for summary writing below, then write a summary of the Lost Wisdom text. The original is 474 words long so your summary should be about 100-130 words long:
- A summary is usually about one-quarter the length of the original text.
- A summary gives only the ‘heart’ or central meaning of a passage. It omits repetitions and such details as examples, illustrations, and adjectives unless they are of unusual importance.
- A summary is written entirely in the words of the person writing it, not in the words of the original text. Avoid taking long phrases or whole sentences from the original text.
- A summary is written from the point of view of the author whose work is being summarised. Do not begin with such expressions as “This author says” or “The text deals with”. Begin as though you were summarising your own writing.
Adapted from: Warriner’s English Grammar and Composition, Complete Course, John E. Warriner, Francis Griffith, Hartcourt Brace Jovanovich: 1977
There are many exceptional places in the English-speaking countries. One of them is undoubtedly Stonehenge in the south of England. Read the text, then decide whether the statements (1-7) are true (T) or false (F). And remember: when you visit the UK, don’t miss Stonehenge!
Stonehenge, the most famous prehistoric monument in Europe, stands on an open plain 13 km. north of Salisbury in the south of England. It was built over a period of about 1700 years, during the transition from the Stone to the Bronze Age (2800 BC – 1100 BC). Though it has been studied by amateurs and professionals alike for centuries, we still know very little about this mysterious place.
Stonehenge is the most elaborate of many stone circles in Britain. It consists of three circles of stones surrounded by a ridge and a ditch. Some of the stones are so big (over 4 metres high, and weighing as much as 50 tons) that, for many years, people found it hard to believe that the monument had been built by the hand of man at all. The biggest are the so-called “Sarsen stones” of the outer circle. The strength of a thousand men would have been required to transport them to the place from Marlborough Downs, 30 km. to the north, using sledges or wooden rollers. Within the circle of Sarsen stones are two rings of smaller “Bluestones”. These came from the Preseli Mountains in South Wales, 385 km. away. Exactly how these stones were transported is unknown. One theory is that they were brought naturally by glaciers during the Ice Age, but, until recently, geologists considered this impossible. Instead, it was thought that the four-ton stones were transported by man using rafts to take them across the sea and up the rivers. The magical qualities they believed these stones to have would have made this gargantuan task worthwhile! But, in 1991, new evidence was found suggesting that it may, after all, have been the ice that moved the stones.
It is obvious to any visitor to Stonehenge that building it without modern machines would certainly not have been easy, so why did they do it? This question has perplexed generations of historians, and there are numerous theories. The orientation of the stones to the position of the sunrise at the summer and winter solstices indicates that it may have been some kind of calendar for predicting the movements of the sun and moon. Perhaps it is a prehistoric computer! Evidence of burials has led some people to the conclusion that it may be a cemetery for ancient kings, like the pyramids. Or perhaps it was a religious temple, but, if so, who or what was worshipped there?
People’s opinions and beliefs about Stonehenge may vary, but the place has always evoked strong feelings. Every year at the summer solstice, there are reports in the news on clashes between visitors to the monument and the police. Since the 1970s, it has been popular for hippies or “New Age Travellers” to hold a festival near the site. In the hope of “feeling the power of the stones”, many of them disregard the police and try to climb the fences around the monument that protect it from vandalism and destruction from the tourists’ feet.
[T]hese modern traditions, and the fact that Stonehenge is visited by millions of more conventional tourists every year proves that Stonehenge will always have a very strong hold on our imagination.
Source: “The standing Stones” by Barnaby Harward (adapted fragments) (The World of English no. 2 1998)
- Ćwiczenie 4 aqm