B1 Intermediate 2 Folder Collection
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- [Narrator] Hello, readers.
Today I want to talk about objective summaries
by way of introducing you to the character of Joe Friday,
a fictional cop from an old radio show from the 50s
called Dragnet.
The show had this iconic theme
and it went like this.
(tense big band music)
Friday was a very straightforward,
almost relentless, character
and the catchphrase associated with his character
was "Just the facts."
"All we want are the facts, ma'am,"
was the sort of thing that he would say.
And that's what we're talking about today: just the facts.
There's this idea called objectivity.
That you can talk about something
without inserting any opinions
which are personal thoughts or beliefs.
Doing this, being objective, is very difficult;
opinions want to creep in.
So what does it mean for a summary to be objective?
It means it isn't influenced by feelings or opinions,
it's not written in the first person,
it's about the text, not me,
and it's not a judgment or a review of the information.
Let's be clear here; it's not bad to have opinions.
In my opinion, it is good to have opinions,
but they do not have a place in summaries.
You can put opinions to use when you
analyze or evaluate something.
When you're looking at summaries
and you're trying to determine
whether one is objective or not,
look for words that cast judgment.
Does the writer say something is good or terrible
or useful or useless?
Let's do this together.
I'll take this text and summarize it without any opinions.
Polar bears hunt for seals on thick sea ice in the Arctic.
As the Earth grows warmer, though, sea ice gets thinner.
With less stable ground,
some hungry polar bears search for food inland,
often dangerously close to human environments.
Although polar bears usually keep to themselves,
a very scared or angry one could attack,
and even eat, a human.
Several villages have set up polar bear patrols as a result.
The patrollers zoom around on snowmobiles,
using bright lights and loud noises
to scare away polar bears.
Hopefully, the polar bears find another snack later on.
Here's my summary:
Climate change causes polar bears
to encroach on human habitats to search for food.
As a consequence, these villages have set up
polar bear patrols to frighten them away.
As a person who cares about climate change,
as well as the wellbeing of bears and human beings,
I have all sorts of opinions about this,
but for the purposes of summarizing that paragraph,
I have to put them aside.
Just the facts, ma'am.
(Dragnet theme)
If you get good enough at making objective summaries,
you'll start noticing when opinion creeps into
things you expect to be objective.
And it won't be obvious like
bears are terrible and humans are right to scare them away
or climate change ravages bear habitats,
sending defenseless bears into the jaws of doom:
human villages.
But it might be in the way a story is framed.
Like, there's a difference between
bears move into human habitats
and bears are forced into human habitats.
What causes them to move?
Forced by whom or by what?
Sometimes what's not in a text can be
as important as what's in it.
Experiment with this a little.
Try summarizing some news articles
and see if you can restate the facts of the stories
without inserting any opinions.
It's a fun challenge and it may expose an opinion
where you didn't expect to see it.
Objectively, you can learn anything.
David out.
Constant vigilance!
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Creating objective summaries | Reading | Khan Academy

2 Folder Collection
林宜悉 published on May 7, 2020
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