Summary Writing

Summary involves writing down a brief and concise account of a long passage. In other words, summary can be described as a shortened form of a long passage after removing all irrelevant points from the main points and giving a short account of the passage using your own words.

In any summary exercise, there is always a piece of written prose which students are expected to read and understand. The ability of students to to comprehend and report accurately the main points in a passage is always tested through the summary questions set on the passage.

There are four main things students have to note in order to write a good summary. These are:

  1. Brevity:This demand that they must be brief and concise in their answers. There is no room for the use of flowery language or any other additional information aside from the main points.
  1. Relevance: This calls for a candidate’s answers to be relevant to the points mentioned in the passage. Students are not expected in summary writing to give any fact or point outside the passage, however relevant they think the fact or point is.
  2. Proper coverage of the passage: this demand that students must read and understand every aspect of the passage. This calls for proper understanding of the passage since the passage is unlikely to lend itself so easily to them.
  3. Clarity:This means that the students are expected to put down their answers correctly.


It is possible to score all the marks in summary in W.A.S.S.C.E, NECO and in any other examination, and it is also very easy to score zero. Students’ success in summary depends on how well they follow the procedure given to them on how to write a good summary. A student who fails to take the step-by-step approach to summary writing may end up flopping the whole exercise.

You are advice to take the following approaches in summary writing:READ THE PASSAGE VERY CAREFULLY: 

Most student fail summary simply because they fail to read the given passage carefully to understand it. You cannot write a good summary if you don’t understand the given passage.Most students feel that they can have a look at the questions first before reading the passage. This approach is wrong as this may tempt you to start reading the passage piecemeal within paragraphs, searching for where the answers are and thereby putting it down verbatim or word for word.

Writing a good summary demands that you read the passage very well so as to have a proper understanding of it before attempting to put down your answers. Having said this, reading and understanding the passage may take you more than one reading.

Firstly, reading the passage very quickly to know the subject matter of the passage. S.S.C.E summary passages are never titled. This is deliberate as it is meant to make students read through the passages and to forestall students’ attempt to guess at answers to the questions.

After the first reading, you can read the passage once again to intimate yourself better with the subject matter of the passage. After the second reading, you can then proceed to read the questions as this will provide an insight to what you will now focus your attention on when you are reading for the third time.

Re-read the passage for the third time and you can now underline or note where the required information for answering your question are. Of course, after the third reading, you should be ready to go back to the questions, and answer them.


Write in sentences: summary answers should be written in sentences. When the student writes a preamble (A kind of introduction to his sentences) to his answers, the preamble must flow into the sentences.

For example, in a question where the student is asked to summarize the factors responsible for different levels of achievement in schools, the students will need to write a preamble to all his sentences. The preamble will be: “the factors responsible for different levels of achievement in school are……..” this can be followed by his sentences summarizing the factors.e.g. the factors responsible for different levels of achievement in schools are;

(I) Where the school are located.

(ii) Some schools arelocated in privileged areas where others are not.

The above sentences are complete sentences because they have their distinct subjects and verbs and other elements of a sentence. Another important thing is that you should not write more than the number of the sentences you are asked to write. Where you are asked to write two sentences, don’t write one sentence or three sentences.

Short and concise answers: summary answers should be short and concise. Avoid the inclusion of irrelevant/ extraneous materials in every scoring answer. Limit your answers only to information available in the passage.

Use your words: in writing down your answers, make use of your own words and expression as much as possible. You are not expected to engage in middles lifting of words and expressions from the passage.

Use good grammar: summary answers should be written down in good grammar and expression. Make sure that your answers are devoid of grammatical and expression errors.


Students lost marks heavily in summary exercises because they fail to adhere strictly to the principles and proceduresguiding the practice of summary. A careless student will lose some marks because various penalties are imposed on every careless presentation of summary answers. The causes of loss of marks in summary writing are:

  1. Mindless lifting of words from the passage:This is a grievous offence in summary. Mindless lifting of a passage means copying down the answers verbatim, using the exact words and expression of the writer of the passage.Firstly, it shows poor understanding of the passage and secondly, it means that the student cannot put down another person’s thoughts, points and ideas in his or her ownexpression. Indiscriminate lifting does not merit marks in a summary test; it only attract zero.
  1. Absence of conciseness and relevance: Conciseness and relevance are rigidly demanded in summary. Inclusion of irrelevant or extraneous and unnecessary material in every scoring answer will attract the penalty of deduction of one mark.
  • Phrases and incomplete sentences:In summary, you are expected to write your answers in complete sentences with subjects, verb and probably other elements of a sentence present in them .When a student writes phrases where complete sentence are demanded , the examiner will award 2 ½ marks instead of a mark of 5 for each of the scoring answers.
  1. Wrong preamble/introduction: In summary answer where the students write a wrong preamble which does not flow with his sentences, he or she can only score 21/2 marks instead of 5. Where the preamble taken with the rest of each answer makes a sentence, the student will score a full mark of 5.
  2. Writing two scoring point in one sentence: where a student writes two scoring points in one sentence, he or she will gets marks for the first one while the other point will be regarded as irrelevant by the examiner.
  3. Writing more than required  number of sentences : Where a candidates writes more than the required number of sentences, the required number of sentences will be marked  and examiner will ignore others. The danger of this is that the scoring answers may be in those sentences the students writes in excess.
  • Grammatical/expression errors: with every grammatical and expression error, the students loses ½ marks.

You should be aware that one imposition of one penalty for an error does not preclude the imposition of another penalty for any other error committed even in one scoring answer. In other words, the imposition for inclusion of irrelevant or extraneous material in one scoring answer will not arouse pity in your examiner not to impose penalty for another error you committed in the same scoring answer. Therefore, you have to make sure that you practiced summary regularly so as to acquire the necessary skills and techniques of summary writing.



There are two main types of banks in Nigeria. Some banks engage in commercial banking while others are involve purely in merchant banking.

Commercial banking is banks whose main liabilities are their share capital and deposits. The deposits are from domestics’ sources which include private individuals, companies and governments. These deposits are repayable on demand. Merchant banks are corporate entities. They do not deal with individual persons.

Money transmission is done through banks. Money transmission refers to transferring money from one person to another either through physical cash or by writing a cheque. Cash normally means coins and notes as oppose to cheques. A cheque is a written order to a bank usually made on a special printed sheet of paper supplied by the bank, to pay a certain sum of money from one’s bank account to another person.

An account holder is someone who has an account. An account holder opens an account by depositing some money with the bank.. this sum represents his balance. When he writes a cheque, he reduces his balance. When he pays money into his account, he increases his balance.

A current account is an account from which money is withdrawn when you write a cheque. A deposit account is one where money that is not needed regularly may be left. The bank pays interest on money on a deposit account.your account is overdrawn if you take out money than you possesses in it. If an account is overdrawn the account is said to be in red .If you expect to pay outmore money than you have got, you may be able to arrange with your bank manager for an overdraft.

The cheque consists of two parts: the cheque proper and the counterfoil on which you record, for your own information, the details of the cheque. If you write an open cheque, the payee, the person or organization whom you are paying will be handed the money over the counter.If the cheque is crossed, the money is credited to the payee’s account. A statement of account is alist of all the sums credited to your account and withdrawn from it.


In the passage below, the numbered gaps indicate missing words. Against each number in the list below the passage are options labelled A-D. For each question, chose the word that is most suitable to fill the numbered gap in the passage.

Banking is an important 1  to trade in modern economy as it was in the medieval period. Apart from traders, individual can also2 money with banks for safe-keeping. Important documents like shares and bonds certificates can also be kept with reputable banks. Before the 3  of some banks recently, many people had  4  in the ability of banks to  5  the-hard earned  6   and  hope to have a good return on their  7 . Banks also serves as investment   8   agencies to individuals or corporate   9  and businessmen. The depositor can take 19   and   11subject to availability of collateral and theirreputation. Civil servantsalso patronize the banks to 12   their salaries and other  13 .  The banks maintain a tight security over depositors’ cash stashed in their 14  for safe keeping. Small scale investors can open a   15account operated with  a cheque book, while for some deposits and withdrawals, a saving account operated with a  16   may be ideal.  17 moneytransfers is also possible nowadays with the use of computers and satellite. AAidWithdrawDestructionConfidenceGuardAccountBusinessFinancingAccountCapitalBorrowingsCollectAgreementCabinetsCurrencyCheque bookDomestic BAidsDepositLiquidityCourageGuideCurrencySavingsFinancierContributorsContributionOverdraftAcceptBenefitsVaultsPersonalLedgerElectricity CCounselDonateLiquidationFaithOverlookInvestmentEarningsFinancialCustomersLoanCapitalWithdrawEntitlementsDrawersSavingsPassbookelectronicDFunctionDrawDisruptionInsightSafeguardMoneyPropertyFinancesInvestorsDepositsInterestCheckLoansWardrobesCurrentVoucherInternal. 

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