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|Title:||An Examination of Strategic Difficulties in Summarizing Texts|
|Author(s):||Winograd, Peter Norman|
|Department / Program:||Education|
|Degree Granting Institution:||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|Abstract:||This study examined the possibility that some eighth-graders' difficulties with summarization may be linked to deficits in strategic skills. Summarization was selected for study because it is an important task and one that many students find difficult. Furthermore, by studying the strategies involved in summarization, we may learn more about comprehension in general.
An examination was made of three strategies involved in producing summaries: (1) the awareness of the task demands, (2) the ability to identify the important elements in a text, and (3) the ability to transform the original passage into its gist. In addition, hierarchical multiple regression was used to assess the relative influence of strategy use on performance measures of summarization and comprehension.
Analyses revealed several important results. First most children knew that the general purpose of a summary was to indicate what the article was about. Second, good readers were better judges of importance than were poor readers when that importance was defined in adult terms. Third, although poor readers' judgments of importance were not highly related to those of adults, poor readers showed consistency in the kinds of information they selected as important. Fourth, compared to more fluent readers, poor readers showed little consistency between the information that they included in their summaries. Fifth, there were clear developmental trends in the transformations used to condense the passages into summaries.
The regression analyses also produced important results. First, for the most part, differences in the level of task awareness were not related significantly to differences in producing summaries or in understanding what was read. Second, sensitivity to importance accounted for a significant proportion of the variance both in the quality of the summaries and in the measures of comprehension. Third, effective use of the transformation rules accounted for a significant proportion of the variance in the quality of the summaries but not in the measures of comprehension.
The results of this study suggest that when either summarization or comprehension difficulties are encountered, teachers should assess children's use of strategies and provide appropriate training if necessary.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1982.
|Date Available in IDEALS:||2014-12-15|