3 short summaries and connotative

carefully read the three “This I Believe” examples below. For each one, figure out how you can summarize the main belief and specific examples in your own words. Write a one-sentence summary of the author’s main belief– include the title (in quotation marks) and author of the essay in this sentence, also. Then write 2-3 sentences summarizing the examples that support the main idea and/or explain the writer’s reasons behind the belief.

*Note: a summary can include only a few key vocabulary terms from the original text. Everything else needs to be completely in your own words and use only your own sentence patterns.

*Note: Any reference to a text should start with a sentence that includes the author and the title (quotation marks for an essay or article tile, and italics/underline for a book or publication title).

Exercise 1

In each of the following items, you will find words with similar denotations. Identify the words’ connotations as positive, negative, or neutral. The first one is done for you as an example.

  1. curious (neutral), nosy (negative), interested (positive)
  2. lazy, relaxed, slow
  3. courageous, foolhardy, assured
  4. new, newfangled, modern
  5. mansion, shack, residence
  6. spinster, unmarried woman, career woman
  7. giggle, laugh, cackle
  8. boring, routine, prosaic
  9. noted, notorious, famous
  10. assertive, confident, pushy

Exercise 2

Directions: Edit the following paragraph by replacing the slang words and phrases with more formal language. Copy and paste it. Then edit the best you can.

I felt like such an airhead when I got up to give my speech. As I walked toward the podium, I banged my knee on a chair. Man, I felt like such a klutz. On top of that, I kept saying “like” and “um,” and I could not stop fidgeting. I was so stressed out about being up there. I feel like I’ve been practicing this speech 24/7, and I still bombed. It was ten minutes of me going off about how we sometimes have to do things we don’t enjoy doing. Wow, did I ever prove my point. My speech was so bad I’m surprised that people didn’t boo. My teacher said not to sweat it, though. Everyone gets nervous his or her first time speaking in public, and she said, with time, I would become a whiz at this speech giving stuff. I wonder if I have the guts to do it again.

Exercise 3

Revise the following sentences by replacing the clichés with fresh, original descriptions. If you are not familiar with the cliché, you may need to look it up before you can re-write the sentence. Copy and paste. Then edit the best you can.

  1. She is writing a memoir in which she will air her family’s dirty laundry.
  2. Fran had an ax to grind with Benny, and she planned to confront him that night at the party.
  3. Mr. Muller was at his wit’s end with the rowdy class of seventh graders.
  4. The bottom line is that Greg was fired because he missed too many days of work.
  5. Sometimes it is hard to make ends meet with just one paycheck.
  6. My brain is fried from pulling an all-nighter.
  7. Maria left the dishes in the sink all week to give Jeff a taste of his own medicine.
  8. While they were at the carnival Janice exclaimed, “Time sure does fly when you are having fun!”

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