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Interamerican Journal of Psychology

Print version ISSN 0034-9690


SPINILLO, Alina Galvão. “I know how to make a story shorter.”: Summary writing by children. Interam. j. psychol. [online]. 2009, vol.43, n.2, pp. 362-373. ISSN 0034-9690.

This study examined the possibility that children can learn how to summarize texts. Forty-four children (10 years old) were divided into an Experimental and a Control Group. All participants were given a pre-test and a post-text in which they had to write a summary of a story. While children in the the CG went ahead with the usual teaching practice that did not include any type of activity related to summaries, children in the EG were provided with a classroom intervention that emphasized the principles of summary composition (brevity, clarity, faithfulness to the theme, and the presence of the main ideas of the textbase). No significant differences were found between groups in the pre-test. However, in the post-test children in the EG produced more elaborated summaries than those in the CG. Also only children in the EG did significantly better in the post-test than in the pre-test. The conclusion was that children can be taught how to write summaries and that the intervention helped them to overcome their difficulties regarding summary writing.

Keywords : Summary writing; Stories; Children; Intervention study.

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