Friday, April 15, 2011


Below are four sets of notes compiled according to the Cornell method and four sample summaries based on those notes. You will need to access the texts yourselves for obvious reasons. I have, in fact, been given permission by the BBC to reproduce their texts and graphs but I have been advised to weed out comments by celebrities, which, in a lot of instances, leaves gaping holes in the texts. I have, therefore, refrained and left you with the task of acessing the texts. For more information on summary writing and The Cornell Method, check out the relevant papers: "To Cut a Long Story Short" and "I Will Shout It From The Rooftops"
Do elephants intentionally kill their young?

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/05/24 11:31:24 GMT
Sample Student Notes:

Pictures: mother elephant threatens to crush/drown calf
              latter rescued
              motherly love?
             Calf 250 bs,
             In papers
              calf, Dumbo, famous, in Germany and world
Zoo keeper’s explanation:natural behaviour
                      prod claf to make him stand
                      heavy handed?
First explanation: motherhod learnt
                          not instinctive
                          cultural, flexible animals
                          learn from experience
                         all females in herd help with calves
                          young cows practice calf care (allo-mothering)
                          during birth, midwife available
                          afterwards, nannies
For Pori: none of this
             Scared, confused
Result: crush, drown calf
Second explanation: killing deliberate
                              poor quality of life
                              kill calf to save it misery
Which is true? Not clear
Conclusion: Pori treated, now both fine

            A young elephant cow tried to crush and drown her calf, Dumbo, who was rescued by zoo staff and then became famous. Pori, the mother, may have just been clumsy; however, there are two other possible explanations for her behaviour. One is that female elephants all pitch in and help in the care of a calf and one even acts as midwife during the birth giving future mothers plenty of practice before their turn comes. Pori, lacking all this experience, valuable learning and support during the birth, may have been scared and confused about what was happening to her. The second possible explanation is that the poor quality of life captive elephants have may have led her to try and save her calf from a similar fate. Pori has been treated and is now getting on fine with Dumbo.

                                                                                                       140 words
Dolphin May Get A Prosthetic Tail
Text: Associated Press
Sample Student Notes
Indian River Lagoon: dolphin injured
                            Bottle nosed dolphin lost tail
Steve McCulloch: treatment?
                           Director of dolphin whale research ....
Solution: prosthetic tail
              first of its kind
Dolphin (Winter) lives in Clearwater Marine Aqu.
Previously in Japan: a prosthesis but partial
On arrival, Winter: 3 months old
                           came in december
Found: fisherman
Accident: tangled in buoy line (crab trap)
               line tangled around tail
               cut off blood supply
               tail fell off
Treatment: 150 vets
                   fed, nursed her
Winter’s solution: new ways of swimming
                            too slow
                            but happy
Zucker: prosthesis?
            consult diving gear manufacturer
Japanese dolphin: only lost part of her tail
Winter: tail connected to stump
Tail necessary: swimming without tail bad for spine
Two problems; one: W. will keep growing; three tails
                       two: cost, high but will be met by manufacturer
Winter: a warning to us
            careful about activities in water
Precautions: could be taken; no careless techniques


A dolphin -named Winter- lost her tail through human action. She was caught by a crab trap line and lost her tail while trying to swim away. Scientists found and fed her. Then she started to swim but like no other dolphins. Her swimming style could be harmful to her so scientists decided to solve this problem with a prosthetic tail. This was done by Japanese before but that dolphin lost only a part of her tail. A prosthetic tail could be a solution but it was expensive and difficult to create. Also Winter wouldn't swim like other dolphins that meant she would live in an aquarium for her entire life. A lot of different people helped to design the tail. However, all these weren't the real solution. The perfect solution was teaching adults especially fishermen to be more careful.

Kadircan Ozdemir INT , Oct 2006

Forced to take part in experiments

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/01/27 13:50:20 GMT
Ima S.: now 80
Her life at A.: arrested 1942
                       help in inhuman experiments
                       horrible soup, four slices of bread
                      camphor to block libido
    A. huge, building work
                       food too little
Previously, Ima: dentists assistant
                  So: nurse
Gestapo: 40 women to Heidelberg
               Ima chosen but saved by friend
               women injected in heart(formaldehyde)
               medical experiments
Polish man:tattoed numbers
                 crossed out
                 tried again
                 Ima warned him to be careful
                 Ima 42646
Experiments on women
Sterilization: ovaries x-rayed
                     30 minutes
                     Ima cared for them
                     two died, six lived
                     six months
                     two died (unhygenic)
                     white liquid injected
                     destroyed ovaries
   Cancer: caused cancer (with iodine)
                Ima gave anaesthetic
At the time:followed orders
          Now : remorse
          But: self preservation
          1945: all left on foot
 Destination : camps in Germany
  Escape: hid in dorms
               later found by Americans
               billetted with farmers
               loved bed
               world beautiful

Sample Summary

      Ima S.,who is now eighty, was arrested by the Nazis in 1942 and sent to Auschwitz where she had to stay for the next three years. She managed to stay alive, despite the terrible living conditions thanks to her training in nursing which in turn lead to her helping in some inhuman experiments on women. She first became aware of the experiments when forty women including herself were selected to go to Heidelberg to become guneapigs. Ima avoided going but assisted in two different kinds of experiments at Auschwitz. The former involved sterilisation, the latter cancer. The purpose in the first group of experiments was to destroy the ovaries as a result of a protracted, painful, inhuman series of procedures. The purpose in the second was to cause cancer and then operate. Although Ima feels great remorse now for her role in all this, she feels as it was a question of self preservation, she had no choice but to assist. She did finally manage to escape near the end of the war. She has now become a keen gardener and attained a measure of peace.                

(188 words)
Boys 'used for human sacrifice'
 Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2005/06/16 16:27:07 GMT
Sample Student Notes:

Children :beaten
        Why: witches
                lack of trust
Example: girl tortured
                by aunt+ two others
                beat devil out of her
                10 years old from Angola
                police report
                when Victoria Climbie killed
Investigation: to stop child abuse
                       ensure dialogue
   Who invoved: social workers
                           human rights lawyers
                           race relations experts                                                  
            Report: chilling
                          rituals, witchcraft
                          big business
                          apply to churches for spells
                          for a strong spell; human sacrifice
                          uncircumcised boys of 10
                    So:  demand for boys
                    But : nobody talks
                             fear of being killed
Second reason: domestic slaves
Third reason: sex with child
                       AIDS cured
How do they know: HIV worker
                                 told in session
Problem: can’t be verified
                 nobody talks
               won’t betray their people, culture
Reason for abuse: faith
Known cases: Adam, Victoria Climbie
Currently: 300 black kids missing in UK
Police report: racist?
Home secretary: more communication
Fact: criminal organizations involved
Solutions: determine number of faith organizations
                  encourage reporting

Sample Summary

             There have been worrying reports of child abuse involving ritualistic killing and beating out the devil within African communities in Britain. The human sacrifice practiced to guarantee that spells work well involves uncircumcised boys of 10 who are specially provided by criminal organisations. Bigotry and ignorance are also the reasons why such boys are demanded by men with AIDS  with the mistaken belief that they can be cured by having sex with them and also why childen who are believed to be witches are tortured. Not only private individuals but also churches have been accused of such practices as a result of investigations carried out and two cases on record. It is suspected that the problem is more serious than most think, but that people are reluctant to testify for fear of being killed or for fear of being seen to be betraying their people and culture. The solutions decided upon are initially to determine the number of faith organisations and then to encourage reporting.

(165 words)

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