Document Type : Research Paper


University of Qom


Summary writing is associated with lots of cognitive and metacognitive complexities that necessitates instruction (Hirvela & Du, 2013). Contrary to majority of studies carried out on summarization instruction, the present study addressed the underlying processes or microgenetic developments of the Iranian EFL learners’ summary writing. To this end, 41 male and female undergraduate students received instruction on summary writing for eight weeks. They were required to write five summaries during the first, second, fourth, sixth, and eighth sessions. The participants’ summaries were analyzed holistically by the TOEFL-iBT scoring guidelines and in terms of the number of instances of deletion, sentence combination, topic sentence selection, syntactic transformation, paraphrasing, generalization, invention, minor verbatim copying, and major verbatim copying. The findings revealed that some summarization strategies like invention, syntactic transformation, and generalization are more problematic and develop at later stages. The participants gave up major verbatim copying as they obtained a full appreciation of the conventions of authorship. However, many of them still used minor verbatim copying and patchwriting in their summary writing. The results imply that the students’ lack of awareness of the consequences of plagiarism as well as their insufficient general English and summary writing knowledge culminates in plagiarism.


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