Your job is to summarize. How do you go about that job? Certain steps need to be followed:
As you read the article summary and reaction, please pay particular attention to how the writer summarizes the article. Look at the format for each page. Note the double spacing. Note the headings.
Think about: Did you notice heading of the article summary was a bibliographical entry? The last name of the author or writer is always given first. That differs from a footnote entry where the first name is given after the superior or raised number. Next, did you see the quotation marks for the title of the article? Did you spot the difference between the magazine underlined and the article in quotes? The volume number of the magazine or journal must be given to help the researcher find the publication. Most magazines have a volume, except for Business Week and a few others. The date is placed in parentheses according to the Turabian format. Now, let's deal with the page numbers.
Suppose you have gone to one of the newer databases (formerly InfoTrac) called Business and Company ASAP and found the following entry: 16(3). You write this citation as part of your article summary entry. Unfortunately, you have made a citation error because the article needs to be looked at to see if advertisements or other columns interfered with the numbering of the actual article pages.
R.C. Hollinger and J.P. Clark, authors of Theft by Employees (1993), examined and researched internal theft among companies. Their research broke down the main characteristics of thieves and what makes them steal from their employers. In addition, Hollinger and Clark also evaluated forms to stop and prevent employee theft. In this article Holt wrote about Hollinger's and Clark's findings.
Think about: Did you read how strongly the person started out with the summary? The writer did not waste any words. You realize by the end of the paragraph that the article is about an article within an article. Do not be fooled that you can copy the abstract provided on the abstract. You have to write your own summary of the article. Look critically at the underlining in the first paragraph. That is not an article. You are reading the underlining for a book. Holt is not even mentioned; Hollinger and Clark wrote a book about employee theft. Let's continue the summary.
The author defines five theories that explain theft: external pressure, vigorous youth, possible opportunity, job dissatisfaction, and impossible controls. The external pressure theory says that people who come from bad backgrounds, use drugs, and gamble are more likely to steal. Individuals need extra money to support their lifestyle, and that need urges them to steal. However, these people make up only a small percentage of workers. Age also becomes a factor when dealing with respect and integrity. Researchers state younger employees aren't as loyal to businesses as older ones. The younger workers believe they have less to lose, and mainly preoccupy themselves with school.
Think about: The summary continues strong with specifics from the article that should interest the reader. Notice how the writer drives home each point with clarity.
The opportunity theory suggests that, given the chance, people will steal. In retail, lower-level employees make up most of the thieves. Also, access to money and merchandise remains an important factor. Job satisfaction, as another theory, states an employee who is unhappy with his job will steal to spite the company; those who think their pay is too small take to collect what they deserve. Finally, the last theory deals with the type of controls put on employees by the company and management. If the controls are weak, and employees don't have much respect for them, then controls prove ineffective.
Think about: The writer continued the summary by explaining each theory. If one read the entire article, you would find the theories in much more detail than the writer penned.
Four formal controls establish the organization's culture and how it handles theft. Policy control deals with the company policy about employee behavior. Inventory control serves as a deterrent, because missing merchandise can be detected. Security control depends on what emphasis the security department places on theft, such as preventive measures.
2 Punishment controls explain and show the consequences the company and management place on those who commit crimes. Through research, certain solutions occur on how to stop and prevent employee theft. When hiring a potential employee, background checks prove beneficial. Management assumes the most critical role. Although senior executives must develop objectives to follow, prevention responsibilities lie on the manager's shoulders. To make employees more loyal to the company, they must be included and team efforts emphasized. Proper lines of communication must remain open between executives, managers,and operatives. With open communication, employees tell of peer crimes; management becomes involved with problems; and corporate can instill social norms with the workers. Finally, to reassure the validity of the solutions and prevention methods, these ideas should be audited for effectiveness.Think about: Did you notice how effectively the summary writer brought the points to a conclusion? The summary had a final quality to it. If the reader never read the article, he or she would still have some idea of what the article contained: the essence of it.
Holt's article became both incisive and true. The assumptions of theories and solutions seemed logical. The article proved valuable for my research in finding a solution to theft with the company. Some of the suggested preventive methods have been implemented in my company; however, I believe the simultaneous practice of all the solutions causes low employee theft. Unfortunately, Holt didn't discuss what to do with the employees who were hired without being screened, or what measures to take after a bad inventory.
Think about: The writer got to the point about whether the article helped the research for the report. The writer critically looked at the article suggestions and also criticized what the article did not contain. The analysis proved more fruitful than saying "informative and interesting."
The most important point in the article dealt with company culture. If corporate creates a strong culture where theft is considered horrible with consequences worse, the problem in our company could be lessened. If employees, when brought into the company were educated about these effects and believed they were part of the team, then employee theft wouldn't be a problem to solve.
Think about: The writer immediately related the article to company he or she works for. The writer pointed out how the problem of employee theft could be lessened by following the article's advice. The reaction became one of how the article helped the student's report. The writer gave specifics, which impressed the reader.
Sometimes in summarizing an article the writer is forced to state an actual quote because of the message's importance. When this situation occurs, be warned about the handling of quotes. The passage you will read suggests the writer did not understand the integrating of a quotation in the summary:
According to the author, "by allowing the telemarketing staff to feel like they are part of the "big picture," they will understand the importance of their role in the organization."
Think about: The writer attempted to integrate the quote without realizing the sentence has to stand without the quote. How much better it would have been if the writer might have said the following:
The author recommended the telemarketing staff needs a clear picture of the organization when she said: "By allowing the telemarketing staff to feel like they are part of the big picture, they will understand the importance of their role in the organization."
Think about: Now the writer has used the quotation as a supplement to the entire meaning of the sentence. "The author recommended . . ." can now stand by itself, and the writer has avoided the tricky phrase, "According to the author." Also, quotes do not have to be used except once. You don't have to provide quotes within quotes.
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Please check the home pages for additional help, including the executive summary, analytical report memo, bibliography and footnotes, business plan, and make references count (bibliography).