Part 2- Summarizing Central Ideas about Elizabethan England

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Which sentence best summarizes the excerpt?

The grim reality is that plague in the capital is as common as the stench of the cesspits and almost as unavoidable. You cannot predict where it will strike: People living next door to infected houses are left unaffected. Some people are not touched even when others in their own house have it.

The plague was unavoidable, and unpredictable in regards to whom it would affect.

Which line best helps develop the central idea that the plague was almost impossible for Elizabethans to survive?

"Although there are no fewer than twenty-three medical treatises . . . none of them will help you."

What should writers do when summarizing a text? Check all that apply.

1. They should restate the text’s central ideas. 2. They should include important supporting details. 3. They should use objective language.

Readers must consider ________ to determine the central idea in an informational text.

The topic and supporting details

How does the paragraph develop the central idea that Elizabethans suffered from diseases that are unfamiliar to modern readers?

Elizabethan people suffer from some afflictions that no longer exist in modern England. Plague is the obvious example but it is by no means the only one. Sweating sickness kills tens of thousands of people on its first appearance in 1485 and periodically thereafter. It is a terrifying disease because sufferers die within hours. It doesn’t return after a particularly bad outbreak in 1556 but people do not know whether it has gone for good; they still fear it, and it continues to be part of the medical landscape for many years.

NOT It describes the plague in great detail.

Which sentence is an example of an objective summary?

Modern medicine has changed dramatically since the 1500s.

What is the central idea of this paragraph?

There is no concept of "health and safety" in Elizabethan England, so you will inevitably feel vulnerable when you arrive. Nauseating smells and sights will assail your senses; contemporary standards of cleanliness will worry you. People die every day from unknown ailments, the young as often as the old. Infectious diseases periodically kill thousands within a few weeks. Even when plague is not in town, it lurks as an anxiety in the back of people’s minds and, when it does strike, their worry turns to terror. On top of the illnesses, the chances of being attacked and hurt are much higher than in the modern world, and workplace injuries are far more common.

Elizabethans faced a variety of challenges in staying healthy.

Which sentence best summarizes the excerpt?

The theory of the humors is just the basic framework into which physicians fit a number of other ideas. Galen teaches that every living thing is composed of the four elements: fire, earth, air, and water. Each of these corresponds with one of the four humors. Fire, which is said to be hot and dry, corresponds with choler; water (cold and wet) with phlegm; earth (dry and cold) with black bile; and air (hot and wet) with blood. These properties are all associated with parts of the body, so the brain is cold and moist, the kidneys hot and moist, and so on. If an imbalance in the humors clashes with the properties of an organ, the patient will be ill.

Elizabethans believed that the balance of the four humors would keep them healthy.

What is the central idea of this paragraph?

But what if it comes to the worst? What if you have painful black buboes in your groin and armpits, and experience the rapid pulse, the headaches, the terrific thirst, and delirium that are the tokens of the plague? There is little you can do. Physicians will prescribe the traditional medicines of dragon water, mithridatium, and theriac if they hear you are suffering but you will suspect that these are cynical attempts to relieve a dying person of his money. The physicians themselves will not normally come near you. Simon Forman, who does attend plague sufferers, is a rare exception: this is because he has himself survived the disease and believes he cannot catch it again.

Physicians could not do much for victims of the plague.

When providing an objective summary of a text, writers should _________.

Exclude personal opinions.

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