Academic Summary

In this task, you will listen to a short lecture, approximately 1-2 minutes in length.  You will then prepare a short response that summarizes the main points and examples of the lecture.

Preparation time: 20 seconds

Response time: 60 seconds



  • Use an introductory phrase that highlights the organizational pattern and topic of the lecture, e.g., In this lecture the professor compares two theories of personality
  • Use the same organizational pattern in your response that the professor used in the lecture.  In the above example, I would make sure I’m using a comparison/contrast organizational pattern
  • Use connecting words that reflect the patterns of organization.  For a comparison/contrast pattern, for example, I would use words like: whereas, while, however & on the other hand.
  • Do not simply repeat what the professor says.  Paraphrase and summarize what the professor says in your own words.
  • Use academic sounding lexical phrases.  Choose from the following verbs, connectors and adverbs

Verbs: Provide, suggest, require, indicate, based on, describe, identify, determine, relate, establish, examine, state, compare, derived from

Connectors: However, Thus, For example, Therefore, In addition, Moreover, Furthermore

Adverbs:  relatively, generally, highly, frequently, specifically, approximately, similarly

Adjectives: specific, similar, various, particular, effective,ineffective, substantial, conventional, alternative, elementary, valuable, universal, developing, accurate


The professor states specifically that…

The professor provides an example of…

The professor examines + topic

The professor relates that _________ is based on _______

The professor relates an example of…

The professor establishes two points about ______

It can be determined that…

Furthermore, the professor suggests….Therefore….

Generally  speaking…

Example (Listen)


Why called Amazon?

Sources –> original native name, chronicle written by Europeans

Native inhabitants | Amazunu–> Big wave

16th century chronicle of exploration –>Greek lit. female warriors called Amazons –> describes courageous female warriors of Amazon: Amazon like warriors on Amazunu river


 In this lecture, the professor describes the origin of the name of the Amazon river.  According to the professor, there are two sources.  One is derived from the natives, and the other is based on European chronicles.  In regards to the native origin, the professor states that the original name was Amazunu, which means “big wave”.  This name was given by native inhabitants.   The second source is European chronicles, and is based on the Greek word Amazon, which means brave female warriorsAccording to the professor, European explorers observed female warriors who appeared like the Amazon warriors from Greek literature.  Thus, they named they river Amazon.  In conclusion, these are the two sources of origin of the name Amazon.

Student Sample 1 

(Good example of use of adjective clauses)

Student Sample 2

(Good use of cohesion devices and passive voice)

Student Sample 3 (Bank Holiday)


Student Sample 4 (Bank Holiday)

(Exceptional use of academic vocabulary and complex grammar)


Summary 2

Summary 3

Summary 4


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