段落或文章大意的概括能力也可以辅助学生把握文章大意，同时也是写作的前提。它要求学生在找到主旨句，即作者观点的前提下，使用推理、例证、分类、对比或因果法，点面结合地概括出文章大意。教师可以尝试让学生经常做summary writing. 起初可先给出若干问题让学生回答，待回答完毕后再将所回答答案串联成一个段落，然后逐渐过渡到取消回答问题，直接让学生提炼段落或文章中心和细节，进行归纳。
The hunt for the puma began in a small village where a woman picking blackberries saw 'a large cat' only five yards away from her. It immediately ran away when she saw it, and experts confirmed that a puma will not attack a human being unless it is cornered. The search proved difficult, for the puma was often observed at one place in the morning and at another place twenty miles away in the evening. Wherever it went, it left behind it a trail of dead deer and small animals like rabbits. Paw prints were seen in a number of places and puma fur was found clinging to bushes. Several people complained of 'cat-like noises' at night and a businessman on a fishing trip saw the puma up a tree. The experts were now fully convinced that the animal was a puma, but where had it come from? As no pumas had been reported missing from any zoo in the country, this one must have been in the possession of a private collector and somehow managed to escape. The hunt went on for several weeks, but the puma was not caught. It is disturbing to think that a dangerous wild animal is still at large in the quiet countryside.
不难看出，本段话作者观点应是最后两句。但要写出summary writing，只有主题句是不够的，也需要必要的细节，其实这个就是作写作中的例证法。老师可以先给出与必要细节有关的问题让学生回答，诱出关键信息，然后再让学生组成句子和段落。其实写作就是在这个过程中锻炼出来的，因为任何写作都是有两部分组成：central idea 和supporting evidence；充分的summary writing练习还可以锻炼学生的close connection, coherence and cohesion的能力。比如：
Where did the search begin and what did the experts confirm?
Why was the search difficult?
What had 'the puma' probably done wherever it went?
What did the hunt turn out to be in the end? （主旨句）
At first, a woman in a village saw a 'large cat' in her vicinity and experts confirmed the impossibility of pumas' attacking human beings except being cornered. The search proved difficult, for the animal was always moving around, leaving behind it paw prints, puma fur and dead small animals etc. Although experts were fully convinced of its identity, the puma was still at large in the quiet countryside, disturbing the local people just at the thought of it.