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Part: TWO Writers' Workshop > Summarize the Work

Chapter THIRTEEN. Summarize the Work

Review starts with the most basic feedback: What did people actually get from the work? Perhaps the comments start with a statement of the genre down to some level of detail: Was the work a design pattern aimed at C++ programmers, was it a piece of marketing collateral aimed at ISVs, was it a Shakespearean sonnet, was it a golden pitch aimed at analysts for a product launch? The more details about what type of piece the reader saw will help the author understand what has ended up on the page.

In all technical and some creative workshops, this is followed by a summary of the work, in as much detail as the moderator thinks makes sense for the piece and the time allowed. If the piece is a research paper, the questions might include: What was the methodology, what were the results, what evidence was produced and described, how did the author say it fit in with related work, and what conclusions were found? If the piece is a story, the reviewers might address the question: Who were the main characters and what happened, if anything? If the piece is a poem, the questions are: What was its narrative structure (if any), what was its lyric moment (if any), what imagery and figures were used, and what is the heart of the poem? Details.[*]

[*] See Creative Workshop: Summary, on page 190 in Appendix A, Examples, for an example of a summary of a difficult poem in nontechnical terms.


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