Plan a Holiday!

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Unit 4 level 7-8

4. Ways of extracting information.
Notemaking, underlining, highlighting, trash and treasure, skimming, scanning, selecting.

In the last lesson I suggested you copy the text to a word processor rather than type it all out. This works well for Web based resources, e-mails and CD-ROMs.
Frequently however we have to work with a printout and several printed sources. In this case we usually mark the page in some way.

It can be a good idea to photocopy the relevant pages of a book so you can write over it.
You can use different coloured pens or highlighters to mark different topics, or you can use underlines, stars and arrows to show the important points. You can also cross a line through sections which are not relevant.

One particular method is called "Trash and Treasure" in which you put a line through everything which is irrelevant and highlight everything which is useful. You can miss out whole paragraphs or just keep a few words of a sentence. The words remaining are notes for you to rebuild into a piece of writing using your own words. The highlighted notes remind you of good ideas.

On a word processor you can underline only the words you want to "treasure" and delete anything you want to "trash".
In the first place there may be no need to read the source information in detail. Try "skimming" the source so you pick up the key idea. Some people find it useful to look at the centre of the page and move their eyes quite quickly down the page instead of looking from left to write a reading every word.


Exercise 1.
Copy the following article into a word processor and reduce it to a quarter or less of the original length. Keep only what you think is important.

from Guardian archive at,4273,4036224,00.html

 Holiday firms urged to protect Ibiza ravers
David Ward, Guardian

Monday July 3, 2000

Tour operators, airlines, hotels and clubs should provide health education and advice to young ravers booking sun and dance holidays in Ibiza, according to researchers who found "disturbing" levels of drug abuse and unsafe sex.

A team at Liverpool John Moores University studied questionnaires distributed at Ibiza's airport. They found that although less than 3% of those surveyed took Ecstasy on five or more days a week in Britain, the figure jumped to 42% while on Ibiza.

Use of cannabis soared from 29% on five or more days while at home to 54% on Ibiza, and almost 31% said they had used more than one drug during their stay. Nearly 90% had drunk alcohol on five or more days while on the Spanish island.

With 700,000 British visitors expected to head for Ibiza this year, the researchers called on holiday companies to provide health education materials and advice.

"While the potential for substance-related ill health is dramatically elevated in Ibiza, harm minimisation measures in such resorts remain scarce," writes Professor Mark Bellis in a paper in the International Journal of Drug Policy today. "And although holiday companies attract a sexually active market, safe sex messages are either absent or ineffective." [Image] The research team found "disturbing" levels of unprotected sex: almost 54% of the sample had had sex while on holiday and more than a quarter did not use a condom, although 23% had sex with more than one partner.

Prof Bellis said many companies traded on images of long nights of booze and sex. "Club 18-30, one of the most successful youth tour operators, includes in its mission statement, 'Try sex in the surf... drink all your duty free on day one'. In the short term, harm minimisation measures such as educational leaflets, information on seeking medical assistance abroad and easy access to condoms seem essential steps in protecting the health of young holiday makers."

But a spokeswoman for the Association of British Travel Agents said: "Where the risks are exactly the same as one would be facing in the UK, you can assume that customers have a degree of responsibility for their own safety. A holiday brochure is not the place for delivering advice, and I don't think it would make one bit of difference anyway."

Club 18-30 said its customers were given a voucher for free condoms, plus an advice booklet on drugs, produced in conjunction with the Health Education Authority.

The company's general manager, Andy Tidy, added: "While we are not moral guardians, it has always been our stance to encourage young people to take a responsible attitude towards drugs and sex. People of all ages tend to over-indulge while on holiday, whatever their recreational preferences."

Here are some brief notes from a longer Guardian article about the island of Crete. Here the "trash" has been discarded, leaving only the "treasure".

Exercise 2
Copy these notes into your word processor and add your own words to fill out the information and make a single piece of writing.

 "crossing White Mountains in Western Crete... walkers completed 18km (11.2 mile) hike down Samaria gorge (Europe's longest) from Agia Roumeli to Hora Sfakion. epic walk... spectacular scenery ... sense of achievement.
gorge leads from mountains to Libyan through "Iron Gates" (narrowest point, rocks on 600m high.)
second only to Palace of Knossos, (Minoan palace) "

Here are some notes from another source, a book about the same place.

Copy these notes into your word processor too and combine them with your earlier notes into a single report. As you write, think carefully about what is worth selecting and whether there are any contradictions.


 "... most spectacular adventure in Crete: Samaria Gorge (11 miles, allow 6 hours).
Starts at Xyloskalou, end of Omalos Plain, steep wooden staircase. One mile on - sea level. 5 more miles to Samaria (14th century frescoes).
River bed crossing (danger of floods) then walls soar to 300-600 metres. Next Sidheroportes (Iron Gates) and gorge is only 2 metres wide.
Then Ayia Roumeli (on coast).
Only exit is by boat to Hora Sphakion - no roads.


You should now have a single article using

edited information from exercise 1
extra information from exercise 2 A and B

Present this carefully in an appropriate style and appearance and save it in your portfolio

Go on to Unit Five

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