Writing Summaries

During the first section of class you will be asked to read and listen to materials and write summaries of what you learned. The summaries should be written as follows. Instead of just writing brief descriptions of the chapter/episodes, I want you to summarize each source using three different sections.

Hard copies of summaries should be turned in the day of class.

  1. Important facts: This includes both basic facts as well as vocabulary. Here, I want you to describe facts/vocabulary about consumer preferences that would be useful to remember in the food industry, both for its practical use and to help establish you as an expert. For example, in regards to Chapter 1, facts would include
    • The five tastes (e.g., sweet, sour, ...).
    • Difference between taste and flavor
    • Every person is anosmic to some compound (and what ‘anosmic’ means)
  2. Industry examples: This is where you describe stories that took place in the food industry, or food industry practices, that teach us something. This is where you describe things you have learned that can make it seem as if you have years of experience in the food industry. For example, in regards to Chapter 1, industry examples would include
    • How food companies will sometimes introduce two similar versions of product at the same time, one being marketed to super–tasters and the other to everyone else.
    • Sales of Patagonian toothfish rose dramatically once it was referred to as Chilean sea bass instead.
    • The chef Heston Blumenthal always tries a new dish in a research kitchen, and only if it seems desirable there, does he try it out on some of his regulars.
    • When food companies reduce the fat or sugar in their products by relatively small amounts they sometimes don’t advertise it because only then will consumers tell the difference.
  3. Interesting experiment results: These are facts, but those regarding the results of consumer experiments showing how sensitive consumers can be to the environment. For example, in regards to Chapter 1, facts would include
    • People like wines better when it is associated with a high price. The high price itself causes people to like the wine more, even if it is really a cheap wine and just given a large price tag.
    • Consumers say they like a meat less if they are told it comes from a factory farm instead of a free–range farm, even if it was in reality from a free–range farm.
    • When two hockey teams played a game and then tasted a sorbet, the winning team rated it as sweeter than the losing team.

All summaries should be typed, and in any format the student wishes. The writing itself will not be graded, so long as we can understand what you write. There is no length requirement. Students who do a better job of covering the material and make wiser choices about what to write about will receive higher grades. Also, these summaries will serve as notes that you may use on Exam 1.