The evaluation component of this section involves assessing the quality of the writing based on your analysis.
For the first formal paper of the 1201 course, please write a summary and analysis/evaluation of one of the following:
-“Can We Avoid the Potential Dangers of AI…?”
-“America’s Humongous Wealth Gap is Widening Further…”
-“What are Climate Models and How Accurate Are They?”
-“Is College a Sucker Bet?”
The summary and analysis should be over two pages, and it should accurately and in your own words inform your reader about the article.
A summary is a brief restatement in your own words of the main ideas of a piece of writing. A good summary is:
Brief. The summary should be about one quarter of the length of the original. The shorter the summary has to be, the more difficult it is to write. Use the most concise language you can. Do not repeat an idea, even if the original article does so.
Accurate. The summary must contain the main ideas of the original and no ideas that are not in the original. The summary writer is not responsible for the quality of those ideas, but she is responsible for representing them fairly without opinion.
Objective. You have to keep your own opinions out of the summary, even in such subtle ways as writing, “Smith’s best point is….” or “Jones is trying to prove….” The latter would imply that he is not successful at proving it.
Use These Parts in Your Summary:
Title. If you give the title of the article and the author’s name in the title, that essential information is quickly and easily understood by your reader. Here is an example title: Summary of “Nuclear Winter” by Carl Sagan (Sagan is the writer of the original, not the writer of the summary. You are the writer of the summary.)
Early Sentence Thesis. The thesis of the article should appear early in the summary, sometimes even as the first sentence, whether or not the original writer used a thesis statement. You will have to read the article to figure out what the main idea is. Try to put the thesis statement in your own words. If you must quote, do so only if there is no other option. If you do quote, be sure to use quotation marks and a parenthetical citation.
Main points of the article. Don’t repeat ideas. Omit examples and details. Try to keep the emphasis the same as in the original.
Do NOT include a conclusion. When you cover that last point, stop. Summing up is more graceful, but the goal here is brevity, not grace.
Follow these steps when writing your summary:
Read the passage or chapter.
Circle or list important words/phrases/ideas.
Put reading material aside.
Use the important words/phrases/ideas to generate a summary.
Add a topic sentence/thesis statement that appears early in the summary to capture the central points.
Don’t forget the Work Cited page!
This assignment also requires a separate Analysis/Evaluation section. Like for the summary, you can label this with a title that indicates the title of the work, the author and that it is an analysis/evaluation: Analysis/Evaluation of “Nuclear Winter” by Carl Sagan.
An analysis uses terms (see Quiz 2) and concepts to dissect a piece of writing and reveal something about the relationship between the author and audience. This acts as your own thesis.
The evaluation component of this section involves assessing the quality of the writing based on your analysis. Think Rotten Tomatoes.
For your citation: Use a normal right margin on your page, going to a new line whenever a line is filled. Center the heading “Work Cited” at the top of the last page. To get the hanging indentation, highlight the item, use FORMAT/PARAGRAPH and select hanging indent on the SPECIAL menu. There may be variations depending on your word processing program. If you get lost, find your HELP menu and search for “hanging indent.” You’ll need to be able to do this throughout this course, so it’s worth figuring it out now.
Use the normal left margin for your page, but be sure to indent the second and later lines, which is called a hanging indentation. You can use the FORMAT/Paragraph/Spacing menus.
MLA format for your paper will consist of the following header at the top of the first page, left-aligned:
(your instructor’s name)
Then, center your title on the next line and start writing. The summary essay should be evenly double-spaced throughout.
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