Summary Assignment

En 101
Dr. Howe

Summary

Summarize the essay in an accurate, well-organized, 2 page essay that correctly uses all conventions of MLA citation.
In your summary, be sure to paraphrase the thesis and its main points, using direct quotation only when necessary. While you should focus on summarizing the author's argument and main points, part of making accurate observations is being able accurately to infer tone, audience, purpose, and point of view; therefore, these inferences should be included in your summary. You should use our coursework on distilling each paragraph into its main point as a starting place for this essay.
This assignment is designed to help develop your skills of comprehension, paraphrase, documentation, and organization.

Minimum requirements include:

  • 2-3 pages in length
  • accurately summarize the thesis and main points using language attuned to connotation and denotation
  • distinguish between fact and opinion by effective paraphrase and direct quotation of the text, using MLA format throughout,
  • attention to sentence structure, paragraph division, grammar, punctuation, and syntax
  • attention to organization and transitions between and within paragraphs
  • an introduction that sets up everything within your summary
  • a conclusion that captures what you see as the significance of the piece

Grading

I will be grading it according to the following principles: accuracy and organization, correct use of direct and indirect quotations, complete and correct MLA documentation.

An “A” essay will effectively fulfill all the minimum requirements in a manner that gives the reader a clear sense of voice and perspective. “A” essays will:

  • accurately capture the thesis of the piece to be summarized in concise, well-chosen language
  • accurately capture the main points of the piece to be summarized in concise, well-chosen language
  • integrate both paraphrase and direct quotation smoothly into the summary
  • show how and why the author moves from point to point
  • organize the summary in an effective manner that foregrounds the ideas of the thesis and main points, rather than following essay's argument in a merely chronological fashion
  • move the reader from point to point using strong transitions that foreground the relationship of supporting evidence to the thesis
  • open with an introduction that touches on everything in the summary with well-chosen language
  • close with a conclusion that reiterates the essay's thesis but goes on to capture what you see as the significance of this essay for its author and/or yourself
  • be exceptionally well written, with varied sentence structure and excellent paragraph division; this essay is correct in its grammar, punctuation, and syntax

A “B” essay will effectively fulfill all the minimum requirements in a manner that attempts to give the reader a sense of voice and perspective. “B” essays will:

  • accurately capture the thesis of the piece to be summarized
  • accurately capture the main points of the piece to be summarized
  • integrate both paraphrase and direct quotation smoothly into the summary
  • attempt to show how and why the author moves from point to point
  • attempt to foreground a more conceptual or argumentative organization, but may fail to do so completely, perhaps relying on simple chronology to summarize
  • uses effective transitions to move the reader through the summary, but may fail to foreground the relationship between supporting points and thesis
  • open with an introduction that touches on the points in the summary, but may do so with less precise language
  • close with a conclusion that reiterates the essay's thesis but does so in less precise language or neglects to capture the significance of the argument
  • be well written, with varied sentence structure and good paragraph division; this essay is generally correct in its grammar, punctuation, and syntax OR makes significant improvements from the writing of the previous essay

A "C” essay will fulfill all of the minimum requirements, but in an average manner with little or no attempt to give the reader a sense of voice, perspective, or significance. “C” essays might:

  • capture the thesis of the piece to be summarized, but do so incompletely
  • capture the main points of the piece to be summarized, but do so incompletely or inaccurately
  • attempt to use both paraphrase and direct quotation, but it may not be documented correctly or effectively integrated into the summary
  • make little or no attempt to show how and why the author moves from point to point, causing the organization to suffer by relying on simple chronology
  • incorporate transitions, but do so ineffectively or incompletely, not highlighting the relation between thesis and main points
  • open with an introduction that touches on most of the points in the summary, but may do so incompletely or imprecisely
  • close with a conclusion that reiterates the essay's thesis, but may do so incompletely or imprecisely
  • neglect to capture the significance of the argument
  • be understandably written, but may lack varied sentence structure, effective paragraph division, or concerted attention to grammar, punctuation, and/or syntax—OR make the same mistakes repeatedly, despite instructor comment

A “D” essay fulfills some of the minimum requirements in an average manner, but not all. A “D” essay may:

  • misread the thesis of the piece to be summarized, or leave out important points in the thesis
  • attempt to capture some of the main points, but fail to do so accurately or completely
  • use either paraphrase or direct quotation, but not both; or, it may not be documented or integrated
  • not attempt to show how or why the author moves from point to point, resulting in very poor organization and very weak transitions, combined with a list-like collection of points
  • have no introduction or a very weak introduction relying on hypothetical questions, random observations, or excessively broad points with little or no relation to the text to be summarized
  • have no conclusion or a very weak conclusion reiterates the thesis or main points incompletely or inaccurately
  • make no attempt to capture the significance of the argument
  • be poorly written, with excessive errors in grammar, punctuation, and syntax, to the point of confusion

An “F” essay fulfills few of the minimum requirements. An “F” essay may be:

  • plagiarized;
  • written in such a manner that its sense cannot be understood; and/or
  • not addressed to the goals of the assignment.
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