Long Summary Assignment

En 101
Dr. Fox

Critical Summary (10% of final grade)

Write a 500+ word summary and argument analysis of the article. This critical summary will consist of one or two paragraphs that summarize the main and supporting points of the article as well as one or two paragraphs that evaluate the article for its logos (logic and evidence), ethos (trustworthiness of author, including tone) and pathos (emotional appeals).

Someone who has not read the article


  • To distinguish between main & supporting points and between fact & opinion
  • To attribute ideas to an author consistently throughout a piece of writing
  • To paraphrase smoothly, accurately, and ethically
  • To detect point of view and its effects on interpretation
  • To answer questions of fact based on readings
  • To identify the major strengths and weaknesses of an essay,
  • To read critically, evaluating a text for the logic of its reasoning, the adequacy of its evidence, the ethos of its author, and the validity of its emotional appeals

To complete this assignment successfully

  • Read and annotate the article, noting in the margins the purpose of each paragraph
  • Respond to the article, noting in the margins your questions or reactions to what the writer says and how s/he says it
  • Underline the main points of the article and number the supporting points
  • Try making an outline of the article
  • Determine the article’s thesis (implicit or explicit)
  • Evaluate the evidence provided. Is it fair? Does this evidence ignore important aspects of the discussion? Evaluate the tone of the article and the effectiveness of the emotional appeals.
  • Draft and revise and revise (get outside readers)

Draft due date
You will loose a letter grade on the final draft if you are not present in class with a first draft for peer review.



  • Do you correctly surmise the thesis of the article (explicit or implicit)?
  • Do you include all the main and supporting points for this thesis?
  • How clearly do you present the thesis of the article and the supporting points?
  • Have you eliminated unnecessary detail?
  • Do you not emphasize interesting side points?
  • Have you represented the author's arguments fairly, without including your own opinion?
  • Have you used attributive tags or citations to discuss the author's ideas?
  • Do you use citations or attributive tags when you paraphrase?
  • Have you used your own words when you paraphrase (avoid quoting, instead paraphrase)?
  • Have you evaluated the evidence presented in the article?
  • Is there significant revision between the first and second draft?


  • Is your summary organized logically so as to clearly present the argument of the article (without necessary mirroring the original order of the article)
  • Have you used transitions to smoothly link the supporting points to the main points?
  • Do you differentiate (if necessary) between more important and less important reasons?
  • Do you have one or two paragraphs summarizing the article and at least one paragraph evaluating the evidence?


  • Is the summary typed in Times Roman 12 inch font?
  • Is the essay clean stylistically, using concise and clear sentences, strong verbs, and sentence variety?
  • Is the essay grammatically correct?
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