Most of us use critical reading strategies everyday to effectively process all of the information we are consistently bombarded with. This assignment allows you continue to explore ideas of reading and writing rhetorically, as you will use different strategies to write your summary and your strong response.
This assignment will have two parts:
The Critical Response.
Summarize in 150-200 words the article your instructor has chosen from the assignment. Please use “Working at McDonald’s” on pages 260-262 of your 10th edition textbook (or pages 280-283 of your 9th edition book). In this summary, you should relay the article’s main points, completely and accurately, in your own words. If you find yourself in a situation in which the author’s words needed to be quoted directly (perhaps for emphasis), you must make it clear that these words are the author’s by using quotation marks appropriately. You will not want to quote anything over one sentence in length, and you will want to limit yourself to no more than 2-3 direct quotes, if you use any at all. Remember that the whole point of this portion of the assignment is for you to restate the author’s points objectively in your own words.
In general, I recommend you structure your first sentence something like this:
In “Working at McDonald’s,” Amitai Etzioni argues that…
This will function as the thesis statement of your summary, so this first sentence will need to convey the main point(s) of the article to give your reader an overall view.
Write a 1 ½ to 2 page response to the article your instructor has chosen from the assignment. Please use “Working at McDonald’s” on pages 260-262 of your 10th edition textbook (or pages 280-283 of your 9th edition book). Before you even begin drafting, you will want to decide on the terms of your response. Once you decide on the terms (or grounds) of your response, you’ll want to figure out how you can support your points—using logic, outside evidence—whatever is appropriate. Your response cannot be based on simply your opinion about the issue.
What is a summary?
A summary is simply a recounting of the main points of an article. But what should it really include? How is the summary formatted? The best way to learn how to write a summary is to read and examine someone else’s summary.
Before you read the rest of this lecture, please read the short essay entitled “Sticks and Stones and Sports Team Names” from the bottom of page 255 through page 257 in your 10th edition textbook (pages 275-276 in your 9th edition textbook).** After you’ve read this essay, then please continue with the lecture.
A Sample Summary
The following is an example of how one student summarized the article “Sticks and Stones and Sports Team Names.” (Remember: “Sticks and Stones” is not the article that you will be reading and responding to. However, this example does provide a good example of how to craft summaries in general.) As you read this example, ask yourself what you notice about the summary—in terms of purpose, focus, tone, organization and formatting.