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Summarizing and Analyzing News Sources
In this first formal essay, we will practice summarizing and analyzing one of the sources that we read. As explained in A Writer’s Reference, sections A1-c and A1-d, summary objectively explains a reading’s main ideas, while analysis offers a judgment or interpretation of those ideas.
This paper asks that you practice both of those kinds of writing by completing the following steps:
1) Compose a thesis that makes a judgment of your chosen article. Is this article worthwhile for people interested in the effects of remote learning during COVID-19 or the benefits of going to college? What makes it worth reading?
2) Write a 1-paragraph summary following your introduction that pinpoints the article’s main ideas in your own words, including a brief quote or two where appropriate.
3) Write 2 or 3 paragraphs of analysis, focusing on why this article is worthwhile. How is it credible? On what kinds of evidence does it rely? In what ways is its approach to the issue especially important or thought-provoking? Why should your audience read it to get a better understanding of remote learning or the value of college?
You can choose any of the readings that we do for this first unit: Lederman, “How College Students Viewed this Spring’s Remote Learning”; Gallagher and Spivack, “For Students of Color, Remote Learning Environments Pose Multiple Challenges”; “PWCS students share their stay-at-home learning experience”; or Cassidy, “College Calculus.”
If you like, you can also add one paragraph near the end of your paper that offers your personal response to the article. Does your personal experience confirm what the article says? Where do you agree or disagree, based on your experience with remote learning and/or college? Be sure to give at least one concrete example from your personal experience to show their similarities to or differences from the article.
Strategies for Writing
Your overall claim should state #1 above. What makes this article worth reading?
Focus on your article as you explain what it says and how it says it. If you choose to add a personal response, make sure it comes near the end of the paper and is not the focus of the entire paper.
Organize your essay with an introduction that gets readers’ attention and states your overall claim. Compose body paragraphs that both summarize and analyze. Write a conclusion that sums up your main points and explains why this is an important issue.
Develop your paper with concrete textual evidence, using direct quotes and paraphrases to highlight ideas and show how the author gets to those ideas.
The paper must be 900-1200 words (about 3-4 pages, with 300 words per page), typed, double-spaced, in a standard 12-point font, such as Times New Roman or Ariel, and formatted according to the rules of your chosen citation style. Submit the rough and final drafts in Blackboard as Word or PDF documents on the due date.