Writing Project #2 | Summary Critique (10%)
In your first essay, you will write a Summary Critique. A Summary Critique involves summarizing, but then requires additional critical analysis of the text. Critique is, in a sense, argument about argument—you are evaluating the text in terms of its content and form. The goal here is not to build your own argument about the given issue—you’ll do that later. Rather, you’re examining how an author makes his/her argument, and how well, given the audience he/she intends to reach. This kind of essay requires you to display your ability to understand a text, question it, and examine that work critically.
The purpose of this assignment is to allow students to demonstrate ability to:
• Write coherent short essays, including creating a strong thesis, developing logical analysis and synthesis of their own ideas and others’, and organizing paragraphs with strong topic sentences and transitions;
• Effectively write various expository genres, including summaries, analysis, synthesis, and argument;
• Select appropriate and effective evidence to support their point of view;
• Quote and/or paraphrase all sources accurately and correctly cite them using Modern Language Association (MLA) format;
• Demonstrate a basic understanding of the writing process by effectively prewriting, drafting, revising, and proofreading for errors;
• Demonstrate improved comprehension and use of vocabulary;
• Demonstrate a heightened awareness of their most common grammar errors and apply an improved understanding of the rules of grammar in order to recognize and correct them.
Your essay should be 2-3 pages long and be double-spaced, with one inch margins on all sides and your name at the top of the first page. Your essay should include an introduction, a conclusion, and well-developed body paragraphs. There should be a clear thesis statement in the introduction and clear topic sentences for each paragraph that relates to the thesis of the essay.
Introduction: Identify the author (full name) and title of the work (article titles will be in quotation marks and title case). What is the author’s main point? Who is the audience for this piece? In general, what is his/her rhetorical strategy? In your opinion, is he/she successful? (This is your thesis—the central claim that you will then go on to explain and defend).
Body: Summarize the work briefly in one paragraph, then go on to critique the main points of the argument. Make sure you consider the following: how are the author’s ideas presented? Does the author use good support? Given the audience you think the author is trying to reach, how successful is each point and the strategy he/she uses?
1. Review the following text that we have discussed in class: “Making Treatment Decisions for Oneself”
2. Understand the text completely. Pay attention to how the authors structure their argument: what is their thesis? (It may or may not be stated clearly at the start); what are the main claims? What evidence or reasoning does the author use to support those claims? What’s fact and what’s opinion? Which claims/ideas are the author’s and which are those of supporting or opposing sources?
3. Explain every point you make about the author’s rhetorical strategy thoroughly (not just what, but how and why.)
4. Use lots of transition words and phrases to show how the author ties his/her points together: “the author adds, suggests, argues, goes on to say, continues with, next claims….”
5. Paraphrase (and cite) to provide evidence, examples, and explanations from the source. Do not use quotes.
6. Provide an MLA works cited page at the end of the essay and use MLA format for in-text citations.
Follow this timeline to complete the writing process for this essay:
Steps Due Date
1. Draft 1 Monday, Oct. 26th
2. Final Draft Monday, Nov. 2nd
In this assignment, you’ll be graded on:
? Unity: Your ability to write an essay with unity. In other words, your thesis statement should be developed throughout the essay with all supporting paragraphs directly connected to the thesis.
? Summary: Your ability to clear express the main ideas of the text.
? Analysis & Support: Your ability to deeply analyze ideas and adequately support your ideas with specific details, well-explained examples, and reliable research/evidence using correct citation format.
? Organization: Your ability to coherently arrange and connect all the ideas in your essay. This includes clear topic sentences and transition signals between ideas.
? Language: Your ability to accurately apply rules of grammar, punctuation, spelling to develop a polished piece of writing.
? Process: Your active engagement and timeliness in the writing process. In other words, you should work hard to improve each draft, use feedback well, and give meaningful feedback to peers following our schedule.
Rubric | Summary Critique
“A” description “B” description “C” description “D” description
Unity The thesis statement is clear and specific, developed logically throughout with relevant supporting points in all body paragraphs and the conclusion. The thesis statement is somewhat clear, developed logically with relevant supporting points in most body paragraphs and the conclusion. The thesis statement is a bit unclear, and/or is developed inconsistently in the supporting points of most body paragraphs and the conclusion. The thesis statement (if any) is difficult to find, and/or readers are generally confused about its relationship to the supporting points and conclusion.
Summary Writing shows exceptionally clear understanding of the text as demonstrated by accurate and thorough summary of main ideas and key details from the text. Writing shows strong understanding of the text as demonstrated by a mostly accurate and thorough summary of main ideas and key details from the text. Writing shows some understanding of the text as demonstrated by a sometimes excessive or limited inclusion of main ideas and key details from the text. The writing may include inaccuracies about the text. Writing shows minimal understanding of the text as demonstrated by a consistently excessive or limited inclusion of main ideas and key details from the text. The writing may include inaccuracies about the text.
Analysis & Support
Analysis is consistently in-depth, detailed, original, and well-explained. Plenty of supporting evidence is used and citations are included whenever outside sources are used. A works cited list clearly lists all sources. MLA style is used correctly. Analysis is mostly detailed and well-explained. Adequate supporting evidence is used and citations are included whenever outside sources are used. A works cited list clearly lists all sources. MLA style is used with some mistakes. Analysis and supporting evidence may be insufficient, too general or limited in explanation in some paragraphs. Citations are included whenever outside sources are used. A works cited list lists all sources. MLA style is used with many mistakes. Analysis and supporting evidence is consistently insufficient, vague, or not explained. Citations are often overlooked when outside sources are used. A works cited list is missing. MLA style is used with many mistakes.
Organization The essay is consistently well-organized with strong paragraphs that include clear topic sentences. One idea follows another in a logical sequence with varied transitions. Both the introduction and conclusion effectively add to the coherence of the essay as a whole. The essay is mostly well-organized with strong paragraphs that include clear topic sentences. Ideas mostly follow each other logically. Clear transitions are used but could be more varied. The introduction and conclusion add generally to the coherence of the essay as a whole. The relationship between ideas is a little hard to follow. Paragraphs are inconsistently structured with some missing a topic sentence. Transitions are sometimes unclear or inaccurately used. The introduction or conclusion adds to the coherence of the essay as a whole. Ideas seem to be randomly arranged. Paragraphs generally lack topic sentences. Transitions are missing or misused. The introduction and/or conclusion minimally adds to the coherence of the essay as a whole; there may be a problem with either part.
Language Writing is nearly/completely free of grammar, spelling or punctuation errors. Advanced structures and academic vocabulary are used flexibly. Writing has some errors with grammar, spelling, punctuation, or academic vocabulary use. This is found especially with advanced structures. Writing has many errors with grammar, spelling, punctuation, and/or academic vocabulary use. This is found with basic and advanced structures. Numerous errors with grammar, spelling, punctuation, and/or academic vocabulary use make reading difficult and interfere with reader understanding.
Process Writing shows significant improvement from first to final draft. The writer is consistently on time and well-engaged throughout the feedback process. Writing shows some improvement from first to final draft. The writer is mostly on time and engaged throughout the feedback process. Writing shows limited improvement from first to final draft. The writer inconsistently participates and submits timely work during the feedback process. Writing is mostly the same from first to final draft. The writer is consistently not on time or engaged in the feedback process.