Summary Analysis Papers

Due Dates: See course schedule for S-A due dates

As you collect possible texts for your anthology throughout the semester, you will be composing 1-page summary-analysis (s-a) papers. These papers will be extremely useful when you write the preface to your book. In fact, some of the work you do in these papers might be copy-pasted directly into your preface (though, your preface will certainly have to be much more than a copy/paste job).

Your papers will be no more than one page, single-spaced and will have one-inch margins. Please include your name in the upper left-hand corner. One page gives you about 500 words to both summarize and analyze a text (this is not a lot of words). About 300-350 of those words will summarize your chosen text and about 150-200 of those words will be a rhetorical analysis of the text. Keep the following things in mind as you write your s-a papers:

Summarizing a text is not as easy as it sounds, especially when space is limited. The summary section of s-a papers should very concisely and carefully provide a summary of the text. This will require you to set aside your own thoughts and opinions about the piece while you provide a summary of what the author is saying. Because you are limited to 300-350 words, you won't be able to mention every single point the author makes. Your job is to decide what's important and to provide a reader with a clear, readable, fair summary of the text. Such a summary may require you to quote the article, but remember that you'll have to find a balance between quoting the author and putting things in your own words.

If the summary section focuses on "what" is said in your chosen text, the analysis section focuses on "how" things are said. This is not a section in which you give your opinion about the content of the text you've chosen. Instead, your job is to analyze how the argument of the text works. In this section, you should use the rhetorical tools we have discussed in class to dissect and analyze the argument (identifying spans and stases, examing various appeals, understanding how the argument characterizes opposing positions, etc.) Remember to reference chapter 18 in Having Your Say (which will give you some ideas about how to read critically) and chapter 9 in Writing With Style (which will give you some ideas about how to write your s-a papers).

Grading Criteria

The eight summary-analysis Papers will account for 20% of your grade. When grading s-a papers, I will be evaluating the following:

* Have you provided a copy of your source? This is required.

* Is your paper formatted correctly (one page, single-spaced, 500 words max, name in upper-left-hand corner)?

* Have you chosen an appropriate text? Could this text be re-printed as part of an anthology? Does it belong in a book?

* Does your summary fairly represent the argument made by the author?

* Have you used quotations from the author when necessary and used your own words to summarize where appropriate?

* Have you devoted the appropriate amount of space to the two sections of the paper? Remember that the word counts I provide are just guides (not strict word limits), but also remember that both summary and analysis have to be adequately addressed in the paper.

* Does your analysis apply the tools and concepts we've talked about in class?

* Is your paper written effectively and coherently with very few grammatical errors?

* Was the paper turned in on time? (Reminder: I do not accept late work.)

Scholarly Lite is a free theme, contributed to the Drupal Community by More than Themes.