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Writing a Critical Summary
In this unit, you will develop strategies to write a Critical Summary (or a summary/response essay on steroids, if you will). Please review the following assignment details. Due dates are reflected in the Canvas Calendar. Note that the first draft of this assignment will be due for peer review, but you will begin drafting parts of this essay in Module 2.
The focus on unit one is to ensure that you can properly asses and respond to another’s argument. In this unit, you will focus on accurately summarizing another writer’s argument. In unit two (modules 5-8), you will provide an analysis of the argument. So, carefully select the essay you will use from the list before, as you will be dissecting it for the next two major writing assignments.
Select one of the following essays from Current Issues Enduring Questions, 12th edition:
“Executions Should Be Televised” Zachary Shemtob and David Lat (Barnet et al. 63)
“The Pro-Free Speech Way to Fight Fake News” Suzanne Nossel (Barnet et al. 66)
“On Racist Speech” Charles R. Lawrence III (Barnet et al. 69)
“Building Baby’s From Genes Up” Ronald M. Green (Barnet et al. 448)
“Millennials Are Selfish and Entitled, and Helicopter Parents Are to Blame” Nick Gillespie (Barnet et al. 440)
Write a critical summary of your selected essay. In a critical summary, you are relaying the argument, but along the way adding your opinion and perspective, commenting on the quality of evidence, pointing out where the argument succeeds and fails, and asking further questions.
In short, your essay should contain elements of a critical summary.
Introduce: Provide the author and title and contextualize the information.
Explain: Identify and describe the thesis and argument.
Exemplify: Provide some of the author’s original evidence.
Problematize: Pose critical questions or provide an evaluation of the argument.
Extend: Ask further questions or apply, test, or consider the argument in ways that support your evaluation of it.
As the week progresses, we will work on developing accurate summaries, responding to another’s argument, and drafting the first essay.
In order to receive at least a C, your essay should . . .
be 850 to 900 words
be written using academic, formal language with few to no grammatical errors. Errors that do occur do not make the text difficult to comprehend
developed paragraph structure, where the writer uses topic sentences and the examples/evidence are unified
offer an accurate summary of the argument (explain and exemplify)
integrate sources (summarize, paraphrase, quote) according to MLA conventions
offer a detailed response to the argument, according the the critical summary elements (problematize and extends)
provide a works cited page