The ability to write a clear and concise summary in your own words is an important skill for success in this class and throughout your college career. This semester, you will be expected to incorporate summaries into your papers in order to respond to ano

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Assignment Introduction
The ability to write a clear and concise summary in your own words is an important skill for success in this class and throughout your college career. This semester, you will be expected to incorporate summaries into your papers in order to respond to another author’s argument or to support your own argument with outside information. However, while the basic concept of summarizing a text may sound quite simple, it is actually a process that involves closely reading and annotating the text, fully understanding a complicated argument in its entirety, and the ability to properly paraphrase an author’s argument and ideas in your own words.
Assignment Objectives
Students will learn how to actively read a text in order to understand both an author’s overall argument and the main points or ideas the author uses to support and develop his or her main idea. Students will then demonstrate their thorough understanding of the text by producing a clear and concise summary that effectively incorporates paraphrases and quotations (while avoiding plagiarism, of course). Additionally, students will demonstrate that they can write in clear, properly-punctuated complete sentences, and students will also practice writing in complete paragraphs.
The Writing Assignment
Read, annotate, and outline Jason Stanley and Vesla Weaver’s article “Is the United States a ‘Racial Democracy’?” published in The New York Times (located on in this unit folder/module). Once you thoroughly understand the authors’ argument and main points, write a 350 – 500 word (1 or 2 paragraph) summary of the article’s main ideas and key supporting points. Be sure that your summary includes at least 2 quotations from the article (full or blended). Also, be sure to introduce your summary with a full signal phrase and to use short signal phrases throughout your summary to remind your readers that they are reading a summary. Lastly, be sure to proofread and edit your summary carefully.
Do note that there are two key points in the authors’ argument. First, they critique some issues they see in the criminal justice system, and then they address the impact these issues have on the democratic process. Be sure that your summary addresses both main ideas.
Unit Modules and Skills
Before you begin planning and drafting your summary, you are going to work through a few learning modules to help you acquire the skills you will need to produce an effective summary, and we will be using and adding to these skills throughout the semester. To successfully complete this assignment, you need to work through the following lessons and modules:
Unit 1, Module 1: Avoiding Plagiarism and Learning to Paraphrase: In this module, you will learn what constitutes plagiarism, how to identify it, and some strategies for a avoiding it.
Unit 1, Module 2: Quoting and Integrating Source: In this module, you will learn the various ways to properly use quotation marks in your writing and some strategies for incorporating outside sources into your work. You will also learn how to use signal phrases to introduce sources and quotations.
Unit 1, Module 3: Strategies for Writing an Effective Summary: In this module, we will look at some of the best practices when writing a summary (what to do and what to avoid).
Unit 1, Module 4: Drafting and Revising Your Summary: In this module, you will read and take notes on the assigned text, plan your summary, draft it, and then revise it. This module will also include a few prompts to help you plan and draft your summary. We will then discuss some strategies for proofreading and editing your written work. Finally, once you have drafted and revised your summary, you will submit it to the Turnitin Dropbox located at the end of this unit folder. See the course calendar for the due date.
Resources Covered in This Unit
• Chapter on Summary from the book They Say / I Say, located on Blackboard.
• Chapter 54: “Citing Sources; Avoiding Plagiarism” from The Bedford Handbook (10th).
• Chapter 55: “Integrating Sources” from The Bedford Handbook (10th).
• Chapter 37: “Quotation Marks” from The Bedford Handbook (10th).
• Purdue OWL webpages on quoting, paraphrasing, summary, and plagiarism. Links to
these webpages can be found in the “Purdue OWL Webpages on Quotation Marks, Paraphrasing, Summary” folder in the Additional Course Resources section of Blackboard.

By reading this article: “Is the United States a ‘Racial Democracy’?” By Jason Stanley and Vesla Weaver. This article was published on The New York Times website on January 12, 2014.

759 Words  2 Pages

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