summary essay

Write a summary and response essay based on the article that you were assigned. The summary should be 5 paragraphs long and 4-6 sentences per paragraph. The paper must be in APA format. Here are some tips and suggestions to help you with your writing.

A summary/response is a natural consequence of the reading and annotating process. In this type of essay, writers capture the controlling idea and the supporting details of a text and respond by agreeing or disagreeing and then explaining why.

The first step after active reading is writing a summary. Writing summaries is a common practice in college. They pull together the general conclusions and approaches of experts who have done research in a particular subject. Summaries should be written in your own words although you could include short quoted excerpts if you decide the author’s or speaker’s words summarize a point most precisely. Try to use pertinent quotations from the source, working them in gracefully where appropriate. Probably the best way to write a summary is to ask your self the following questions:

–What issues are described, explained or resolved in this work?

–What is the controlling idea?

–What are the supporting details?

–What results or conclusions are made?

–What opinion does the author want readers to keep in mind about this topic?

–What information does the author use to convince readers?

After you have written your summary, double-check to be sure that all facts you included are correct.

a) State the author’s name and the title of the article you are summarizing in the first 1-2 sentences of the summary.

b) Express the author’s main idea in your own words in the first 1-2 sentences of the summary (no more than three words in a row from the text you’re summarizing.)

c) Identify main points that support the main idea. Write the main points in your own words (no more than three words in a row from the text.)

d) Use minor details (e.g. examples, explanations and specific details) only when needed to support the main points.

e) Arrange the ideas so the organization and transition words in the summary paragraph reflect the original text.

f) Show that you are summarizing someone else’s ideas with expressions like “According to” + author’s name or author’s last name + a signal verb.

Preparing a Response

Response, in this case, connects personal experiences, ideas, observations, and/or opinions with the article you have been actively reading. It provides you the opportunity to explain your thoughts about the author’s argument. To do this well, you need to consider how you “see” the article’s main idea in the real world, how it influences you or others, and what are its causes, effects, and potential solutions.

Two Typical Organizational Formats for Summary/Response Essays:

1. Present the summary in a block of paragraphs, followed by the response in a block:

Paragraph 1 – Intro/thesis
Paragraph 2 – Summary
Paragraph 3 and 4 – Agreement (or disagreement)
Paragraph 5 – Conclusion

Note: Some essays will incorporate both agreement and disagreement in a response, but this is not mandatory.

2. Introduce the essay with a short paragraph that includes your thesis. Then, each body paragraph summarizes one point and responds to it, and a conclusion wraps the essay up.

Paragraph 1 – Intro/thesis
Paragraph 2 – Summary point one; agree/disagree
Paragraph 3 – Summary point two; agree/disagree
Paragraph 4 – Summary point three; agree/disagree
Paragraph 5 – Conclusion

Finally, please refer to this webpage… for information about how to create a reference page for an electronic source.

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