To summarize each essay, first do a close reading of the text. Ask yourself the following questions: What is the author’s thesis/main idea? How does the author support his or her ideas? What are the main points of the argument? In your summary you will be asked to convey this information to your readers without expressing your opinion.

IntroductionBelow is a general overview of the requirements and format for your summary/analysis journals, which you will be completing throughout the semester.Please Note: You should submit your second journal entry about Neil Postman’s The Judgment of Thamus belowOverviewThroughout the semester, we will discuss a variety of texts to prepare you for writing essays. For each text, you should identify the thesis and key defining points. Once you’ve articulated these aspects of the articles, you’ll then respond to them with your critical analysis about the effectiveness of the arguments and rhetorical strategies.Each journal entry must contain both a summary and a rhetorical analysis (in separate paragraphs).How should I write each summary?To summarize each essay, first do a close reading of the text. Ask yourself the following questions: What is the author’s thesis/main idea? How does the author support his or her ideas? What are the main points of the argument? In your summary you will be asked to convey this information to your readers without expressing your opinion.How should I write each analysis?In your analysis, you will be asked to evaluate the argument that the author is making. To begin this task, do another close reading of the text and look for the author’s rhetorical strategies. What is the author’s perspective? Does the author do a good job supporting his or her arguments or is the argument weak in some way? Has the author effectively used ethos, pathos and/or logos? Who is the author’s audience? Are you convinced by the author’s arguments? Why or why not?Steps for Writing a SummaryRead through the entire original to get an understanding of the whole piece. In your notebooks, write in your own words the point of the piece, which you will usually find in the introduction, and its conclusion.Reread and underline or highlight the important ideas. Carefully check the beginnings of paragraphs for topic sentences that announce new points. Normally, you will not want to highlight supporting facts, but some may be so striking or otherwise important that you will want to include them in your summary.Annotate: In the margin or in your notebooks, write the main ideas from step 2 in your own words. Then, choose appropriate signal verbs for these ideas and write them down.Now write the introductory statement of your summary, explaining what the original is about. Try to confine yourself to one sentence – two at the most.Decide on the order in which you will want to present the main points of the original. Review the material you have highlighted or underlined to make sure you cover everything.Write the body of your summary, using your own words (paraphrasing) and making sure to cover all the key points. When paraphrasing, use new sentence structures and synonyms for key terms. Also, don’t forget author tags with signal verbs (Smith contends) to remind the reader that the ideas are not your own.Write your last part, in which you explain what the original author’s conclusions were. Do not include your own opinions.Steps for Writing a Rhetorical AnalysisRead through the entire original and examine the author’s main idea, audience and rhetorical strategies. Cite specific examples where the author has used ethos, pathos and logos. However, try to avoid using the terms “ethos, pathos and logos” and instead use specific examples of the types of rhetorical strategies used by the author. For example, rather than referring to an author’s pathos, you would reference a specific example (quote or paraphrase) of her sense of humor and/or how she appeals to our empathy/sympathy/compassion.On a separate sheet of paper, write these examples down. Make sure to use quotations and paraphrases (this is part of your prewriting).Now write the topic sentence of your analysis, making a claim about the author’s rhetorical strategies.Decide on the order in which you will write your supporting points. These will include the examples that you wrote down in step 2.Write the body of your analysis, using your own words to lead into examples from the article. You should also provide some thoughtful examination of the examples, which relate to your topic sentence. This is where you will use transitional templates to introduce quotations and to follow up with analysis and opinions that indicate your point of view in relationship with the original author’s. For more information on Templates, please see the Transition Template Guide.Each journal entry should contain the following:Topic Sentences:The topic sentence(s) of the summary should mention the author’s full name, credibility, and briefly summarize the overall argument of the essay.The analysis paragraph should have a topic sentence that sums up your critical perspective about the author’s argument.Supporting Sentences:In the Summary, the supporting sentences should sum up the author’s key points without expressing your opinion.In the Analysis, the supporting sentences should analyze the strengths/weaknesses of the author’s argument, discuss the author’s use of ethos, pathos and logos, and discuss the audience for the essay.TransitionsUse transitional words and expressions to connect your ideas together. For more information on transition, see the Transition Template Guide.Signal PhrasesMake sure to use signal phrases, also known as Author Tags (According to Smith, Smith contends, Smith reminds us that) to remind your reader that you are summarizing or discussing someone else’s ideasPresent TenseUse the present tense when discussing the author’s ideas, unless they are past events.MLA in-text citationsCite the author and page number (Smith 10) if the author’s name is not mentioned in your sentence, or the page number (10) if the author’s name is mentioned in your sentence. Omit page numbers for texts without page numbers.
Grading RubricA rubric is a grading guide that contains specific criteria that is used to evaluate student work. The levels of achievement will explain what you will need to do to successfully complete the assignment. You should strive to achieve the highest level. For essays and journals, you will be submitting to a Turnitin link, which has its own system for viewing rubrics.