Essay 2: Summary and Analysis
- Check Calendar for Due date #1: Complete draft for draft workshop. Upload to GoogleDocs and also submit to Blackboard
- Check Calendar for Due date #2: Revised draft to be graded. Submit to Blackboard along with the 2 documents of feedback you provided to your draft workshop partners. Also, in the "Comments" section, explain what revisions you made in response to the feedback you received on your draft.
- Length: 600 - 900 words
- Research: Choose a chapter from the PREFACE book.
- Format: MLA Style
- Relevant assigned reading:
- Read UP, Write UP "Writing Projects: Summary and Analysis"
- Examples of Summary and Analysis essays for discussion:
- Online Draft Workshop Instructions (for online courses)
- Draft Workshop prompts: Download draft workshop prompts (DOCX file)
- “Summaries identify the main points or highlights of a [text] and reproduce some details to explain those points” (UP).
- “In analysis, you look beneath the surface of the text to understand and explain what it means, whether it is effective for its audience, what it implies beyond its stated goals, or how it compares to other related texts” (UP).
To engage in summary and analysis is to take on one of the most basic activities in academic writing. Such writing typically expresses ideas in a kind of conversation with other people’s ideas. In order to make clear to the reader what the conversation is, it’s important to summarize those other people’s ideas. And in order to make clear where the author stands relative to those ideas, some analysis is usually required.
Summarize: To summarize is to report what the author has to say. First, identify the author and the title of the article, chapter, or book being summarized. Next, summarize briefly the content of the selected reading, with an emphasis upon what seems most important to you. If someone else who had not read the selection were to ask you what it’s about, what would you tell them? Provide only the most relevant and important details.
Quote and paraphrase as appropriate.
Analyze: To analyze is to consider how the author says what they have to say. How does the author argue their points of this text? What do you think of that argument? Is it interesting, disturbing, amusing, or … ? What makes you think so? What issues are at stake in the text? Choose one issue and make that your focus. Consider what we’ve discussed in class and draw upon your class notes as well as your thoughts about our discussions. What do you think of the way the author addresses the issue? Why?
Quote and paraphrase as appropriate.
Your analysis should about as long as your summary. Don’t write a lengthy summary and then provide only 1 or 2 sentences of analysis.
Choice of readings
You may use any chapter in the PREFACE book.
Be sure to format your paper according to MLA guidelines: 1-inch margins, the font Times New Roman, 12-point type, double spaced text, indented first lines for every paragraph. In the upper lefthand corner of your first page, type your name, my name, the name of the course, and the date of the draft. In the header of each page, in the upper righthand corner, include your last name and the page number.
- Focus: This essay should be about 1 of the chapters from the Preface book. In the summary, the essay should identify the main points or highlights of the text and reproduce some details to explain those points or highlights. In the analysis, this essay should be making a point about the chapter: there should be a clear focus to the essay.
- Accurate and meaningful incorporation of the Preface text: This essay should provide quotations, paraphrases, and summaries as appropriate. Signal phrases are varied and well written. There are no quotations without a signal phrase. Parenthetical citations are correct.
- Effective summary: The essay should identify the author and the title of the text being summarized. The essay should summarize, briefly, the content of the selected reading, with an emphasis upon what seems most important to the author. Only the most relevant and important details are included. The amount of summary is about equal to the amount of analysis.
- Effective Analysis: The essay includes only the most relevant and important details from the text being analyzed. The analysis presents a clear, focused interpretation of those details (not just more summary). The amount of analysis is about equal to the amount of summary.
- Language and style: Exhibits confident, skillful use of language. Sentences and paragraphs are purposefully designed and matched to content.
- Mechanics: No significant errors in grammar, punctuation, or spelling detract from meaning.
- Formatting: follows MLA Style
Discussion questions about example essays
Be specific, and be prepared to cite specific passages for each of the example essays.
- Focus What is the focus of this essay? In other words, what poing is the author or the summary and analysis making about the Preface text? (Keep in mind that we have a different Preface text every year.) How could this aspect of the essay be improved?
- Incorporating the Preface text: Does the author do a good job of quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing? Do they always use a good signal phrase when incorporating text? How could this aspect of the essay be improved?
- Effective Summary: Does the essay identify the author and the title of the text being summarized? Does the essay summarize, briefly, the content of the selected reading, with an emphasis upon what seems most important to the author? How could this aspect of the essay be improved?
- Effective Analysis: Does the essay include only the most relevant and important details from the text being analyzed? Does the analysis presents a clear, focused interpretation of those details (not just more summary)? How could this aspect of the essay be improved?