We discuss the importance of purpose, audience and context not only for these
items we’ve read but also for the summary we have written. We ask: How is
summary guided by our purposes even as we attempt to make a fair representation
of a document? How does Schemo herself summarize Atkinson’s proposal and why
does she include other perspectives in her article? How might you characterize
the perspectives and the affiliations (values, beliefs, contexts) of the
represented voices in the conversation Schemo reports on here? What else do you
anticipate that Atkinson may have explained or argued in his full speech? What
else do you want to know about his proposal and about Atkinson himself? Today
we also work on paraphrasing and quoting.
Connection to Course
Goals: Applying the writing situation model to Schemo’s article will help
students think more critically and objectively about both Schemo’s report and
Atkinson’s argument. By understanding a writer's purpose and context for
writing, specifically by sorting through the ownership of the various
perspectives suggested within Schemo’s article, students are more likely to
learn to represent the writer's key points rather than their own interpretation
of these points. Introducing types of response aims to meet the goal of
responding critically to a text for Essay 1.
A Possible Sequence of Activities for Today
1.WTL - have students reflect on writing a summary for
Schemo’s article. What were the challenges of summarizing a journalist’s report
of another person’s proposal?
2.Review the writing situation model to Schemo’s article
the importance of purpose, audience and context for writing summaries
4.Discuss effective use of paraphrasing and quoting. (See
page 194 in PHG)
(5 minutes): Type up instructions on an overhead, asking students to
reflect on the process of writing their summaries for Schemo’s article. What
did they find most difficult or challenging? What did they find easy or more
accessible? What special challenges are involved with summarizing a third
party’s report on another person’s ideas?
WTL responses in groups (5 - 7 minutes): Have students get into groups of
three or four and ask them to discuss their responses to the WTL. Then, open
the discussion up for the entire class.
Sample Introduction: Today
we're going to review the guidelines for summary in the PHG. Then, we'll use the writing situation model to expand these
guidelines. Hopefully, this will help you with some of the difficulties you may
have experienced when writing your academic summary for today. At the end of
class, we'll begin discussing the different ways you can respond to a text
after you've successfully summarized it.
the guidelines from the PHG page 160 (5 minutes):Review these with
students and check for understanding along the way by asking them to rephrase
some of the points in their own words. Highlight important concepts like
"objectivity" and "accuracy.”
Transition to Next Activity:Now that you know the basic guidelines for summary, let’s
expand on those guidelines by considering the writing situation. To do this,
we'll turn again to Schemo, applying the writing situation model to Schemo’s
application of the writing situation model to Schemo (10 minutes):You
may wish to review this section carefully since you have probably already
applied the writing situation model to Schemo in the last class, but use this
opportunity to cover any points you didn’t get to, to quickly review past
points relating to the Writing Situation Model’s application to Schemo, or to
enlarge upon the points with the substance provided below. The goal for this
activity is to help students learn to summarize by considering an author's
purpose, audience, readers, and context. The PHG suggests that an academic summary should include the main
points from a text, but students often have trouble locating these. Sometimes
their attempts at representing main ideas result in incoherent summaries that
read more like a "list of semi-related ideas." We find that students
represent arguments with much more accuracy when they address the writer's
purpose (the main points seem to emerge from this).
this activity then, you might draw the writing situation model on the board
(the same one you introduced on Day 2). Be sure to include texts, readers,
writers, and context. You don't need to worry about limitations, requirements,
or opportunities since it will be difficult here to speculate around these
things. Ask students the following questions and connect their responses to the
writing situation model. Note: possible responses and prompts are listed in
parenthesis following the questions. It may be particular interesting for your
students to answer your question regarding the timing of the article and the
speech. Which came first?? What does such a phenomenon as the news preceding
the event being reported suggest about “news” and the reliability and
ethics of print journalism? What questions do your students have as readers of
“the nation’s newspaper” after seeing this article and (in a larger context)
knowing the current events (summer of 2003’s news) related to plagiarism by
feature reporter, Jayson Blair of the Times?
Why is there such a rush to get “all the news that’s fits to print?” When is
news being reported and when is news being made by media?
·One final time: Can you describe Schemo’s text?
(a news piece, a balanced report, a primary source or document, a FORECAST of
an upcoming speech!, a precursor to the primary source of real interest—the
·When was this text was written and where did it
appear? (New York Times—2001.) Do you
know whether the U of CA actually adopted the proposal Schemo reports?
·Who was Schemo speaking to? Who were her
intended listeners? (Consider the context where it was found. Most likely
well-educated New Yorkers)
·What were her purposes for writing this text?
What was she trying to accomplish? How does her purpose differ from Atkinson’s?
Does she give indications (directly or through subtle clues) of her point of
view on Atkinson’s proposal? [If students see an indication of Schemo’s point
of view, have them point to specific locations and explain their
·What cultural phenomena or larger cultural
trends, currents, or pressures is Schemo’s report on Atkinson's speech a
response to? (Possible answers might include: The limitations of standardized
testing as a criterion for admission to large, public universities. The ongoing
debate over best practices when it comes to college admissions. The emphasis
upon testing as a means for demonstrating the “new accountability” in
education. Concerns over high stakes testing.) To what extent is the
controversy over the SAT a part of Schemo’s readers' cultural environment or
experience? How might this affect the way they read and respond to Schemo’s
·What assumptions might Schemo have made about
her readers’ needs or interests? What did she think they needed?
·Was she right to assume these things? Why/why
·Given whom her readers are and what she was
trying to accomplish, how effective (fair, accurate, and balanced) is Schemo’s
report on Atkinson’s proposal? Please explain.
the importance of purpose, audience, readers, and context for writing
summary/response essays (10 minutes):Look back at the list of
responses on the board and ask students why it might be important to think
critically about the writing situation for a particular text. Why might it be
especially helpful to do this before completing an academic summary of and
response to an author's argument?
Some possible responses:
·It is important for us to understand the
writer's situation in order to treat his/her text accurately and fairly.
·It helps us maintain greater objectivity and
represent the writer's key points rather than our own interpretation of
·Thinking about purpose and audience helps us
find the main ideas and key points in a text.
·Understanding an author's context (his/her
relationship to a topic and the cultural need to write about it) helps ward off
emotional reactions such as, "I bet Atkinson doesn't understand what it’s
like to hate your high school! How can people like me ever show that we’re
smart and can make it in college if we don’t have an SAT?”
ask students if there is any information listed on the board that they should
include in their academic summaries:
·context and audience (where/when it was written and
·purpose for writing (why the writer has produced
this text and what it is responding to)
Be sure to emphasize purpose. Tell students that knowing a writer's
purpose will help them locate key points and evidence (you might even have them
add "State the writer's purpose" to the criteria in the PHG). Also, tell them that it is not
enough to just list key points and evidence when summarizing. They
should explain how key points and evidence function in the text (or how they
help serve the writer's purpose - See the example below).
7. Example of how to summarize key points and
evidence (5 minutes):(You may want to have this on an overhead)
a.Schemo reports the perspectives of involved parties in
the college admissions criteria debate. Her goal is to show that while not
everyone agrees on the desirability of Atkinson’s proposal taking hold, nearly
everyone is moved to address the issue of the SAT’s role in college admissions.
b.To clarify that not everyone sees the end of the SAT as
a good thing, Schemo brings in the perspectives of many voices, some who oppose
Atkinson’s proposal and some who advocate it, but all—interestingly
enough—addressing it. Specifically, Schemo quotes the head of the College
Board, Gaston Caperton, who defends the SAT, saying, “it really measures high
achievement,” as well as the president of Fair-Test, Bob Schaefer, who
“predicted that Dr. Atkinson’s proposal would extend a debate on the validity
of the tests.”
c.Ask students which example is more effective and why.
effective use of paraphrasing and quoting (5 minutes):Design an
activity where you model effective and ineffective use of paraphrasing and
quoting. You might prepare examples beforehand OR have students help generate
ideas using Schemo’s article. You might use this opportunity to discuss the
differences between quoting from a primary source (the speech) and quoting from
a secondary source (Schemo)—not only the mechanics of “quoted in” but the
caution a writer must take in relying upon someone’s documentation of another’s
ideas/words. Reassure students that they will soon be reading the primary
document (Atkinson’s speech).
the following points (Use page 194 in the PHG
as a guide):
·Discuss where and how often students should use
paraphrasing and quoting in their summaries. (For example: It is ineffective to
string together several quotes, as this infringes on the writer's voice and can
become what is known as a “quotation quilt” [see PHG for more explanation of
this notion]; but it is also ineffective to paraphrase too often, as ideas need
to be supported with textual evidence).
that quotes need to logically fit into the sentence structure. For example:
Ineffective and Ungrammatical: Schemo reports that Atkinson says, " that instead
adopt evaluative procedures that look at applicants in a comprehensive,
Schemo reports Atkinson’s argument that "…these changes will complement
K-12 reform efforts."
·Note that it is considered weak practice to
quote someone else’s quotation of a source, as done above. But still
demonstrate how to do it if it must be done (Caperton qtd. in Schemo—see PHG
for more details in the Research chapter)
·Review any other points on quoting and
paraphrasing mentioned in the PHG or
that you feel are important here at the beginning.
Introduce the New York Times (10 minutes)should be brought to class
today. Introduce the layout of the newspaper page (backwards 6) and the story
structure (inverted triangle/pyramid) essential story components—the 5
W’s—funneling down to the detailed information so that the story can be cut
where space demands.) Students should be familiar with these features of the
newspaper after reading the assigned pages in the PHG. Also point out the news
summary on page 2.
survey the paper for something of interest (articles, ads, anything). Review
the special features of each day. Point out the editorial and Op-Ed pages and
the Letters to the Editor.
Explain the notion
of the News Clip Journal and how we’ll collect a minimum of10 articles on issues of interest, actually
physically clipping and pasting or taping them to notebook paper, culminating in a topic
proposal at the start of Portfolio 2, which
comes in Week 5. They will submit their clippings as homework at the start of Portfolio 2.
They should aim to collect an
article a day. Point out that they will need a minimum of 10 articles and a
minimum of 3 issues of interest as suggested by the newspaper by the third week
of September or start of Portfolio 2. Bring your NYT to class every day, and if
there’s time before class, read a section you haven’t gotten to yet.
A Sample Conclusion (points to cover)
·Today we reviewed the
guidelines for summary and discussed how thinking about purpose, audience and
context can help you write a stronger summary/response essay.
·Next time, we'll
continue discussing summary, using the full text of Atkinson’s speech, and we
will introduce the concept of response.
·One of the things we
hope you’ll pay attention to in these opening days and weeks of the course is
the way that we are following a conversation on a topical debate, in our
case the SAT debate. We are building our knowledge base on the issue and the
ongoing discussion, debate, or conversation. Notice that we started with a news
article that reported on an event of importance, which led us to understand
that a debate exists on this issue. As we learn more about this issue, we will
discover that while most people either oppose or support Atkinson’s proposal,
they do so for a variety of reasons. These differing reasons are at the center
of our discussions and will help us to understand how people can essentially
agree (be opposed or be in support) while also holding differing positions or
differing rationales for their perspectives on a topic.
·Take note of the fact
that the news article by Schemo gave us a fairly good overview of the issue and
its interested parties. Recommend that students refer back to Schemo from time
to time to ground themselves in the essential debate, to reflect upon the
varying contexts of the involved parties, and to consider how their
understanding of the debate has enlarged with reading.
students use the articles that they’re collecting in the same manner, paying
attention to not only the debate but the vested interests of the engaged
·A final point: As we develop our understanding of perspectives, we learn
what it means to hold a stake in an issue, to have a vested interest, and we
learn of the inevitability of perspective, or what some may call bias. We learn
to account for perspectives, or approaches to arguments, rather than to fear,
dismiss, or disdain them.
Assignment for Next Time
Read about responding in the PHG on pgs. 162 - 163. Read Dr. Atkinson’s speech in its entirety,
available through the link via Syllabase and Online Resources/Instructor
Provided. Type a paragraph in which you describe Atkinson's speaking situation
(focus on his purpose for making his proposal, but also mention his specific
audience and context). Then type out a list of main ideas/key points from
Atkinson's speech. (Try focusing on the beginnings of paragraphs to aid in this
process.) Post your paragraph and list to Writing Studio. Bring a hard copy of
your homework to class.