The second summary/response is one of two essays that will constitute
the student's final portfolio (which will be evaluated to determine whether
or not s/he moves on to CO150). This is similar to the first summary/response,
but the idea is to move beyond the narratives to summarizing a different
kind of academic essay and to incorporate (an)other text(s) into the response.
If their discipline lends itself to this, you might try to find (with the
student) some kind of essay that ties in education with their discipline.
(If this seems like it will be too difficult or will unnecessarily complicate
the assignment, pick something else.)
The goals for this assignment are:
To continue to work on the student's critical reading skills by exploring
other "forms" of academic writing,
To continue to work on summary by doing the same,
To introduce the idea of texts "talking" to each other (in
addition to the student's own experience interacting with texts), and
To demonstrate the student's grasp of academic writing (focus, development,
etc.) in a piece that will be used to evaluate his or
How to respond to this assignment: At this point, you can start
to discuss the idea of a "dual audience" - the audience that
you posit for the essay and the audience that will evaluate the
essay (i.e. the Writing Center Director). You'll have already discussed
the conventions of summary/response, so you can ask the student to evaluate
his or her own draft based on those conventions. However, this kind of
revision might not take place until the second or third draft - the first
draft or two you might be concerned primarily with helping the student
decide on a focus for the response. Near the end, be sure to talk about
conventions for incorporating material from other texts into the student's
own writing (quoting, paraphrasing, etc.).
In the end, ideally the student will produce an accurate summary &
focused, developed response that is informed by some of the reading he
or she has done during the semester. If this seems overwhelming, though,
you might work on another agree/disagree response like Summary/ Response
1 (You might also need to do this if you've been working on assignments
for other classes, since you may not have been able to get to as much outside
reading). Similarly, if the student seems to be working with ideas that
don't fit the summary/response format, you might suggest a more inquiry-based
paper, where two or more texts interact, rather than having the student
respond only to one. In that case, you may want to use a modified Inquiry/Public
Literacy assignment sheet (from CO150) rather than the one in the student's
This assignment will give you more practice working with the summary/response format. This time, you'll be summarizing one of the articles you've been reading in the last few weeks. You'll also have the opportunity to use other articles you've been reading in your response, if that seems appropriate.
Purpose: (1) Summarize the purpose and main points of this writer's essay, and (2) Agree or disagree with his/her points based on your own experiences and reading.
Audience: The same academic audience as for the last essay you wrote (Summary/Response 1). This audience has not read either the essay you're summarizing or the other essays you've read. You'll have to give them enough information so that they will understand what you're saying about these other essays.
In this case, you have a secondary audience--the Writing Center Director will read this essay as part of your final portfolio. S/he will use it to evaluate your progress and decide if you're ready for CO150. So, you'll want to show him/her that you understand the academic conventions of writing that you've been talking about this semester with your tutor. Be sure to ask your tutor if you have questions about the portfolio or the evaluation process.
The goals are (1) to accurately summarize an article using the conventions of academic summary, (2) to provide a focused response to the article with a clear thesis statement, and (3) to develop your response using examples from other texts and/or your own experience that are clearly related to examples/ideas from the article itself.
If you're having trouble getting started, take another look at the "Summarizing" section in the back of this resource packet. You might also revisit the section on "Reading Strategies." Be sure to use your notes on the article itself - you might also make a two-column log for ideas.