Goals and Goal Setting

Advice about Assignments

On Using the Resources for Writers

Selecting Readings

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Teacher Advice: Summary/Response Two

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:

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 resource packet.

Summary/Response Two

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.