Instructions for Summary / Response EssaySummary/Response Essay
For this essay, you should read the articles from the folder in this unit and choose one to respond to in a formal essay. The summary/response essay asks you first to summarize the main points of the article and to respond to those points by agreeing, disagreeing, or agreeing with some but not all of the arguments made in the article. You should include evidence (from the article, from your own reasoning, from examples, from experiences, etc.) to support your response.
Please refer to the calendar due dates. Please remember the peer review is a separate grade and has separate due dates.
Purpose and Learning Objectives
The purpose of writing a response paper is to encourage you to read actively and to evaluate the selected articles critically. While it is possible to read an article just once and gain an understanding of the main idea, much of the depth and nuance of the article will only be discovered after multiple readings. Moreover, your grasp of the ideas and concepts presented in the article will remain superficial until you apply those ideas and concepts in your own writing. As you write, you should practice making clear claims about the material you’re writing about and should practice supporting those claims with evidence from the text and from your own reasoning about the subject.
600- 900 words (approx. 2-3 pages)
An interesting and informative title
MLA format with in-text citations and works cited page
An introductory paragraph that tells readers what article you are responding to and that includes a thesis statement
One or more paragraphs that summarize the article
One or more paragraphs that respond to the article
A conclusion paragraph that wraps up the main ideas in the essay
You should not expect to earn a grade higher than a 60% if you do not meet the minimum requirements.
Process for Completion
The first step in writing a good response paper is to actively read the article assigned. Active reading means consciously identifying the thesis, purpose, audience, and tone. It means determining what main points the author is trying to convey with his or her article.
Next, it might help to construct an outline or graphic organizer that will help you visualize the claims and the evidence supporting those claims. Once you have a firm understanding of the article, start formulating your response by asking questions:
What do I really think about this topic? Why do I think that?
Do I disagree with any points being made? Why?
Do I agree with any points? Why?
Can I think of additional examples or evidence that support or refute the author’s claims?
Can I connect something in the article to my own personal experience?
Can I apply the ideas presented in the article to some other subject?
At this point, you should start to formulate your response. Once you have an idea of what you want to say, start drafting your essay.
The introduction should clearly identify the author and article you’re summarizing. It may include a bit of brief summary to show what the main point of the article is. It should include a thesis statement that presents your response to the article.
The body paragraphs should begin with a summary of the article that you’ve chosen (one or two paragraphs). Be sure to accurately represent the ideas and arguments from the source. Next, you should develop your response (between one and three paragraphs), usually with a statement of agreement or disagreement, followed by your reasons, examples, and evidence. Remember that the purpose of a response paper is to add your own voice to the mix, to join the conversation. I want to read your reactions, your interpretations, and your opinions. Take this opportunity to develop your own voice.
The conclusion paragraph should reinforce the ideas you stated in the essay.
Once you’ve drafted your paper, go back and review how you’ve organized your paragraphs (do they have topic sentences?) and integrated evidence (all quotes should be seamlessly incorporated into your own sentences).
When you’re happy with your draft, you should complete the peer review process to get feedback on your writing.
After you have read the feedback provided by your peers, continue revising and editing your draft. You might find that some comments are more helpful than others. You are not obliged to take anyone’s advice, but you should at least consider every suggestion. When you are comfortable that the essay is in good shape, upload it to eCampus. The final draft will automatically be sent through “Safe Assign,” which is an originality checker used to help identify plagiarism.
Plagiarism is using someone else’s words or ideas without giving credit and is a serious academic offense. It can range from:
Turning in a paper any part of which you did not write,
Cutting and pasting a paper together from various sources without attributing the sources correctly,
Changing a few words but basically keeping most of the words and sentence structure of the original,
Using the ideas of another without giving credit to the person who originally had the idea.
Using the exact words of the source without using quotation marks even if you give the name of the source.
Refer to the syllabus for consequences of plagiarism in this class. For more information, see http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/589/01/
Grading and Rubric
To access the rubric, go to the essay submission and select “View Rubric.” Please remember that the grades for peer are listed in the syllabus as separate grades.
Instructions for Peer Review
Peer reviews are an essential part of the revision process, as it’s important to receive feedback on your writing. Even the best writers ask for others to read their work. All you need to do is turn to the acknowledgement section of many books to find praise for others who have read drafts of the book. All important writing should be read by someone else prior to submission.
To earn credit for peer review, you must submit a draft to the peer review discussion board by the due date and comment on one of your classmates’ drafts by the second due date (the schedule lists two due dates: the first is when you must submit your draft; the second is when you must submit your responses to others). You must submit a draft AND comment on someone else’s draft to earn any credit for peer review. Just submitting a draft OR just commenting on someone’s draft will not earn credit.
Posting Your Draft
To post your draft, go to the discussion board for peer review included within the unit.
Create a new thread and post your draft as an attachment. Your attachment must be saved as a .doc or .docx document. Please ensure that your draft uploads correctly.
Responding to Classmates
Select a classmate’s thread and download his/her attached draft.
Reply to his/her thread to indicate the draft is under review (i.e. John Dow is currently reviewing the document). Do not select the paper if someone else is already reviewing.
Read the draft carefully and respond to the questions listed below, either in a new document or at the top of your classmate’s document. At the very least, you must answer the questions, but you can also use the “Comment” function in Microsoft Word to write comments to your classmates within the essay (put your cursor where you want the comment, go to the “Review” tab in Microsoft Word, and select “New Comment”).
Complete the review and save the document to your computer.
Once you have completed the review, reply to your classmate’s thread and upload the review.
Questions for Peer Review
1. Read your peer’s essay from beginning to end just to let its ideas wash over you. What are your initial thoughts? Did your peer satisfy the requirements of assignment? Please explain in detail.
2. Review the essay’s title as well as its introduction and conclusion. Think about the relationships among these three components. Do they match or do they disagree? Make note of strengths or weaknesses in these crucial areas. Please explain in detail.
3. Find the essay’s thesis. Is it clear? Is it well positioned? Paraphrase (put in your own words) the thesis of the essay to check your understanding. Review the assignment guidelines to ensure that your peer’s thesis is on target. Make note of strengths or weaknesses in this area. Please explain in detail.
4. Focus on the individual paragraphs of the essay. Does each paragraph have a topic sentence that previews the ideas of the paragraph? Observe the essay’s development of paragraphs. Does each paragraph have a single main idea that relates to the thesis? Are there any paragraphs that seem disconnected or out of place?
5. Consider the essay’s use of the English language. Are sentence structures, grammar, spelling, punctuation and mechanics employed effectively, or do errors distract the reader from understanding and enjoying the writer’s analysis? Make note of strengths and weaknesses in this area. Please explain in detail.
Remember: When in doubt about how to do the peer review, be honest, helpful, and constructive. Saying “Great job! Don’t change a word!” never helped anyone to be a better writer.