Academic Writing – Four Paragraph Summary, Analysis, and Response

[NOTE: this assignment does not yet have a due date for the final copy]

For this assignment, you will be working with one of the articles about language. You will learn to summarize, analyze, and integrate source material using appropriate MLA citations. You will also offer a personal response to the article. The essay is designed as an opportunity for you to develop many of the skills needed for a basic college essay.

Objectives—students will:

summarize a text            respond to a text                                write in an academic tone

analyze a text                    integrate source material            use literary present tense

Gritty details (this essay is heavily structured; pay attention to these):

finished product 4 developed paragraphs (2-3 pages)
write in 3rd person (this means using she, he, they, the writer, etc.) except for in 4th paragraph
do NOT use 2nd person (you or your) unless it occurs in quotations
use either the writer’s full or last name in references
use literary present tense to refer to article (may be exceptions)
have a clear topic sentence for each paragraph
have a single, clear purpose (focus) for each paragraph
be cohesive—parts connect, smooth transitions
cite all references to article with signal phrase and parenthetical citation of paragraph #
use MLA guidelines for other citations and format, including a Work Cited entry
Parts of the assignment

Paragraph 1: you will begin with a summary of the article, following the parameters of a summary:

begin with a summary statement (title, author, overall topic)
follow with sentences that paraphrase the main points of the article (make sure you are not too close to the original wording)
share information in the same order as originally in the article
use present tense verbs to refer to article
write in third person only
offer no opinion or interpretation
write in your own words; be able to justify any use of quotations
Paragraph 2: – you will write a paragraph that analyzes some aspect of the content of the article. You might choose to:

accept/agree with a point and explain why; reject/disagree with a point and explain why
point out a theme that the author writes about and why it is interesting/important/relevant/etc.
show how a point should go further or be different and explain why (this is correct but…)
comment on the writing style
something else I haven’t figured out
For this paragraph, you must use at least one direct quotation from your chosen language article. REMEMBER, you are NOT just writing a summary of what the author says; you are offering your opinion about it and then supporting that opinion.

Paragraph 3: – you will write a second paragraph that analyzes the content of the article, but this time you will use an outside source to support your point. You may choose to do any of the options for Paragraph 2, but you will need to find an article from an online source that will back up your point.

You may use either a direct quotation or a paraphrase of part of your chosen language article to analyze.

NOTES for paragraphs 2 and 3:

even though the share your opinion, both will be written in third person; instead of saying “I think the author makes an important point about…” say “the author makes an important point about….”
you will use references (in paraphrases or direct quotations) to the text of the articles
every reference to the language article as well as the second article you find online MUST be cited with an in-text citation, following MLA guidelines
use paragraph numbers for the in-text citations of the language articles, using this format: (par. #)
you will include a Works Cited entry for each of the articles you use
Paragraph 4: – you will write one paragraph that shares a personal connection with the content of the article. You might choose to:

share how you have experienced some aspect of the content
explain something the essay made you realize or consider
relate a brief narrative that illustrates a point from the essay
explain why you especially connected or did not connect with the content
another something that I didn’t come up with
NOTES for paragraph 4:

this paragraph will be written in first person
despite sharing a personal connection, this paragraph should begin with a clear link to the article; that is, reference the article in its whole or in part


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