For example, if you are passionate about a particular element of social justice and see links among various articles in different sections of the Broadview text, you might base your choice of which articles to summarize/evaluate on this common theme. Alternatively, if you are a big fan of sports, you’ll find several articles that would invite a focus on sports as popular culture. The choices are manifold and, ultimately, up to you.
Our next Broadview section is entitled “William Brennan Julie Washington’s Quest to Get Schools to Respect African-American English” Summarize it, and then evaluate it. Use your own personal examples to explain whether you basically agree with, disagree with, or recommend modifying the author’s argument in some way.
First, they should be a minimum of 700 words. If they are shorter than that, you’ll receive an F. Ok? We’re clear on that?
2. You should aim for as brief yet complete a summary of the article as possible, giving more attention to your evaluation. That’s because I’m more interested in hearing what you have to say about the topic than in re-reading the article. I can do that by myself. What I really want to know is: What do you think? So, at the extreme end of the spectrum, the ratio of summary to the evaluation should be no more than 50/50: half summary, half evaluation. Ideally, you can write a lucid summary in one healthy paragraph and spend the bulk of your time writing your own evaluation. That ideal ratio is more like 20% summary/80% evaluation. Let’s lean that way.
3. The summary must contain the author’s thesis. That is, what is the main point or the main argument that the author is talking about? What is he or she trying to convince you to do or to believe?
4. The summary should be written using your own words. Avoid simply quoting the author. Good summarization involves putting ideas into your own words, because that process ensures that you have mastered the ideas. Anyone can simply re-key words that they see on a page. But do they really understand what those words mean? Putting the ideas into your own words demonstrates that you possess those ideas as part of your own intellectual domain.
5. The evaluation must clearly state what you think about the author’s thesis. Do you agree? Disagree? Agree a little bit but have a slightly different take? Most importantly, however, the evaluation should explain why. Why do you agree or disagree? You should base the explanation of this “why” on your own experiences of popular culture, citing your own examples. I cannot emphasize this enough: the evaluation must contain examples that illustrate your own argument. The examples should come from your own reading, listening, watching of texts, music, fashion, film, television, and myriad other pop culture products.
DO NOT USE OR CITE OTHER SOURCES. MAKE IT PERSONAL. USE REAL LIFE EXAMPLES AND EXPERIENCES.
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