Essays Content

Objective: Develop strategies for identifying and representing the main ideas presented by a text; integrate other people’s ideas into your own writing; exercise your critical thinking skills and, in particular, your ability to synthesize ideas.

Description: Write a ONE paragraph summary followed by a 1-2 paragraph(s) response to the New York Times article “The Future of Black Politics” by Jessica Byrd.

Your summary should state the article’s main idea without getting lost in its details or examples. Once you have finished your summary, write a second paragraph that complements (agrees), challenges (disagrees), or complicates (agrees and disagrees simultaneously) that main idea. You may also assume an undecided position as long as you explain why you have chosen not to take it aside. To build your response, you may draw on your own experiences, ideas you learned in other courses or contexts, the news, or similar sources.

Quotations are not allowed in the summary, but you can quote in your response. Remember to quote strategically. Quotations are most effective when they 1) show readers you are accurately presenting ideas from the original or 2) maintain an important stylistic element of the original. Excessive quoting will lower your grade.

Your Summary Response Essay should be a MINIMUM of TWO paragraphs and a MAXIMUM of THREE paragraphs long (1 paragraph for the summary and 1-2 paragraphs for the response).

Name the author and the title of the article you are summarizing and responding to;
Present a clear statement of the article’s main idea;
Accurately represent the author’s point of view;
Identify, use and define (if necessary) key terms;
Paraphrase the author’s ideas in your summary (do not use quotations);
Include only information from the text in your summary (no opinions, reflections, discussions);
Present a clear thesis or opinion about the text in your response;
Refer to specific examples/illustrations in the text in order to support your thesis;
Correct spelling and grammar.
Properly formatted APA Title Page and References Page (no abstract is necessary for this essay)
Map the argument of your text. Start by identifying its main idea. Then identify any and all reasons and evidence the writer gives to support his or her argument.
Decide which aspects of the text interest you the most and use those findings to develop a position on the text.
Edit and proofread your work. Consider reading it out loud.

Some Brainstorming Questions
What do you know and/or don’t know about the topic of the article? Are you interested in learning more about the topic? If so, why?
How might the topic of the article relate to you? What effects, if any, might the topic of the article have on your own life and/or the lives of your family and friends?
How do the opinions expressed in the article make you feel? How would you describe your emotional response to these opinions?
Imagine that you could lock yourself in a room with the writer, What would you have to say to the writer? How would the writer respond to you? For more information on Essay check on this:

What Is Ethical Judgment?

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