Essay #1: Summary and Analysis For your first “formal” essay, you are to choose one of the two articles below to summarize and analyze. Your essay is due at the beginning of class on Monday, June 17



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Essay #1: Summary and Analysis

For your first “formal” essay, you are to choose one of the two articles below to summarize and analyze. Your essay is due at the beginning of class on Monday, June 17. This essay should be about four pages long; it should be presented in the appropriate format. You should print out two copies to bring to class, along with a copy of the peer review sheet. Essays which are handed to the instructor after the first ten minutes of class will be counted late.
After we have covered documentation and discussed and analyzed the sample essay(s) in class, you should look at this list and find an article you want to summarize and analyze on your own. Read carefully through the text you have chosen several times, marking important points and making notes. You should review the PowerPoint on Rhetorical Situation and the documents on Audience Analysis. Your summary will report the main points of the article; your analysis should look at all parts of the essay—the author’s persona, tone of voice, attitude toward the subject, the apparent target audience(s), the logic and details of the presentation of the subject matter. You may want to create a chart to keep track of your impressions and your evidence as you analyze each part of the essay and think about how they all convey a particular impression. Pay close attention to style, sentence structure, and word choice. Be sure to hand in any notes or invention exercises with your draft. At this point, you should not do further research on the topic, unless you simply go to the author’s home page (or departmental page at a university) to check on the author’s credentials; if you do that, you should cite that webpage too.

For the summary, your approach should be neutral and dispassionate; you just reporting what the authors say. For the analysis, you should answer questions in your thesis, such as “Why did the author choose this persona and style?” and “How does the author convey his attitude toward the subject matter and audience?” Think about the significance of the author’s choices. Consider how the subject matter would be handled differently if it were told from a different point of view, in a different style or structure, or with different metaphors. Notice carefully the use of language, including technical terms (jargon) and personal pronouns (that is, words like I or you). Look at the content and decide if the connections between the conclusions and the details and specifics are logical. These are articles based on research, so consider the methods used to come to a conclusion (or to confirm or disprove a hypothesis). In other words, evaluate the evidence and argument, if you can do so.

Remember that your thesis is the main point you are trying to make about the essays. You do not have to squeeze everything into one sentence; a thesis may be several sentences long. Your thesis should be supported by details, explanations, and examples from the text which are logically connected to your conclusion. When you quote from a text, you should quote exactly, using the same words and punctuation as the author and making sure your reader can tell who you are quoting. Anything you paraphrase or summarize should be entirely in your own words (except perhaps for proper nouns, that is, names of persons or things) to avoid plagiarism. You should review the discussions on the Purdue OWL webpages and the handouts page from UNC for help with documenting and organizing your essay.
Review of the Steps in this Process





  • Review choices for your essay and then select an article from among those listed below.



  • After taking notes and reading the selection several times, you should articulate your thesis. Your thesis statement should go beyond a generic statement and should explain specifically how
    and in what ways the article conveys information. Use whatever method you prefer of charting or noting your ideas and thinking. You should answer questions, such as “Does the author seem to be an expert in the field?”;“Why did the author choose this persona and style?”; and “How does the author convey his/her attitude toward the subject matter and audience?” Think about the significance of the author’s choices. Consider how the “story” would be different if it were told from a different point of view, in a different style, or with different metaphors. If you find that you simply don’t have a lot to say, you may need to go back and take more notes.





  • Develop details, explanations, and examples from the text to support your thesis. When you quote from a text, you should quote exactly, using the same words and punctuation as the author and making sure your reader can tell who you are quoting. Anything you paraphrase or summarize should be entirely in your own words to avoid plagiarism.




  • For basic citation information, go to one of these websites:

Purdue OWL, MLA formatting and documentation: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/


UNC Writing Center—citation and style guides:

http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/


  • Print out two copies to bring to class on Monday, June 17, one copy for the instructor and one for peer review at the beginning of class. Also print out a copy of the peer review sheet. Remember that essays which are emailed only will be considered late.


Materials to Use for Summary and Analysis
Before working on these, review the PowerPoint presentations on Rhetorical Situation and the information on analyzing audience. Think about who the author is, his or her credentials, the contexts of publication, the author’s point of view; look at how he or she writes about the subject and the purpose for writing. If you have trouble finding any of these or figuring out how to put your choice on a Works Cited page, please let me know. I can also provide more information on contexts, if you need help with that.

Where can you find these?

Both of these articles are on a database available through Oakton’s library site. Go to the main library site, click on “articles” in the left-hand column, and then on Academic Search Complete. If you are on campus, you will be logged in automatically. If you are at home, you can log in just as you do to My Oakton (same login and password). Once you have the search screen, enter at least one author’s last name and a keyword from the article. You should see the article title and access information (full text may be .pdf or .html). You can print or save the materials. The database will do a citation for you if you click on the “cite” function (right-hand side, next to the title and indexing information). Check this against information at Purdue OWL or UNC in case you need to tune it up a little.

Choose ONE of these to summarize and analyze for next Monday:
Myers, David G. “Intuition’s Powers And Perils.” Psychological Inquiry 21.4 (2010):

371-377. Academic Search Complete. Web. 9 June 2013.


Simons, Daniel J., and Christopher F. Chabris. “The Trouble With Intuition.” Chronicle of igher

Education 56.37 (2010): B13-B15. Academic Search Complete. Web. 9 June 2013.
If you want to know more about the subject of “intuition” and the debates surrounding the idea, you can go to Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Blink, parts of which are available on Amazon. I can also send you a section to read, if it interests you.








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