A Brief to Writing from Readings, Stephen Wilhoit


Writing Assignment #1
is an informative summary essay.

Approach and Requirements
In chapter 4 of your textbook, A Brief to Writing from Readings, Stephen Wilhoit distinguishes between the informative summary and the explanatory summary.  For this writing assignment, you will write an informative summary of the article “Welcoming a New Generation to College: The Millennial Students,” by Elam, Stratton, and Gibson.

Your essay should have the following:

  • an introductory paragraph with a thesis statement.

Wilhoit explains on page 67 what the opening section of your summary should contain.  In addition, on the bottom of page 75, the sample informative summary essay demonstrates an opening paragraph for a summary.

  • at least one body paragraph

As Wilhoit explains on page 67, you will “paraphrase the primary content of the source text.”

  • concluding paragraph.

As Wilhoit explains on page 67, the conclusion will “summarize the source text’s last key assertion, finding, or argument.”  You as the writer of the summary should not editorialize or make judgments on the text.   Rather, as Wilhoit points out, you should “be neutral and objective” as you summarize the key points.

Some strategies to consider when writing this essay:
On pages 78-79, Wilhoit demonstrates several strategies in writing a summary.  In following the advice from Wilhoit, you will want to read and annotate the material, perhaps construct a one-sentence summary for each section of the text, and draft the summary essay.  Before you submit the essay to your instructor, proofread the summary for grammatical, punctuation, and other errors.

A summary revision checklist is provided on page 80.  Please apply each item this on checklist to your summary before you submit it.

Note that APA formatting is expected for graduate papers. Please see Course Content for links to explanatory resources.

Summary Essay Evaluation Criteria

Content  (30 pts)

  • Accurately and fairly uses your own words to include all of author’s important findings, arguments and ideas
  • Includes all main points with sufficient explanatory details
  • Identify primary means of support author provides for each idea
Organization (30 pts)

  • Opening section
  •        introduces topic
  •        Gives full title of source text and full name of author
  •        Includes your thesis
  • Body summarizes one point at a time
  • Effective paragraph breaks and transitions
Scholarly Writing Style  (20 pts)

  • Clear and concise
  • Appropriate vocabulary
  • Avoid comments on topic, author’s idea, author’s style
  • Avoids “jargon”
  • Explains terms that may not be familiar to general audience of readers.
  • Identify any people you refer to
  • Provide sufficient context for understanding the author’s ideas
  • Third person
  • Note that present verb tense is generally used for book and article reviews, summaries, and critiques.
Correctness (20 pts)

  • Length as specified
  • Grammar , Spelling,Punctuation, Sentence Structure
  • APA Formatting
  • Sentence structure

 

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