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Summary/Response Paper Assignment
Your assignment is to summarize and respond to the “What Is a Human?” article by Peter H. Kahn,et. al.: What is a human.pdf
Your Summary/Response paper needs to be typed, double-spaced, and 1-2 pages long. The paper will consist of one paragraph of objective summary and one or more separate paragraph(s) of your response.
The objective of the summary/response assignment is to distinguish between summary and response and to lay the groundwork for the skills of summarizing academic articles and integrating quotations that you will need for the future essays. You may also want to read this sample summary/response paper as a model for your summary/response: Sample Summary Response.doc
In a brief paragraph of roughly 8-10 sentences, explain what the reading is about. Start with a one-sentence overview, which includes the main idea and an introduction of the title enclosed within quotation marks and the full name of the author (articles with more than one author can include just the full name of the first author, followed by et. al.). In this overview, also state the main idea. In the rest of the summary, summarize the main points of the essay that support this main idea. Keep the summary as concise as possible and make sure the summary is in your own words, retaining unique wording and short phrases from the original in quotations marks. These unique words and phrases such as “ontological” and “psychological benchmarks” often appear in more than one place in the article, so they do not require page number citations. However, do not include quoted passages that require citations in the summary. These longer quoted passages belong in the response. The summary should demonstrate your ability to capture the key ideas of the reading in your own words. In other words, do not copy the wording or sentence structure of the author. Stay focused on key supporting ideas and leave out minor details such as examples and statistics. Because the summary demonstrates your ability to explain the author’s ideas, do not include your own opinions, judgments, or evaluations in the summary paragraph—these belong in the response paragraph(s).
You will notice that the directions for the response part of this paper is similar to the directions for the Practice Discussion. Please feel free to use any part of your practice discussion post for the response section of this paper. No need to write a whole new response and do extra work! However, please note that this paper has the additional requirement of quoting a brief passage and responding to it, so please make sure you do this step as well.
After you have written the summary, start a new paragraph and respond to the reading in a brief paragraph of roughly 8-10 sentences. There are many possible ways to respond to a reading. You might explain what new ideas/concepts you learned from the reading. You can also explain whether you agree or disagree with the reading, but you must be specific about what you agree/disagree with and why you agree/disagree. You might explore how you felt while reading the piece. You can make connections to your own experience. You can raise questions or explore parts of the reading that were confusing. Don’t feel you have to do all of these possibilities—these are just suggestions. Just remember that a response is not a summary—go beyond the facts of the reading and express your own ideas and feelings about the reading.
Please also include a quoted passage from the reading to which you then respond. This will prepare you for the essay assignments. Quote the passage exactly in MLA citation format (see examples below) and include the page number. You do not need to include the author’s name in the parenthetical citation since you will have already introduced the author in your summary. The following quote is by Paulo Freire from Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Note the different ways you can use to integrate a quote into your paper.
Freire claims, “Solidarity requires that one enter into the situation of those with whom one is in solidarity; it is a radical posture” (49).
Freire is a strong believer in engaged, direct action: “Solidarity requires that one enter into the situation of those with whom one is in solidarity; it is a radical posture” (49).
In order to be an effective activist, one must “enter into the situation of those with whom one is in solidarity; it is a radical posture” (49).