Short Summary Assignment

Short Summary (5% of final grade)

Write a 250+ word critical summary of the article. A short summary consists of one or two paragraphs that summarize the main points of an article with an overview of evidence for a reader who hasn’t read the article.

To distinguish between main points and evidence; between fact & opinion
To learn to attribute ideas to an author consistently throughout a piece of writing
To paraphrase accurately and ethically

To complete this assignment successfully

  • Read and annotate the article, noting in the margins the main purpose of each paragraph
  • Underline the main points of the article and number the evidence that supports it
  • Try making an outline of the article
  • Determine the article’s thesis (implicit or explicit)
  • Make a list of what to include in your summary
  • Draft, paying careful attention to attribution of ideas and/or citations
  • Review paraphrases
  • Revise



  • Do you correctly surmise the thesis of the article (explicit or implicit)?
  • Do you include all the main points for this thesis?
  • Do you not emphasize interesting side points or interesting evidence?
  • Do you differentiate (if necessary) between more important and less important points, between main points and evidence?
  • How clearly do you present the thesis of the article and the supporting points?
  • Have you represented the author's arguments fairly, without including your own opinion?
  • Have you used attributive tags to discuss the author's ideas?
  • Have you used your own words when you paraphrase? (avoid quoting, instead paraphrase)


  • Is your summary organized logically so as to clearly present the argument of the article (without necessary mirroring the original order of the article)?
  • Have you used transitions to smoothly link the evidence to the main points?


  • Is the summary typed in Times Roman 12 inch font?
  • Is the essay clean stylistically, using concise and clear sentences, strong verbs and sentence variety?
  • Is the essay grammatically correct?

Grading Criteria

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