Summary Essay

Watch Burt “Why People Need Poetry” and Biron “The Power of Poetry”. Summarize the two TED talks and comment upon some similarities and differences between the two speakers.

The essay should be approximately 750-1000 words (2-3 pages)

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Steps to an Effective Summary

— Note taking

◦ for gist

– Predict what should be remembered in preparation for writing
– What is important in each paragraph?
– Avoid full sentences and direct copying (form should be temporary and pliable, ready for other uses)
◦ Levels

– Record the levels of information within the paragraph
— general level (often quite abstract)
— Less general – begins to explain the abstract
— Detail or specific level
— When writing the summary:

◦ Signal words and introductions

◦ Attribute statements

◦ Characterize the action

– Acknowledge, advises, agrees, allows, argues, asserts, believes, charges, claims, concludes, concurs, confirms, criticizes, declares, disagrees, discusses, disputes, emphasizes, expresses, interprets, lists, objects, observes, offers, opposes, remarks, replies, reports, responds, reveals, states, suggests, thinks, and writes

Evaluating a Summary

Does it have a title?
Is it brief and in the student’s own words?
Does the summary accurately reflect the thesis of the article?
Does it exclude specific details and digressions?
Is the material introduced?
Does it characterize the action and attribute statements?
It does not use direct quotes from the original
Is it objective? I.e. does it represent only the author’s of the article’s opinion not that of the summary’s author?
Is the summary written in clear and concise language?
Is the summary written with the appropriate audience in mind?

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