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Paragraph Summary Assignment

Due Date: Monday, September 30th (section10)/Tuesday, Oct. 1 (section6)

The Purpose

The purpose of this assignment is to have you experiment with constructing a cohesive, coherent paragraph that utilizes summary both as a strategy of development and a means of engaging the ideas in a text.

Preliminary Reading

  1. Read sections 4 & 46 in the Bedford Handbook, paying special attention to section 4e on paragraph coherence and section 46c, "Summarize to demonstrate your understanding."
  2. Read Jack Solomon, "Masters of Desire" and Roland Marchand, "The Parable of the Democracy of Goods"

The Assignment

Using the example on p. 484 of the Bedford Handbook as a model, write a paragraph that summarizes the argument in Jack Solomon's "Masters of Desire." Be sure to include a topic sentence for your paragraph and write a summation (final) sentence that helps pull the paragraph as a whole together.

* Follow the suggestions on p. 484-485 of the Handbook, especially the one that advises you to "think big" rather than getting bogged down in details.
* Be sure to mention the author's first name, last name, and the title of the article in your paragraph.
* You might find it helpful to outline the author's argument, paragraph by paragraph, before writing your summary.
* Be sure that your paragraph flows: even though you are dealing with a series of points, don't let your summary simply sound like a list in paragraph form.
* Don't forget that you are summarizing a text: your paragraph is about the article and author, not just the ideas contained in that article.
* Finally, beware of plagiarism. You may use the occasional quote, if you so desire, but make sure the exposition is in your words, not the author's.

The Format & Grading Criteria

Your summary should be one paragraph long; you may find yourself wanting to write more than one paragraph, but you should keep this summary as concise and brief as possible. Please type it in double-space format, spell-check it, and proof-read it for grammar and punctuation mistakes. In reading your paragraph, I will be looking specifically at the quality of writing, especially in terms of the cohesion and coherence of the paragraph. I also will be looking at the quality of the summary itself -- how well it demonstrates an understanding of the issues contained in the text in question and, then, how well it distills them into a single paragraph. You will receive comments on this assignment, but not a letter-grade.