Why does this person believe this thing i’m being told?”

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This assignment measures the following course objectives:
– Organize essay content into introduction, body, and conclusion paragraphs.
– Construct unified, coherent, and well-developed paragraphs with precise topic sentences.
– Apply grammar and usage rules correctly.
Prompt
For this assignment, you will summarize and respond to one of the articles listed below, dispelling a popular myth about writing. Remember: a good summary does more than just regurgitate what someone else said: it distills the text down to its core meaning.
Article chosen: Ellen C. Carillo, “Writing Knowledge Transfers Easily”
Then, read the article through to get the gist. With practice, you can usually do a mostly accurate summary after a single readthrough, but it’s a good habit to do one read, then go back and check your understanding.
Are there any parts you kind of get but not entirely? What about vocabulary that you mostly understand in context but are also maybe guessing about a little bit? Perhaps the article refers to an incident or an idea in a way that assumes you’re familiar with it, but you aren’t. Take some time to fill any gaps in your knowledge, until you feel you have an excellent handle on the article. These days, we have wonderfully handy tools at our fingertips (or thumb tips) to work with.
Then, begin drafting. You want to focus on the argument, really distilling it to its essence. As you write, you should give the argument to the author, using their name and a verb that conveys the fact that they’re the one making the argument, such as: “Warner believes writing an accurate summary is a ‘fundamental’ skill for writing arguments.” Notice the difference between that sentence and something like this: “Warner wrote about how summaries are used in arguments.” The second example doesn’t share any claim that Warner makes. It describes content rather than summarizes argument. Verbs like “ believes,” “claims,” “argues,” or even “says” (provided it’s followed by a claim) help to make sure you’re focusing on the original author’s argument.
Once you’ve identified the main idea, think about your audience. After hearing the central claim, they’re likely to be thinking, “Why? Why does this person believe this thing I’m being told?” Use the remainder of the summary to tell them why the original author believes what they believe. You will be supporting that initial claim about the main argument with a series of other claims. It’s like those Russian nesting dolls. You start with the big doll by making a claim, open it up, and then each doll is another claim that supports the one before it.
Once you’ve crafted a good summary, it’s time to respond with an argument of your own. Do you agree or disagree with the original author’s opinion? Or is it some mix of the two? On the one hand, I believe X, but on the other hand, I believe Y. A response to an original summary seeks to extend the argument by adding to it. This is not just a chance to say someone else is wrong (or right). It’s a chance to extend the conversation.
The best way to think of it is to go back to your audience. Think of them as an interested third party who is trying their best to understand the issue being argued over. Your response is meant to enhance their understanding.
Make sure you start your response by declaring where you stand (agree, disagree, or a bit of both), followed by answering the likely next question, “Why?” Focus on satisfying the audience’s curiosity over this issue while also trying to be the most persuasive voice in the chain of argument. This means not only being clear with your own claims but offering evidence and arguments in support of those claims.
Your Audience
Your audience for this project is a group of educators (though not necessarily English teachers) seeking to learn more about teaching writing.
Requirements:
– 2 full pages, double-spaced, 12pt. Times New Roman or Calibri, 1in. Margins; does not include Works Cited page
– Includes the major claims and all supporting evidence
– Accurately describes the audience, context, and purpose of the article
– Includes unified paragraphs with clear topic sentences
– All information is written in your words (no direct quotations)
– Information is arranged in accurate chronological order
– Conclude with a response that does not merely agree/disagree with the chosen article, but extends the conversation about the topic, offering evidence in support of your view.
– Demonstrate additional engagement through a more in-depth summary and response that is at least four (4) full pages long

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