Major Paper #3–Summary/Response

We will be working on this assignment for the next three units.  In this unit, we will focus on the summary.  In Unit 9, we will focus on the strong response.  Unit 10 is designed to provide time for revision.  The paper will be due at the end of Unit #10.


Most of us use critical reading strategies everyday to effectively process all of the information we are consistently bombarded with.  This assignment allows you continue to explore ideas of reading and writing rhetorically, as you will use different strategies to write your summary and your strong response.
The Assignment:
This assignment will have two parts:
1.) Summary
Summarize in 150-200 words the article your instructor has chosen from the assignment: “Children Need to Play, Not Compete,” on pages 270-274 of your 9th edition textbook (or on pages 276-279 of your 8th edition textbook or pages 287-291 in your 7th edition textbook).  In this summary, you should relay the article’s main points, completely and accurately, in your own words.  If you find yourself in a situation in which the author’s words needed to be quoted directly (perhaps for emphasis), you must make it clear that these words are the author’s by using quotation marks appropriately.  You will not want to quote anything over one sentence in length, and you will want to limit yourself to no more than 2-3 direct quotes, if you use any at all.  Remember that the whole point of this portion of the assignment is for you to restate the author’s points objectively in your own words.
In general, I recommend you structure your first sentence something like this:
In “Children Need to Play, Not Compete, Jessica Statsky…
This will function as the thesis statement of your summary, so this first sentence will need to convey the main point(s) of the article to give your reader an overall view.
2.) Response
Write a detailed response (1 ½ to 2 pages minimum, or at least 400-500 words) to “Children Need to Play, Not Compete.” Before you even begin drafting, you will want to decide on the terms of your response.  Once you decide on the terms (or grounds) of your response, you’ll want to figure out how you can support your points—using logic, outside evidence, examples from your personal life—whatever is appropriate.
Summary of  “Sticks and Stones and Sports Team Names” 
In “Sticks and Stones and Sports Team Names,” Richard Estrada argues that sports teams should not be allowed to continue using ethnic-based names and mascots.  Estrada claims that teams such as the Braves, Indians, Seminoles, and Redskins—no matter how established or popular—should change their team names and mascots, which are degrading to Native Americans.  He further suggests that the stereotypes accompanying these mascots, such as “tomahawk chops and war chants,” dehumanize and single out Native Americans, setting them aside from the rest of society.  “Nobody likes to be trivialized or deprived of his or her dignity,” Estrada asserts, and yet allowing ethnic-based mascots enables—and even promotes—such trivialization.  What makes matters worse, according to Estrada, is that such mascots target one of our nation’s least politically powerful ethnic groups.  He provides examples of other possible team names based on other ethnic minorities (such as the “New York Jews”), which would never be tolerated in our society.  As a result, Estrada concludes that Native Americans should be treated with simple human dignity, just like everyone else.   178 Words
So what did you notice?  What does the summary include?  How is it formatted?
Perhaps first you noticed that the student writer’s opinion of “Sticks and Stones and Sport Team Names” is not included.  Rather, the student is trying to simply convey the main points of Estrada’s original article.  Remember:   Whether you liked the article or didn’t like it, whether you agreed with the author or disagreed, your opinion does not belong in the summary.
Second, you may have realized that the first sentence is very important in the summary.  The first sentence must to three things clearly and concisely:  1.) Mention the name of the original article; 2.)  Identify the author of the original article; 3.) give a sense of the overall claim or point the author was trying to make.
Maybe next you observed that the original author was referred to in some way in every sentences. Richard Estrada argues, Estrada claims, He further suggests, Estrada asserts, according to Estrada, He provides examples, Estrada concludes—these are all called “attributive tags.”  Attributive tags are designed to remind the reader that these are Estrada’s ideas (not yours), and thus give proper credit where credit is due.  Notice how the student writer in the example above has varied his attributive tags, using different ways to refer to the author (Estrada and he), and using different verbs to explain what Estrada was communicating.  The student writer also varied the placement of the attributive tag in several places.  (Often the attributive tag comes at the beginning of the sentence, but sometimes an attributive tag will fit into the middle or end of the sentence.  You will also want to include an attributive tag in each sentence of your summary, and you will want to vary these references.
You may have also noticed that the student writer who is summarizing Estrada’s work has used direct quotes very sparingly.  Any time he did use even a phrase of Estrada’s word-for-word, he put it in quotation marks to indicate this.  **NOTE:  While in most papers you would need to use intext parenthetical citations such as (Estrada 280) any time you summarized any ideas or material from your source, these are not necessary in a contained summary such as this.  They will be necessary in future assignments such as the research paper.
Next, you may have observed how the last sentence of the summary really seems to wrap things up and provide a sense of conclusion.  You will want the last sentence of your summary to provide the reader with a sense of conclusion as well.
Finally, you probably noticed the word count, included at the end of the summary.  Sticking within 150-200 words is important in the summary, so I will want you toinclude your word count.