| June 19, 2015


Begin your response by
a. Stating the author’s main idea in your own words and then
b. Elaborating on what you have paraphrased (“In other words, the author is trying to
convince the reader that…”).
Tip: Do NOT spend a lot of time summarizing the article. I’ve read the article, too, so all you need to do
is make sure I know YOU understand the author’s main point(s). Most of your time should be spent
RESPONDING to what was said, and I should be able to tell by your response whether or not you’ve read
the article.
2. State YOUR main idea: (“I think Semmens makes some excellent points. “ OR “Although
Semmens makes some good points about government becoming more and more intrusive in our
lives, I largely disagree with his main point.”)
3. Elaborate on your main idea (“In other words, I believe, for the most part that because
smoking is bad for people, it should be made illegal.”)
4. Give eXamples to support the point you’ve just elaborated. (For example, health care costs
would be drastically reduced if more people were required by law to give up smoking. This
reduction in health care costs would benefit everyone who pays for health care.)
5. Illustrate your point by making a comparison with something similar (if you’re in favor of
banning or severely penalizing the use of tobacco, you might illustrate your point by praising
seatbelt laws, helmet laws, other laws that protect us from our own stupid behaviors) OR (if
you’re against banning or severely penalizing the use of tobacco, you might illustrate your point
by comparing its banning to Prohibition or the loss of other sorts of personal liberties to
government intrusion

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