Summaries roughly should be 10-15% of the original. Thus, if you are summarizing a ten page article, your summary should be one-to-two pages. Your evaluation should be brief yet complete, using PERSONAL EXAMPLES from your experience at work, in school, through reading/watching media, and other venues that inform your insights into why you agree with, disagree with, or wish to modify in some way the author’s main argument.
- Follow general principles as covered in your Guidelines for Summarizing and Evaluating lecture.
- Follow the template provided in your lecture. That means: Use those four headings to organize your summary/evaluation. You are summarizing when you identify the author’s THESIS, MAIN POINTS, and CONCLUSIONS. You switch from “summary” guidelines at that point and start using “evaluation” guidelines in the final memo/email heading, EVALUATION.
In short: THESIS/MAIN POINTS/CONCLUSIONS sections of your memo/email refer to the author’s argument, while you are speaking from your own experience, using first-person voice if you wish, in the EVALUATION section.
Summarize and evaluate Dorothy A. Winsor’s “Engineering Writing/Writing Engineering.”
After summarizing Winsor’s thesis, main points, and conclusions, answer the following “Question for Evaluation”:
In studying engineers’ perceptions of the amount of writing that their jobs require, Winsor writes, “This study suggests that writing is, indeed, what engineers do. They inscribe a written representation of physical reality and then use more writing to build agreed-upon knowledge and their own characters as engineers. In inhabiting a world of language, engineers are not unique. Indeed, as I said in the opening of this article, they resemble the rest of us, just as our theories would predict. The engineer differs from the rest of us, perhaps, only in showing greater resistance to knowing that language mediates experience.” Do you agree or disagree that engineers “show greater resistance to knowing that language mediates experience”? How do you feel about the us/them binary that Winsor establishes in this piece, or do you think that she is fairly even handed?