Purpose of Essay:
This next essay will ask you to respond to a single written text. We will be writing this time, however, for an academic audience—best imagined, perhaps, as your professors and other college-educated people—who have certain expectations about what makes a “reasonable” response to a written text.
There are many ways to respond to a text (see handout for help), but academic writing values certain kinds of responses that are both respectful of a text’s author and stay “true” to the points the author is making. As a result, this essay will ask you to write a balanced essay that fairly summarizes and discusses the published essay, while offering your own response to the essay’s ideas. That said, however, you will also need to choose a focus for your own response that may not (and probably should not) “cover” every point the author makes. Imagine this essay, then, as a response to an essay for an academic audience who is interested in what YOU think about the author’s ideas.
TWO related purposes are involved in writing a summary-response essay: (1) to demonstrate your understanding of the reading selection; (2) to express your informed opinions about HOW and WHY the author wrote the essay.
With all this background information in mind, you will write a summary-analysis-response essay in reaction to one of the following essays from Patterns:
Amy Tan—“Mother Tongue”
Brent Staples—“Just Walk on By: A Black Man Ponders His Ability to Alter Public Space”
Deborah Tannen–”Sex, Lies, and Conversation”
Follow the steps: the close/active reading as you read with PURPOSE of understanding the author’s point and making claims about HOW and WHY the author wrote the essay. Then reread your essay/notes and write a FOCUSED SUMMARY of the essay and WORKING ANALYTICAL THESIS, then look for EVIDENCE to support. Next FREEWRITE about your chosen evidence, then WRITE a TOPIC SENTENCE.
Remember to consider this essay to be more “academic” in tone; — i.e. you are writing primarily for your fellow writers in class and your professor. • Include relevant quotations AND INTRODUCE those quotations. • MLA In-text Citations and MLA Work Cited entry.
Your essay should be at least three (3) pages but no longer than five (5) pages — double-spaced and word-processed — with 1.0 margins, and a 12-point “normal” font (Times New Roman). No title page is needed; put your name, the course, my name, and the date in the upper left-hand corner of the first page. No separate Works Cited Page Needed; put the citation information at the bottom of your last page. Must be cited in MLA using the Patterns text.