Summary Response Essay
Directions: Submit your FINAL DRAFT to this drop box. Make sure you have followed ALL the
requirements for this essay. Please see below.
Purpose: A response essay with summary asks the writer to read rhetorically and respond to ideas
presented within a text. As a college student, you’ll often be asked to write papers in response to readings.
Professors assign response papers because they allow you to demonstrate your ability to read complex
texts carefully, understand what they mean, and think critically about them. Response papers invite you to
do more than just memorize key course concepts for a test. They invite you to begin taking your place in
the college community by “entering a conversation” about those concepts.
Skills: The purpose of English 111 is to help you develop and practice writing and thinking skills essential to
your success in college and in your professional life beyond school. Drawing on Bloom’s Taxonomy of
Learning Domains, we will focus on developing writerly “moves” that characterize strong written
communication. This assignment will ask you to practice the following writing skills: Understanding,
Applying, and Analyzing.
Knowledge: This assignment will focus on developing knowledge in the following course learning
(1) Compose texts that exhibit appropriate rhetorical choices, including attention to audience, purpose,
context, genre, culture, and convention.
(2) Develop and apply strategies for critical reading, critical thinking, and information literacy.
(5) Develop and advance thesis-driven compositions in an organized progression with appropriate
For this assignment, you will consider ideas presented in a text, write a focused summary of those ideas,
craft a thesis statement outlining your response to an idea presented in the text and then support that
response with evidence from the text.
From Gerald Graff & Cathy Birkenstein’s They Say/I Say:
the underlying structure of effective academic writing…resides not just in stating our own ideas but in
listening closely to others around us, summarizing their views…and responding with our own ideas in kind.
Broadly speaking, academic writing is argumentative writing, and we believe that to argue well you need to
do more than assert your own position. You need to enter a conversation, using what others say (or might
say) as a launching pad or sounding board for your own views. The best academic writing has one
underlying feature: it is deeply engaged in some way with other people’s views (3).
In order to prepare for this paper we will read the following article: Nicolas Carr’s “Is Google Making Us
Stupid? (Links to an external site.)”
To approach this assignment, you will read the text carefully and begin to consider some of the following
questions surrounding a focused idea presented in the text:
As reader, what was your response to that idea? Why?
What of the author’s appeals to emotions or reason influence your response?
Do you trust this author’s knowledge and information? Why or why not?
What of your own knowledge, biases, or pre-conceived notions of the issue influence your response?
In your draft, briefly summarize the reading and develop your paper in response to one idea presented by
the author. You will draw quotations and examples from the text to support your response. Information and
ideas that you use to support your ideas should be documented with appropriate MLA style in-text citations
and a bibliography (Work Cited page).
Criteria for Success
The Summary Response Essay final draft is worth a total of 100 points. A successful finished product will
meet the following criteria listed on the rubric below.
Summary Response Essay Grading Rubric
Summary Response Essay Grading Rubric
An introduction to the core text and the narrowed idea you will be discussing in your response10 pts
A focused summary of the text between 150 and 200 words including main idea and supporting points.
A clear and debatable thesis statement outlining the writer’s response to an idea in the text.
Content and Organization
Body of the essay has clear topic sentences and supports the thesis statement using a variety of evidence.
Effective Use of Sources
Writer draws effectively from the core text(s) direct quotations and/or paraphrases, uses attributive tags,
and explains the meaning and significance of the evidence.
Effective revision choices including consideration of peer and instructor feedback.
Writing Conventions and Exceptions
Mostly follows the conventions of standard written English. Has been effectively revised from the original
rough draft. Final draft is at least 850 words in length (about three double spaced pages).
Formatting and Documentation
Follows the guidelines for MLA formatting and documentation. This includes formatting for the paper, in-text
citations, and a bibliography (Work Cited page).
Total Points: 100