Assignments for Section 2
To complete this unit, you will write and submit the Synthesis/Report Essay (see instructions below). Your
summary will be based on the reading “Brain Drain” by Adrian Ward, et al., from the previous section.
If you did not yet return to the Discussion Forum in the previous section to post your replies, this is a good
opportunity to do so!
linked itemResearch Readings for Unit 3 Assignments
Click here to quickly return to the folder containing the 3 articles required for this assignment.
Assignment: Formal Summary
For this assignment, you will be writing a formal summary of the research article you read in the first portion
of this unit:
Adrian Ward’s “Brain Drain” exercise will help you sharpen up your summary skills and practice close reading of sources.
Summary skills are essential to research-based academic work; while we may not often be asked to write a
formal summary, thinking about summary skills in this specific and focused exercise can help you to
practice processing what you read by identifying central ideas and examining work from a neutral
Begin by carefully re-reading the article – since you have already read it at least once (for your previous
assignment), this time read with an eye toward pulling out the essential elements. You should use the
critical reading skills we’ve been practicing, and take good notes. Once you have made notes or an outline
of the main ideas and points in the article, you can begin drafting your summary.
A summary is a brief restatement in your own words of the main ideas of a piece of writing. A good
Brief: For this assignment, your summary should be one or two paragraphs long — no more than one page.
The shorter the summary has to be, the more difficult it is to write. Use the most concise language you can
and do not repeat an idea, even if the original article does so.
Accurate: The summary must contain the main ideas of the original and no ideas that are not in the original.
The summary writer is not responsible for the quality of those ideas, but is responsible for representing
them fairly without opinion.
Objective: You have to keep your own opinions out of the summary, even in such subtle ways as writing,
“Smith’s best point is….” or “Jones is trying to prove….” (The latter would imply that he is not successful at
Use These Parts in Your Summary:
Title: Fully state the author’s name and article title either in your paper title, or in your first sentence.
Early Sentence Thesis: The thesis of the article you are summarizing should appear early in the summary,
sometimes even as the first sentence, whether or not the original writer used a thesis statement. You will
have to read the article to figure out what the main idea is. Try to put the thesis statement in your own
Avoid Quotation: Only include direct quotations from the work if there is no other option. Your summary
should be in your own words, using your own sentence structures. Ideally, there will be no direct quotations
If you must quote, be sure to use quotation marks and a parenthetical citation.
Main supporting points of the article: Don’t repeat ideas. Omit examples and specific details. Try to keep
the emphasis the same as in the original.
Do NOT include a conclusion: When you cover that last point, stop. Summing up is more graceful, but the
goal here is brevity, not grace.
Do include a Works Cited page: Even when you are not using direct quotations, all work which references
specific ideas from a source must have a Works Cited page.
This assignment will be graded according to the attached rubric. The summary should be about 1 page
long (not including the Works Cited page). Format the paper according to MLA guidelines and don’t forget
the Work Cited page!
For your citation: Use the MLA 8 citation template for “Article in a Journal.” You can find this template in the
Norton Field Guide chapter on MLA citation. Use the Documentation Map for “Article in a Print Journal” to
help you locate the relevant citation information. (This map appears in the textbook after this citation
Be sure to make note of the rules for listing multiple authors in the MLA section (see page 561) as this
article has 4 authors credit