February 14, 2005

diagnostic assignment

EngC 1013 University Writing and Critical Reading: Nature and the Environment
Section 001
Spring 2005

Writing a summary
Typically, an objective summary will do the following:
- Cite the author and title of the text.
- Indicate the main ideas of the text and give necessary details. (You need to determine which details are “necessary.” They are details you think help your readers understand the main ideas of the essay.)
- Use direct quotation of key words, phrases, or sentences to give your readers a glimpse of the tone, style, language of the text.
- Include author tags to make it clear that you are summarizing someone else’s ideas. (“According to Martuzzi and Bertollini” or “Martuzzi and Bertollini show”)
- Report the main ideas as objectively as possible.

An evaluative summary or critical summary contains your opinions and comments on the text.

Objective Summary
Ishmael Reed’s “My Neighborhood” recounts a succession of moves he has made in the effort to find (or make) a home for himself in various parts of California. It is also the record of an African American’s experience of how racial considerations affected that effort. The piece ends with Reed genuinely finding the place he wants to claim (and that, in return, claims him): a multicultural, diverse neighborhood in Oakland, a place where “unlike the other California neighborhoods I’ve lived in. I know most of the people on this block by name.”

Critical Summary
Ishmael Reed’s “My Neighborhood” recounts a succession of moves he has made in the effort to find (or make) a home for himself in various parts of California. It is also the record of an African American’s experience of how racial considerations affected that effort. The piece ends with Reed finding the place he wants to claim (and that, in return, claims him): a multicultural, diverse neighborhood in Oakland, a place where “unlike the other California neighborhoods I’ve lived in. I know most of the people on this block by name.” Informed by his minority status, the experiences recounted at some places exhibit bitterness and anger.
The tone may be too harsh for some readers to accept. As Reed seems to aim at a general audience, he should bridge the gap between him and those readers who have never been in a similar situation by giving examples of unacknowledged privileges that he, as a minority, is deprived, instead of portraying himself as a victim of racism.

Homework: Write a paragraph (200-250 words) of critical summary of “The Perils of Precaution” for an audience who has not read the essay. The summary is due on Friday, January 28. I will not grade it but will give you my feedback. This exercise will help you with your first formal assignment—writing a critical response. (Reminder: all writing assignments must be typed.)

Posted by pitug001 at February 14, 2005 10:15 AM