Guidelines for Articles Summaries

  1. Each student will select one article or chapter from the course readings and write one-page summaries of approximately 250 words.
  2. This exercise is designed to develop analytical and writing abilities and should help you in a variety of ways, including how to read for key points and how to separate one's own reactions to an article from a more neutral descriptive understanding. This should be an easy way to help you refine your prose for longer assignments.
  3. These summaries are due by 5 p.m. on the Monday before class. Send your summary to the instructor by email as well as making enough copies to distribute to the class.
  4. Include page references in parentheses for key ideas so that the reader can use the summary to go back to the original article.
  5. The key to writing effective summaries is to be succinct and to balance identification of key points with some detail. Your opening sentences should identify the overall idea or approach in the chosen article or chapter and then the rest of the summary should succinctly fill in the content of the idea or approach taken. Obviously, you can only state so much in a one-page summary, so you will not be expected to be comprehensive. Rather, the succinct use of words, readability, and overall balance are the key elements.