Sources: Use the article you annotated.

  • Outline the article section by section, paragraph by paragraph, or point by point, from beginning to end, and keep track of essential passages and page numbers. The purpose of the outline should be functional rather than formal, so track page numbers in your outline. Think structurally in terms of Intro, Body, and Conclusion: What are the main points or subjects in each of those parts of the article? Because explanatory summaries follow the order of the source text, your outline should work equally as a sketch of the article and of your summary.
  • Formulate a Works Cited entry for the article (see Wilhoit Chapter 13 Reference Lists and Works Cited Entries, p. 287ff and Little Seagull Handbook MLA-b, p. 129ff, and the supplemental pdf document on Blackboard): specifically, consult p. 136, number 8, and p. 141, number 11, for journal articles and journal articles acquired through an electronic database, respectively.
  • Summarize the article: Having read, annotated, and outlined the article, turn your understanding of the thesis and main points of the article into an informative essay: use the guidelines in Wilhoit Chapters 3 and 4 to help you compose your own original summary of the article; paraphrase passages you think are particularly important. Thorough, accurate, fair, objective, brief, and independent, are Wilhoit’s ideals for good paraphrases (48-50) and summaries (63-65); you should adopt these criteria and use them to help you assess the quality of your summary and discern how to revise. Your essay must present the message and development of the source while avoiding plagiarism, excessive direct quotation, inadequate development, inaccuracy, bias, or subjective response. This is not a critique or responsive essay (ex. evaluation, review, editorial, etc.), but a strictly expository restatement of the source. Tell your reader what the essay says, all the while maintaining a neutral tone. All the essential passages from the source must be digested and represented in your paraphrases using word substitution (50-52), sentence restructuring (52-53), sentence compression or combination (53-54), and sentence expansions (54-55). Your summary should proceed fairly parallel to the way the source text unfolds, as in the sample explanatory summary on p. 76-77

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