Steps in Writing
These are the steps to writing a superb summary:
- Read the article, one paragraph at a time.
- For each paragraph, underline the main idea sentence (topic sentence). If you can’t underline the book, write that sentence on your computer or a lump of paper.
- When you finish the article, read all the underlined sentences.
- In your own words, write down one sentence that conveys the main idea. Commence the sentence using the name of the author and title of the article (see format below).
- Proceed writing your summary by writing the other underlined sentences in your own words. Recall that you need to switch both the words of the sentence and the word order. For more information, see movie below.
- Don’t leave behind to use transition words to link your sentences together. See my list of transition words below to help you write your summary more effectively and make it more interesting to read.
- Make sure you include the name of the author and article and use “author tags” (see list below) to let the reader know you are talking about what the author said and not your own ideas.
- Re-read your lump. Does it flow well? Are there too many details? Not enough? Your summary should be as brief and concise as possible.
Author Tag. You need to embark your summary by telling the name of the article and the author. Here are three examples of how to do that (pay close attention to the punctuation):
Very first Sentence: Along with including the article’s title and author’s name, the very first sentence should be the main point of the article. It should reaction the question: What is this essay about? (thesis). Example:
In “How the Civil War Began” by John Jones, the author argues that the real reason for the commence of the Civil War was not slavery, as many believe, but was instead the clash of cultures and greed for cash.
Rest of Summary: The rest of your essay is going to give the reasons and evidence for that main statement. In other words, what is the main point the writer is attempting to make and what are the supporting ideas he or she uses to prove it? Does the author bring up any opposing ideas, and if so, what does he or she do to refute them? Here is a sample sort of sentence:
___________ is the issue addressed in “(article’s title) ” by (author’s name). The thesis of this essay is ___________. The author’s main claim is ___________ and his/her sub claim is ___________. The author argues ___________. Other people argue ___________. The author refutes these ideas by telling ___________. His/her conclusion is ___________ .
How Often Do You Mention the Author?
While you don’t have to use an author tag in every sentence, you need to be clear when you are providing ideas that are taken from the article, and when you are telling your own ideas. In general, you want to be sure that you always use the author’s name and the article title when you commence summarizing, and that you use the author’s last name in the last sentence as well to make it clear you are still talking about the author’s ideas. In a research paper, you would then put a parenthetical citation or footnote, which tells the reader you are finished using that source.
Author Tag List
Analysis requires knowing who the author is attempting to persuade and what he or she wants the audience to think, do, or believe. | Source
Using TRACE for Analysis
Sometimes, especially when you’re just getting began writing, the task of fitting a giant topic into an essay may feel daunting and you may not know where to embark. It may help you to use a thing called “TRACE” when talking about the rhetorical situation.
TRACE stands for Text, Reader, Author, Context, and Exigence:
Text. Reader. and Author are effortless to understand. When writing the analysis, you need to think about what kind of text it is and what the author desired to have the audience think, do, or believe. The main question your analysis will reaction is, “How effective was the author at coaxing that particular audience?”
Context means several things: how the article fits into the history of discussion of that issue, the historical moment in time when the article is written, and the moment in time when a person reads the article.
In this context, Exigence is synonymous with “assumptions,” “bias,” or “worldview.”
Cracking the large idea down into these five parts may help you get began and organize your ideas. In your paper, you’ll most likely want to address from three to all five of these elements.
Ideas for How to Write Your Essay
Step by Step Sample
Each of the following elements can be one paragraph of your analysis. You can reaction the questions to help you generate ideas for each paragraph. To make it lighter, I’ve included the last two TRACE elements (Context and Exigence) as part of Author and Reader.
Professional Sample SAR
Sample Analysis Format
Text. Analyzing the text is very much like doing literary analysis, which many students have done before. Use all of your implements of literary analysis, including looking at the metaphors, rhythm of sentences, construction of arguments, tone, style, and use of language. Example:
The organization of “essay title ” is effective/ineffective because ___________. The essay’s opening causes the reader to ___________. The essay’s style is ___________ and the tone is shown by ___________. The language used is___________. The essay’s argument is constructed logically/illogically by ___________. The essay is organized by ___________ (give a very brief description of the structure of the essay, perhaps telling where the description of the problem is, where claims are made, and where support is located—in which paragraphs—and why this is effective or ineffective in proving the point ).
Author: You’ve very likely also analyzed how the author’s life affects his or her writing. You can do the same for this sort of analysis. For example, in my sample reading the response about Michael Crichton’s “Let’s Stop Scaring Ourselves” article, students noted that the fact that Crichton is the author of doomsday thrillers like Andromeda Strain and Jurassic Park makes his argument that we shouldn’t pay much attention to current doomsday scripts like global heating rather ironic. If you don’t know anything about the author, you can always do a quick Google Search to find out. Sample format:
The author establishes his/her authority by ___________. The author’s bias is shown in ___________. The author assumes an audience who ___________. He/She establishes common ground with the audience by ___________ .
Reader: You can write this section by inferring who the intended reader is, as well as looking at the text from the viewpoint of other sorts of readers. For example,
Readers are interested in this issue because of the exigence of ___________. Constraints on the reader’s reaction are ___________. I think the reader would react to this argument by ___________. I think that the author’s ___________ is effective. ___________ is less effective because ___________ includes ___________. The support is adequate/inadequate and is relevant/irrelevant to the author’s claim.
How do you write your papers?
How to Write
Generally, your response will be the end of your essay, but you may include your response across the paper as you select what to summarize and analyze. Your response will also be evident to the reader by the tone that you use and the words you select to talk about the article and writer. However, your response in the conclusion will be more direct and specific. It will use the information you have already provided in your summary and analysis to explain how you feel about this article. Most of the time, your response will fall into one of the following categories:
- You will agree with the author and back your agreement up with logic or individual practice.
- You will disagree with the author because of your practice or skill (albeit you may have sympathy with the author’s position).
- You will agree with part of the author’s points and disagree with others.
- You will agree or disagree with the author but feel that there is a more significant or different point which needs to be discussed in addition to what is in the article.
How will this article fit into your own paper? How will you be able to use it?
Questions to Help You
Here are some questions you can response to help you think about your response:
You can use your answers to the questions above to help you formulate your response. Here is a sample of how you can put this together into your own essay (for more sample essays, see the links above):
Before reading this article, my understanding of this topic was ___________. In my own practice, I have found ___________ and because of this, my reaction to this essay is ___________. Interestingly, I have ___________ as common ground with the author/audience. What was fresh to me is ___________. This essay makes me think ___________. I like/dislike ___________ in the essay. I will use this article in my research essay for ___________.
Virginia Kearney 13 hours ago from United States
Hi, Chloe! It would depend in part what sort of assignment you’ve been given. Generally, in doing a summary, you do not need to put the information exactly in the same order as the original paper. The significant thing in summarizing is that you actually understand the information clearly enough that you can put it into your own words. I’m guessing that with the title, the article has a number of reasons why we should permit the drugs. If the reasons can be grouped, into 3-4 types of reasons, that would be your best organization mechanism. For example, I can picture that the reasons to permit spectacle enhancing drugs are most likely:
We can’t prevent athletes from getting around the rules.
We have better athletic contests if we permit drugs.
We don’t have the right to tell athletes what they are doing with their own figures.
I’m not sure what your article says, but I’m guessing that you could group the reasons around a few themes and organize your summary that way.
Chloe 15 hours ago
hi there, i am doing a science report on “Why we should permit spectacle enhancing drugs in sport” and the article has 12 subheadings and i am supposed to summarize all of them. What structure would i put the paragraphs in so it isn’t just random information summarizing the subsections, and i have an actual format to go after? Thank you 🙂
Virginia Kearney 6 days ago from United States
Hi, Brad! You are very likely needing one of my other articles if you are doing an argumentative essay. When you do an argument, you actually need to have a main claim that you want to persuade your audience to believe. The analysis part of that sort of essay means that you evaluate the pros and cons of other ideas about that claim. I don’t use the term “analytical argumentative essay” in my class but I do instruct this same idea. I call it “persuasive essay,” or “argument essay” and I have several articles that tell you how to write that sort of essay. Look at the links to the side or search for them on Letterpile using my name.
Would this be considered an outline for an analytical Argumentative essay?
Virginia Kearney Five weeks ago from United States
Hi–If you are doing a summary, analysis, and response, then you do it the same as we’ve described here except that you would summarize the story and then analyze whether it was told effectively and eventually give a response. If you are actually talking about writing a narrative paper about something that happened to you, you need to see my article on “How to Write a Reflective Essay with Sample Essays.” Search for it on Letterpile or on my profile page.
cletusoe12 @gmail.com Five weeks ago
How can I write a story of a individual encounter in an accident. In narrative essay. Please can you give me example?
Virginia Kearney 7 weeks ago from United States
Hi Mimi–In the response section, you can explain how you are going to use that article in your research paper. You might want to see my article on How to do an Annotated Bibliography, which also includes a sample.
Glad this is helpful to you Flor. I am not presently doing online tutoring but it is interesting for you to ask this because I’ve been considering setting up a website with movies and some live instruction help.
what a fine way to explain you have used here. Are you interested in doing tutoring online? I would love to have the chance to be tutor by you.
Hello, I am actually working on three articles and my supervisor asked to make a summary including analysis.But what I would like to know how can I display that these three articles are related to my future research paper?how can I analyze them?can you please help me?
Shelbee Three months ago
I love the way this website gives steps and examples. I love how you can distinguish all of this into your on understanding. All of this explaining is a fine source for anything. You have to love everything about this site. This is the best.
Virginia Kearney Five months ago from United States
Hi Brianna–If you are doing a summary of an article, then I would do that very first. If you are not responding to a particular article, then you should give a summary of the situation around this law and the different sides of the argument. Then pose a question which is interesting to you. Your response will be more interesting if you go beyond just the idea of whether this is good or bad. Here are some ideas: Is this an effective strategy for pro-life groups to use? Does just raising the issue of burial switch the conversation about abortion? Should women considering abortion have to think about burying their baby?
Brianna Five months ago
How can I come up with a theme for my response paper. I am responding to the Texas fresh law that requires burial for aborted fetuses. Any ideas?
Thanks for letting me know Seza! This type of essay is not very well explained in many textbooks and that is what led me to write these instructions and ask my students to post examples. Since I’ve been using these instructions, I’ve found my students do a much better job at writing these kinds of essays, which is significant because the thinking you do while writing these essays is what prepares you for doing good research.
This post has been of good help for me and my friends. Thank you very much.
Tessa Five months ago
Excellent lesson. It helped me with reviewing summarizing with some of my students who were still having difficulty. I especially liked the chart. However, please switch adjective to adverbs.
Thanks for the information
Very good insight on “analysis” description.
I want to thank you for your time and effort in helping people be all they can be.
Keep up the excellent work
Virginia Kearney 8 months ago from United States
Thanks Singapore! I love the fact that what I write and use to train has helped people all over the world. I’m approaching 8 million views now!
Singapore 8 months ago
Thanks from Singapore! It’s for literature 🙂
Thanks Simon! I’ve done a lot of writing over the years and I love experimenting with different styles.
How to Write a Summary, Analysis, and Response Essay Paper With Examples
Steps in Writing
Virginia Kearney 14 hours ago from United States
Chloe 16 hours ago
Virginia Kearney 22 hours ago from United States
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Virginia Kearney 26 hours ago from United States
Chloe 28 hours ago
Virginia Kearney 7 days ago from United States