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According to Hacker (2008), “the goal in summarizing a text is to state the work’s main ideas and key points simply, briefly, and accurately” (351).
For this assignment, you will first read and annotate “Learning in Wartime” by C.S. Lewis and “This is Water” by David Foster Wallace. As you annotate, you should consider (1) the kind of text you are reading, (2) the author’s purpose for writing the text, (3) his audience, (4) his central thesis, and (5) the evidence he provides to support his arguments. Underlining, jotting notes in the margins, and turning the text into an outline will greatly help you write this essay.
Prompt: Summarize the arguments made in either “Learning in Wartime” or “This is Water” (do not write a summary of both texts!) What is the author’s thesis? What other arguments does he make? What evidence does he provide to support his claims?
As you write, keep in mind Hacker’s (2008; 352) guidelines for writing a summary/response essay:
In the first sentence, mention the the title of the text, the name of the author, and the author’s central thesis.
Maintain a neutral tone; be objective.
Use the third-person point of view and the present tense: Lewis argues…
Keep your focus on the text. Don’t state the author’s ideas as if they were your own.
Put all or most of your summary in your own words; you should not use more than one or two brief direct quotes, but if you borrow a phrase or a sentence from the text, put it in quotation marks and give the page number in parentheses.
Limit yourself to presenting the text’s key points.
Be concise; make every word count.
Your essay should be 3-5 pages long, double-spaced, using APA style (see the “Formatting” box in the attached APA Style Sheet; no abstract is needed for this paper).