Summary/response essay | English homework help


Instructions for Summary / Response Essay 


Summary/Response Essay

Assignment Description 

Please use this article to write this essay:

For  this essay, you should select an article from the “Readings” folder in  this unit and summarize/respond to it in a formal essay. The  summary/response essay asks you first to summarize the main points of  the article and to respond to those points by agreeing, disagreeing, or  agreeing with some but not all of the arguments made in the article. You  should include evidence (from the article, from your own reasoning,  from examples, from experiences, etc.) to support your response.

Due Dates

Please refer to the calendar due dates. Please remember the peer review is a separate grade and has separate due dates.

Purpose and Learning Objectives

The  purpose of writing a response paper is to encourage you to read  actively and to evaluate the selected articles critically. While it is  possible to read an article just once and gain an understanding of the  main idea, much of the depth and nuance of the article will only be  discovered after multiple readings.  Moreover, your grasp of the ideas  and concepts presented in the article will remain superficial until you  apply those ideas and concepts in your own writing. As you write, you  should practice making clear claims about the material you’re writing  about and should practice supporting those claims with evidence from the  text and from your own reasoning about the subject.

Minimum Requirements

  • 600- 900 words  (approx. 2-3 pages)
  • An interesting and informative title
  • MLA format with in-text citations and works cited page
  • An introductory paragraph that tells readers what article you are responding to and that includes a thesis statement
  • One or more paragraphs that summarize the article
  • One or more paragraphs that respond to the article
  • A conclusion paragraph that wraps up the main ideas in the essay

You should not expect to earn a grade higher than a 60% if you do not meet the minimum requirements. 

Process for Completion

  1. The  first step in writing a good response paper is to actively read the  article assigned. Active reading means consciously identifying the  thesis, purpose, audience, and tone.  It means determining what main  points the author is trying to convey with his or her article.
  2. Next,  it might help to construct an outline or graphic organizer that will  help you visualize the claims and the evidence supporting those claims.  Once you have a firm understanding of the article, start formulating  your response by asking questions: 
    1. What do I really think about this topic? Why do I think that? 
    2. Do I disagree with any points being made? Why?
    3. Do I agree with any points? Why?
    4. Can I think of additional examples or evidence that support or refute the author’s claims?
    5. Can I connect something in the article to my own personal experience?
    6. Can I apply the ideas presented in the article to some other subject?  
  3. At  this point, you should start to formulate your response. Once you have  an idea of what you want to say, start drafting your essay.  
    1. The introduction  should clearly identify the author and article you’re summarizing. It  may include a bit of brief summary to show what the main point of the  article is. It should include a thesis statement that presents your  response to the article. 
    2. The body paragraphs  should begin with a summary of the article that you’ve chosen (one or  two paragraphs). Be sure to accurately represent the ideas and arguments  from the source. Next, you should develop your response (between one  and three paragraphs), usually with a statement of agreement  or disagreement, followed by your reasons, examples, and evidence.  Remember that the purpose of a response paper is to add your own voice  to the mix, to join the conversation.  I want to read your reactions,  your interpretations, and your opinions. Take this opportunity to  develop your own voice.
    3. The conclusion paragraph should reinforce the ideas you stated in the essay.
  4. Once  you’ve drafted your paper, go back and review how you’ve organized your  paragraphs (do they have topic sentences?) and integrated evidence (all  quotes should be seamlessly incorporated into your own sentences). 
  5. When you’re happy with your draft, you should complete the peer review process to get feedback on your writing.
  6. After  you have read the feedback provided by your peers, continue revising  and editing your draft.  You might find that some comments are more  helpful than others. You are not obliged to take anyone’s advice, but  you should at least consider every suggestion. When you are comfortable  that the essay is in good shape, upload it to eCampus. The final draft  will automatically be sent through “Safe Assign,” which is an  originality checker used to help identify plagiarism.


Plagiarism is using someone else’s words or ideas without giving credit and is a serious academic offense.  It can range from:

  • Turning in a paper any part of which you did not write, 
  • Cutting and pasting a paper together from various sources without attributing the sources correctly,
  • Changing a few words but basically keeping most of the words and sentence structure of the original,
  • Using the ideas of another without giving credit to the person who originally had the idea.
  • Using the exact words of the source without using quotation marks even if you give the name of the source.

Refer to the syllabus for consequences of plagiarism in this class. For more information, see

Grading and Rubric

To  access the rubric, go to the essay submission and select “View Rubric.”  Please remember that the grades for peer are listed in the syllabus as  separate grades.

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