Select ONE of the two essays you’ve read and discussed: David Foster Wallace’s “Consider the Lobster” or Michael Pollan’s “Unhappy Meals.” Your task is to write a summary following the guidelines in your textbook. Your summary should be no longer than two pages. Part of the challenge of this assignment is to practice the art of brevity. Reread Chapter Two, “Her Point Is” (30-40), to be equipped with the tools to complete this assignment in the most effective way possible. Remember that “a good summary requires balancing what the original author is saying with the writer’s own focus,” and that it “must at once be true to what the original author says while also emphasizing those aspects of what the author says that interest you” (Graff 31). Therefore, you will restate the main argument(s) of the essay you select, and you will subtly insert your own focus. Unlike traditional summaries, where the student is forbidden to state his/her opinion, it is not a crime to have an opinion here, just as long as you understand that the main goal of this assignment is to test your ability to objectively restate the original author’s argument.
An important component of your summary will be the use of quotations. You may want to reread Chapter Three, “As He Himself Puts It” (42-50), in order to reacquaint yourself with the proper way to frame a quotation. Your essay should incorporate at least TWO quotations from the text you’ve selected. Make sure that your quotations are not fillers; they should be essential to your summary, and they should be selected because of the particularly memorable way the author stated a relevant point.
Strive for objectivity, clarity, and coherence. Read your work thoroughly. Polish it several times until you are pleased with it. You can’t include everything (that’s the point of writing a concise text), but you should be able to include what really matters to you about the piece. Remember that your text must be (Times New Roman 12), except for your identifying information (name, course, my name, and the date), which will appear single spaced on the upper left-hand corner of the first page. The title should appear centered right after the identifying information. Then comes your text. Do not go over the two-page limit.
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