Essay 1: Summary and Response

Length: 2-3 pages minimum (500-1000 words)


The writer will demonstrate the ability to accurately summarize a source text and develop an original argument directly in response to that author’s argument. Specifically, the writer will practice critical reading skills, in-depth summary, presenting a clear and precise argument in the thesis statement, supporting the thesis with effective paragraphs, and incorporating sources with proper citation.


  • The writer will provide a detailed, accurate summary of the main ideas, claims, and overall argument of a text in original language (quotes should be MINIMAL and used only to highlight key terms or phrases that cannot be summarized or paraphrased in different words).
  • The writer will demonstrate satisfactory critical reading skills and understanding of the source.
  • The writer will present a thesis statement that offers a critical, engaged reader’s response to the argument outlined in the summary.
  • The writer will develop and sustain an argument in support of the thesis through effective body paragraphs (driven by a clear claim/topic sentence with supporting analysis and discussion of evidence from the text).
  • The writer will present an argument and summary that is entirely original. (No outside or additional research/sources to be used beyond the original summarized text.)
  • The writer will incorporate discussion of source through a variety of methods (summary, paraphrase, and quotations).
  • The writer will follow MLA format and reference primary source through both a works cited page and in-text citations.