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Re: Hi! You Can Post Your Assignments and Ideas Here!
— by RyanMurphy RyanMurphy
My students struggle summarizing essays. They just keep going and going. I have devised this exercise to help them get to the very core of the essay and covey this core concisely.


Summarize the essay in a single sentence. Make sure to do the following—and only the following—in your summary sentence.

1) Introduce essay, author, and main topic [What?]
2) Identify the technique(s) the author uses [How?]
3) Identify the author’s purpose in writing the essay [Why?]

Some Examples:

  In her essay, “The Ways We Lie” (1991), Stephanie Ericsson uses division and classification, examples, and narration to inform her reader about the dangers of lying.

  In his essay, “Black Men and Public Space” (1986), Brent Staples employs examples, narration and cause and effect to explain the difficulties contemporary black men face due to the assumptions of others.

  In his reflective essay, “Once More to the Lake” (1941), E.B. White uses narration, description, exemplification, process analysis and comparison and contrast to share the experience of returning as an adult to a childhood vacation spot.