Analytical Writing focuses on research and argument, exposing you to various writings to generate information for discussion and analysis. One important element in this is the ability to accurately summarize and interact with source material (a summary response). I’ve linked last week’s database sources from SCTCC databases into this week’s Content, and you had mentioned one or more database sources in last week’s freewrite assignment. This week one of these sources will serve as the foundation for your summary response essay.

A good summary will cover the main idea and supporting points of a source. In the introductory paragraph of your summary response essay, you’ll tell of the author and list the title of the essay. Listing the author and the title is good practice for further summary writing for upcoming essays in Analytical Writing and other classes since you’ll need to cite your sources. We’ll work further on citations in this summary response essay.

An interactive response is also needed for this assignment. The response portion of the essay can be written at the end of your summary paragraphs, or it can be integrated with your summary in the body paragraphs. The interactive response includes your own thoughts and opinions about the content of the source and may also include connections that you can make or experiences you have had with the content.


Please follow these steps in writing your summary response essay:

  1. Re-read one of the database sources, taking notes on the main points and the author’s perspective as well as your thoughts, responses, and questions.
  2. Use either the MLA Template or the APA Template to write your essay since you must follow a formal essay format for the summary response.
  3. For the summary response, you’ll write a title, an introduction, body paragraphs, a conclusion, and a Works Cited or References page.
  4. Here’s where we begin to notice differences with MLA and APA format. MLA format titles the source page Works Cited, and APA format titles the source page References. Use the appropriate term for your source reference page, and list your source on this page with your essay.
  5. Your essay will be 4-5 pages in length, including the Works Cited or References page (but not including the title page if using APA format).
  6. Your introductory paragraph will give the author’s name and title of the article/essay as well as your thesis statement.
  7. Your thesis statement might focus on agreeing or disagreeing with the author’s main points, for example, or it might connect the author’s main points to something you have experienced.
  8. Your body paragraphs will include both summary and interactive response elements. You can either summarize first in 3-5 paragraphs and then respond in 2-4 paragraphs, or you can integrate the summary and response elements within the same 5-9 paragraphs.
  9. You’ll summarize the source in approximately 3-5 paragraphs by pulling out the main ideas and important points.
  10. You’ll respond to the essay (the author and essay’s main points) in approximately 2-4 paragraphs. The response connects personal opinions, observations, ideas, thoughts, and questions you make to the article/essay. You might, for example, choose to agree or disagree with the main ideas, pose further questions regarding the topic, show how you see (or don’t see) what is discussed in the essay occurring in society today, or draw other connections. You’ll use specific details and examples to demonstrate your understanding and interaction of the essay you’ve selected.
  11. View the Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing video.
  12. Every time you use source information in your summary response essay, you must cite the source to avoid unintentional plagiarism.
  13. Write your summary response essay using Microsoft Word and upload it as a .docx document to the D2L Assignments folder.

Evaluation Rubric/Point Distribution (500 points total)

Audience Awareness, Tone, and Voice

2.5 points

Writer is acutely aware and writes directly for the intended audience (we’re writing mostly for a college audience). Awareness extends to understanding the writing assignment purpose (that is, summary and response). Tone and voice are academic in nature and appropriate to the assignment and audience.


5 points

Thesis statement is clear and focused on a summary response for one of the week’s essays. Additionally, it is a full sentence. The thesis is typically the last sentence of the introductory paragraph.

Sentence Structure and Word Choice

10 points

College-level sentences are varied in length, are grammatically sound, and use transitions to maximize flow. Exceptional word choice is demonstrated by using specific nouns and active verbs. Passive verbs (is, are) as well as passive phrases/constructions (there is, there are, for example) are used infrequently, and vague word choice (a lot, thing, things, for example) and the words you, your, and you’re are eliminated from your academic writing.

Body/Supporting Paragraphs

20 points

Body/supporting paragraphs are directly linked to the thesis statement, are clearly supported by in-depth evidence, and exhaust all possible lines of thought connected to the thesis. Additionally, paragraph pattern is purposeful, logical, and well chosen to fit the essay’s design. The body paragraph pattern for a summary response might be to first write summary paragraphs and then follow those with response paragraphs, or the body paragraphs might integrate summary and response throughout.

Introduction and Conclusion

2.5 points

Appropriate and engaging techniques for writing introductions and conclusions are employed. Conclusion does more than summarize the essay’s main ideas.

MLA or APA Format, Source(s), and Citation of Source(s)

5 points

MLA or APA format for a research essay is followed (your choice, but be consistent throughout the essay). One source is place on your Works Cited/References page, and that source is the article you’ve selected for the summary response. Quoted, paraphrased, and/or summarized source material from the article you’ve selected is used and cited within the essay. In-text/parenthetical citations and the Works Cited page are accurate. Writer demonstrates a clear understanding of MLA or APA concepts, including formatting and citing.

When using APA format for this summary response essay, the Abstract page is considered optional. Point value will not be associated with an abstract page for this assignment.


5 points

Essay is free of spelling, punctuation, and typographical errors.

Total Points


Total of all categories
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