Posted: April 7th, 2022
The first half of the paper provides a summary of the reading. A summary provides an overview of the key points. You cannot mention everything the author says within the space you have been provided…don’t try. Provide only the central points of the reading/readings. Summaries, like outlines, should be objective. Make no references to yourself. In a summary your opinion doesn’t matter; later, when you analyze and evaluate an argument, you can state your opinion and support it. A summary is not an abridged copy of the reading…a summary provides some structure for the reader (ex. The author has three main points; the reading provides various interpretations on the notion of justice)
The second half providing an analysis of the reading. This will most likely be an exploration of the key points that you have already mentioned. This can take a variety of forms. You can apply these key points to a case/situation from
another class. You can explain a flaw in the author’s logic. You can explain whether the religious argument can be made palatable for all without losing anything from the original teaching. Or, you can argue (with support) why you think the author’s point is helpful or inadequate. Writing this part of the paper involves more than simply stating your opinions. You must support your views by presenting arguments in favor of them. You should also try to defend your views against potential criticisms. In developing your position on an issue, keep in mind what an intelligent opponent would say in response.
Finally, two or three discussion questions should complete the paper.
There should be three questions that would lead the class in a good discussion
surrounding a key theme from the readings. Yes and no questions are not adequate. It should also be clear how the question relates to the text.
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