Find and summarise an article on undocumented Asian American youth. The article you use MUST be in one of the following two databases in the X College library: Academic Search Complete or JSTOR.
If you don’t know how to access the databases, here are instructions:
(1) Go to the X College homepage;
(2) Click on the Library link at the top of the page;
(3) Click on the Databases link on the left side of the library web-page;
(4) Use the pull down menu that says All Subjects, to choose Social Sciences;
(5) Find either of the two databases listed above (the list is alphabetical) and click on it;
(6) search the phrase “undocumented Asian Americans” (but don’t use quotation marks);
(7) Find an article that is on this subject (and hopefully close to whatever topic you are writing on), read the article, and then summarise it.
For instructions on how I want you to write and format your summary, read the handout I have posted under the Research Assignment Module Titled Summary Instructions. Your summary should be one-two full pages.
Summarising is an important skill that tests and helps develop your ability to read, think, and write. The goal of this exercise is to communicate an author’s main ideas using only your own words and without giving your opinion or altering the author’s meaning.
Your entire summary should be no more than two paragraphs. Imagine that you are working as a professor’s research assistant (for very low pay, of course) and your task is to read articles that she won’t read unless they will be useful to her; you need to represent each article’s content fully and accurately but in a radically condensed form.
The first step is to read the article through to get a general sense of the article’s subject, the author’s perspective on it, and the evidence that the writer uses to support his or her perspective.
If there are unfamiliar words, look them up in the dictionary; if there are unfamiliar references (to people, places, events, etc.) look them up online (Wikipedia is fine for this); if there are confusing sentences, use the surrounding context to try to figure them out.
Next, read the article over again, and this time underline or otherwise mark up the essay to identify the thesis statement and main supporting points and evidence.
Remember that professional writers rarely follow the structure for essays that you are taught in English classes; you will probably not, in other words, find the thesis at the end of the first paragraph followed by separate paragraphs for each supporting point and evidence.
At this point, you might want to make a brief outline of the author’s argument using their words. This will help as you start to write the summary. Now you are ready to start writing. Your summary should be typed, double-spaced, and should have one-inch margins.
Put all of your own information (name, student #, etc.) on the left margin. Skip two lines, and identify the article in an accurate MLA-style citation. Below is the correct format for an article from our text.
Be aware that the format for these citations differs slightly for different kinds of sources (articles in magazines, for example, follow a slightly different format than those in newspapers).
Smith, Zadie. “Joy.” The Best American Essays, 2014. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014.In your summary, do not try to restate the entire article in your own words.
Remember, you are restating just the author’s main argument; you do not need small details and you may not quote directly from the article (except for key words or phrases).
Instead, you should use your own words to focus on [a] identifying the subject of the article (in the first sentence); [b] identifying the author’s thesis; [c] identifying the author’s point-of-view (if it is not clear from the thesis statement); and [d] identifying the author’s supporting points and major evidence.
This last section will be the bulk of the writing that you do; throughout this section you will be using introductory phrases such as, “The author claims,” “the author says,” “the author argues,” and so on. After writing your summary, read it through and revise, making sure that it is in your own words and that you have faithfully reproduced the author’s argument.