Summarize the passage provided using a well-organized paragraph structure.
Summary is a vital skill that you will use often as you progress through your doctoral program. Summarizing a passage provides an opportunity for you to review the basics of academic writing, organization, and sentence structure.
Demonstration of Proficiency
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the course competencies through the following assessment scoring guide criteria:
· Competency 1: Address assessment purpose in a well-organized text, incorporating appropriate evidence and tone in grammatically sound sentences.
. Summarize a passage with appropriate structure as shown in the MEAL Plan.
. Produce text with minimal grammar, usage, spelling, and mechanical errors.
. Employ appropriate scholarly voice in written work.
Review the passage provided in Assessment 2 Passage [PDF], and summarize it into your own words. Use the MEAL Plan. Label the parts of the paragraph appropriately by placing the letters (M, E, A, L) before the respective parts. The summary should be in your own words and should not include quotes. The summary should capture the key ideas presented in the original text, focusing less on the details.
Your summary will be graded using the following scoring guide criteria:
· Summarize a passage with appropriate structure as shown in the MEAL Plan.
· Produce text with minimal grammar, usage, spelling, and mechanical errors.
· Employ appropriate scholarly voice in written work.
Reading, Writing, and Critical Thinking
Writing academic text can’t be done without first locating, reading, and analyzing other academic texts to use as resources. The Reverse Outline and the MEAL Plan are useful during the entire process. By incorporating critical thinking methods into a system of reading academic texts and your own writing, these tools will be invaluable to you as you build your academic writing skills.
Academic writing is focused on a main point or thesis. The main point or thesis is often found at the very beginning of an academic text, such as in the introduction or abstract. Everything after the thesis statement provides additional information or evidence to support the thesis, often referred to as supporting evidence or details.
In order to strongly and effectively support a thesis statement, a writer must focus on how to organize ideas and to develop key points.
Using the MEAL plan and practicing reverse outlining will help you organize ideas and develop key points in your academic writing. Both practices can be useful at multiple stages of the writing process.
MEAL stands for: main idea, evidence or examples, analysis, and link. This guide is a helpful tool when you are first constructing paragraphs and essays and when you are revising your work.
|How the MEAL plan relates to essays and paragraphs|
|Introduction/Thesis Statement||Topic Sentence/Main Idea|
|Conclusion||Link/Transition to Next Paragraph|
Every paragraph should have one main idea. An essay or piece of writing similarly focuses on one topic. If you find that your paragraphs have more than one main idea, separate your paragraphs so that each has only one main point. The idea behind a paragraph is to introduce an idea and expand upon it. If you veer off into a new topic, begin a new paragraph.
Your main idea needs support, either in the form of evidence that supports your argument or examples that explain your idea. If you don’t have any evidence or examples to support your main idea, your idea may not be strong enough to warrant a complete paragraph. In this case, re-evaluate your idea and see whether you need even to keep it in the paper.
This goes the same for writing an essay. The evidence should support the main argument of the writing assignment. If it does not, your writing may lack focus and need to be revised.
Analysis is the heart of academic writing. While your readers want to see evidence or examples of your idea, the real “meat” of your idea is your interpretation (analysis) of your evidence or examples:
· How you break down the ideas or evidence.
· Compare ideas.
· Compile your ideas to build a persuasive case.
· Demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence.
Analysis is always needed for any type of evidence or example you use to support your main point. Whether you include the evidence as a paraphrase, summary, or direct quotation your analysis is critical. It demonstrates how the evidence helps you make your case. Think about how each source fits into the context of your main idea in the paragraph and in the overall thesis of your essay.
Link or Transition
Links help your reader to see how your paragraphs fit together. When you end a paragraph, try to link it to something else in your paper, such as your thesis or argument, the previous paragraph or main idea, or the following paragraph. Creating links will help your reader understand the logic and organization of your paper, as well as the logic and organization of your argument or main points. Key words that function as links include:
Reverse outlining is a great tool to use to figure out where your draft needs work. One of the most important parts of the writing process is revision, the stage where you rework your draft’s global concerns focus, clarity, organization, and persuasiveness.
What is Reverse Outlining?
You’re probably familiar with the concept of outlining as a prewriting strategy—when you outline, you write down all the sections and subsections of your paper in an organized, numbered hierarchy, which you can then use as a blueprint in producing your first draft.
When you create a reverse outline, you do the same thing, only backwards: you start with an existing draft, and try to create an outline that represents its sections and its major points. Doing so allows you to see where your organization doesn’t make sense, where you have unexplained “leaps” in your logic, and where you haven’t constructed effective paragraphs.
How to Create a Reverse Outline
There are a couple of ways to create a reverse outline:
· Create a sequential outline.
· Make a table.
How to Create a Sequential Outline
· Look at your current draft and read each paragraph carefully—and separately—for purpose and content.
· Write in the margins of your draft what you see as the main point in your paragraph. If your paragraph seems to have two main points, write them both in the margin of the paper.
· Transfer these “main points” into an outline format on a separate sheet of paper.
· Examine your outline for several important things:
· Fluidity of development: Ask yourself, do my points follow logically from each other? Could I make the flow smoother by moving certain paragraphs to different places in my argument?
· Separation of points: Do any of my paragraphs make more than one point? If so, how do I separate them into different paragraphs? Do the paragraphs belong near each other? Or should they be separated to improve the flow of my argument?
· Inclusion of important elements: Does my essay miss any significant points or connections that are necessary for its development? Where should I put these “missing links”?
· And finally, make revisions as necessary, first with the outline, and then with the draft.
How to Create a Table
To use the tabling approach to reverse outlining:
· Number your draft’s paragraphs from beginning to end.
· Use the following table (or draw columns on a separate sheet) to record what each paragraph “does” and “says.”
· In the “does” column, write down the paragraph’s function, the job it is supposed to do in your draft (“proves that some evidence indicates heightened self-esteem among home-schooled pre-teen girls;” “creates a logical transition from discussion of self-esteem to discussion of body image”).
· In the “says” column, write down each paragraph’s main point(s). As with the sequential outlining approach, you’ll want to keep an eye out for paragraphs that have more than one main point and paragraphs whose “says” don’t seem to match their “does;” that is, paragraphs that are not functioning in the way you intended them to function.
· When you’re done, check your paper’s organization and logical flow by reading the “does” column in order from top to bottom. Are the points presented in the most logical order? Do you see gaps in reasoning, or places where you suddenly switch tracks without explanation or transitions? Also, how can you revise paragraphs so that what they say makes them do what they’re supposed to do more effectively?
|Example of a Table|
|1||Introduction||Teachers must balance different methods with the rise of technology in the classroom.|
|2||Evidence||Many elementary students are now required to use e-reader software on the iPad for reading assignments in order to track their progress.|
Using the Tools
Using the Reverse Outline and MEAL Plans for reading and writing will add more time to the earlier stages of your academic writing, so be sure to budget time to use these tools to their full potential.
You will find, however, that spending this extra time at the beginning of writing will pay off down the road. Research shows that the more you use these tools when reading and writing, the more proficient you become.
Writers note that after using these tools to write a few papers, they find the process to actually be faster and more concise because they generate first drafts rapidly, without worrying that everything is right. They know that they have two tools to help them effectively organize and develop their drafts and put their ideas into the academic format that those reading and assessing their writing will expect.
Summarize a Passage Scoring Guide
|Summarize a passage with appropriate structure as shown in the MEAL Plan.||Does not summarize a passage.||Summarizes a passage, but omits significant evidence or analysis, main idea or conclusion.||Summarizes a passage following the MEAL Plan.||Summarizes a passage following the MEAL Plan; provides thorough evidence and analysis.|
|Produce text with minimal grammar, usage, spelling, and mechanical errors.||Produces text where meaning is unclear due to errors in grammar, usage, word choice, spelling, or mechanics.||Produces text where meaning is interrupted due to errors in grammar, usage, word choice, spelling, or mechanics.||Produces text with minimal grammar, usage, spelling, and mechanical errors.||Produces text written with a professional level of competence in grammar, usage, spelling, and mechanical errors.|
|Employ appropriate scholarly voice in written work.||Does not employ scholarly voice.||Employs scholarly voice in written work, but with errors.||Employs appropriate scholarly voice in written work.||Employs scholarly voice in clear and concise written work free from errors.|