A02: Purposeful Summaries

The Purposeful Summary Assignment

By midnight WED JAN 25, create your own summaries of three articles from the “A Blow to the Head” category. Provide links inside your summaries to guide me to your sources.

  1. Read the Purposeful Summary Lecture carefully and examine the models there as your guide for good summary.
  2. Choose articles from the existing “Blow to the Head” set, or follow links inside those articles to others that might interest you (or be more current).
  3. Summarize three, using the models in the Purposeful Summary Lecture as your guide.


Your summaries do not have to reflect your own point of view. As long as you take an attitude toward the subject matter that indicates you understand the main point the author was trying to make, I will consider any crazy conclusions you come to.

Forbidden Rhetoric

  • DO NOT begin by citing the article you’re summarizing.
  • In other words, DO NOT begin by saying “In the article, ‘Is This Photo Ethical?’ the author describes what happened in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.
  • DO NOT say that the author “talks about” an earthquake.

Required Rhetoric

  • Begin your summaries with the phrase “It seems counterintuitive that . . . .”
  • If possible, continue to the end of your summary without ever identifying the article or its author(s).
  • Instead, proceed as if you are describing the subject matter first hand.
  • Be ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that your summary is persuasive, argumentative, demonstrative, in other words, Purposeful.


  • DUE: Midnight Wednesday (11:59 pm WED JAN 25).
  • Publish your assignment in two categories— A02: Purposeful Summaries and the category for your Username.
  • Uncheck the 123 Uncheck this Box category
  • Give your post the title Summaries–Username, substituting your own username, of course.
  • Word count is irrelevant, but thorough analyses of whatever length will be graded higher than superficial writing that wastes words. Complex ideas briefly expressed are rewarded best.
  • Start each summary with the statement: “It seems counterintuitive that . . . .”
  • You will receive just one grade for this draft, which is intended to diagnose your abilities and needs. If you request feedback, you’ll receive guidance to help you improve your grade, one time, with a Rewrite.
  • Customary late penalties. (0-24 hours 10%) (24-48 hours 20%) (48+ hours, 00 grade)
  • Minor (Non-Portfolio) Assignment (10%)

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