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Cuymaca College The Danger of A Single Story Overview Essay


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Academic Summary Template (see page 2 for a specific form you may follow)In order to help us quickly and effectively describe the argument an author is making in a text, we will usea method of description called the academic summary1.  This form is a highly structured paragraph that records the essential rhetorical elements in any text.  The summaryincludes the name of the speaker/writer(s), the context or situation in which the text is delivered, the major assertion, the mode of development for or support of the main idea, the stated and/or apparent purpose of the text, and the relationship between the speaker/writer(s) and the audience.  The following is a breakdown of the information you should include in each one of the four sections.  1.  Name of the author, a phrase describing the author, the type and title of the work, the date (in parenthesis), a rhetorically accurate verb (such as “assert,” “argue,” “suggest,” “imply,” “claim,” “question,” etc.) that describes what the author is doing in the text, and a THAT clause in which you state the major assertion (argumentstatementor major claim) of the author’s text.2. An explanation of how the author develops and/or supports the argument—the rhetoricalstructure of the text (for instance, comparing and contrasting, narrating, illustrating, defining, etc.). Your explanation is usually presented in the same chronological order that the items of support are presented in the work.3.  A statement of the author’s apparent purpose, followed by an IN ORDER TO phrase in which you explain what the author wants the audience to do or feel as a result of reading the work.4.  A description of the intended audience and/or the relationship the author establishes with the author.Example1:bell hooks’ “Women Who Write too Much”bell hooks, scholar and renowned educator, in her essay “Women Who Write too Much” from Remembered Rapture(1999),arguesthat all dissident writers, particularly black female writers, face enormous time pressures, for if they are not prodigious, they are never noticed by mainstream publishers.  She supports this claimfirst by describingher early writing experiences that taught her to “not be afraid of the writing process”(5); second, by explainingher motivesfor writing, including “political activism”(6); and lastly, by affirmingher argument, stressing that people must strategically schedule their writing and “make much of that time”(8). Her two-pronged purpose is to respond to critics and to encourage minority writers to develop their own voice.  Although at times her writing seems almost didactic, hooks ultimately establishes a companionable relationship with her audienceof both critics and women who seek to improve the effectiveness of their own writing. 1This type of an academic summary is similar to a rhetorical précis.

2Academic Summary Form(Must be typedin MLA Style)1. (Author’s credentials), (author’s first and last name) in his/her(type of text), (title of text), published in(publishing info) addresses the topic of(topic of text)and argues that(argument). 2.  He/she supports this claim by____________________(here is where you include direct evidencefrom the text that you want to highlight to support the argument –this section can be multiple sentences.  Include at least three (3) pieces of evidence.3. (Author’s last name)’s purpose is to(author’s purpose in writing) in order to(here is what you explain what the author wants to achieve with his/her text). 4.  He/she adopts a(n)__________ tone for his/her audience, the readers of(publication)and others interested in the topic of______________.

Now that you understand what to include in Rhetorical Precis, your assignment is to develop one for Chimamanda Adichie’s “The Danger of a Single Story.”

Be sure to review the requirements of the Rhetorical Precis in the previous page. 


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