Virginia has been a university English instructor for over 20 years. She specializes in helping people write essays faster and easier.
A summary is telling the main ideas of the article in your own words.
Summary Writing Steps
These are the steps to writing a great summary:
- Read the article, one paragraph at a time.
- For each paragraph, underline the main idea sentence (topic sentence). If you can't underline the book, write that sentence on your computer or a piece of paper.
- When you finish the article, read all the underlined sentences.
- In your own words, write down one sentence that conveys the main idea. Start the sentence using the name of the author and title of the article (see format below).
- Continue writing your summary by writing the other underlined sentences in your own words. Remember that you need to change both the words of the sentence and the word order. For more information, see the video below.
- Don't forget to use transition words to link your sentences together. See my list of transition words below to help you write your summary more effectively and make it more interesting to read.
- Make sure you include the name of the author and article and use "author tags" (see list below) to let the reader know you are talking about what the author said and not your own ideas.
- Re-read your piece. Does it flow well? Are there too many details? Not enough? Your summary should be as short and concise as possible.
Sample Summary Outline
Author Tag: You need to start your summary by telling the name of the article and the author. Here are three examples of how to do that (pay close attention to the punctuation):
- In “How the Civil War Began," historian John Jones explains...
- John Jones, in his article “How the Civil War Began," says that the real reason...
- "How the Civil War Began," by historian John Jones, describes...
First Sentence: Along with including the article's title and author's name, the first sentence should be the main point of the article. It should answer the question: What is this essay about? (thesis). Example:
In "How the Civil War Began" by John Jones, the author argues that the real reason for the start of the Civil War was not slavery, as many believe, but was instead the clash of cultures and greed for cash.
Rest of Summary: The rest of your essay is going to give the reasons and evidence for that main statement. In other words, what is the main point the writer is trying to make, and what are the supporting ideas he or she uses to prove it? Does the author bring up any opposing ideas, and if so, what does he or she do to refute them? Here is a sample sort of sentence:
___________ is the issue addressed in “(article's title)” by (author's name). The thesis of this essay is ___________ . The author’s main claim is ___________ and his/her sub claim is ___________ . The author argues ___________ . Other people argue ___________ . The author refutes these ideas by saying ___________ . His/her conclusion is ___________ .
How Often Do You Mention the Author?
You don't need to mention the author in every sentence of a summary, but you do need to make it clear when an idea is from the article and when it is your own idea. Usually, you want to be sure to tell the title of the article and the full name of the author in the first sentence of your summary. After that, use the author's last name or the title when you want to summarize something from the article or book. To avoid sounding too repetitious, you can substitute words in the table below.
Author Tag List
|Author's Name||Article||Words for "Said"||Adverbs to Use With "Said"|
"first couple of words"
the article (book etc.)
the historian (or other profession)
What About Multiple Authors?
For articles with 1-4 authors, cite all of the authors the first time you mention the article and title. Afterward, use "authors" or the last name of the first author and "et al." (which is Latin for "and others"). For articles with more than 4 authors, use the first and last name of the first author in the opening sentence and "et al." Then use the last name and "et al." or "authors" or some other plural throughout.
- Men and Women in Conversation: Example response essay to Deborah Tannen's article about how divorce can be prevented if people learn the communication signals of the opposite gender.
- Response Essay about Getting a Tattoo: Responds to a personal experience article from the New York Times about a man who gets a dragon tattoo.
- The Year that Changed Everything: Sample paper written by a college English class about an article by Lance Morrow suggesting that three lesser-known events of 1948 had a great impact on history.
Transition Words List
For the most part
On the contrary
Questions for Analysis in a Summary
How is this written?
Who is the audience?
Is it effectively written for that audience?
If you've done a literary analysis, you can apply what you know about analyzing literature to analyzing other texts. You will want to consider what is effective and ineffective. You will analyze what the author does that works and what doesn't work to support the author's point and persuade the audience to agree.
Using TRACE for Analysis
Sometimes, especially when you're just getting started writing, the task of fitting a huge topic into an essay may feel daunting and you may not know where to start. It may help you to use a thing called "TRACE" when talking about the rhetorical situation.
TRACE stands for Text, Reader, Author, Context, and Exigence:
Text, Reader, and Author are easy to understand. When writing the analysis, you need to think about what kind of text it is and what the author wanted to have the audience think, do, or believe. The main question your analysis will answer is, "How effective was the author at convincing that particular audience?"
Context means several things: how the article fits into the history of discussion of that issue, the historical moment in time when the article is written, and the moment in time when a person reads the article.
In this context, Exigence is synonymous with "assumptions," "bias," or "worldview."
Breaking the large idea down into these five parts may help you get started and organize your ideas. In your paper, you'll probably want to address three to five of these elements.
Each of the following elements can be one paragraph of your analysis. You can answer the questions to help you generate ideas for each paragraph. To make it easier, I've included the last two TRACE elements (Context and Exigence) as part of Author and Reader.
- How is the essay organized? What is effective or ineffective about the organization of the essay?
- How does the author try to interest the reader?
- How well does the author explain the main claims? Are these arguments logical?
- Does the support and evidence seem adequate? Is the support convincing to the reader? Does the evidence actually prove the point the author is trying to make?
- Who is the author? What does he or she know about this subject?
- What is the author's bias? Is the bias openly admitted? Does that make his or her argument more or less believable?
- Do the author's knowledge and background make her or him reliable for this audience?
- How does the author try to relate to the audience and establish common ground? Is it effective?
- How does the author interest the audience? Does she or he make the reader want to know more?
- Does the author explain enough about the history of this argument? Is anything left out?
- Who is the reader?
- How would they react to these arguments?
- How is this essay effective or ineffective for this audience?
- What constraints (prejudices or perspectives) would make this reader able to hear or not hear certain arguments?
- What is the exigence (events at this moment in time which affect the need for this conversation) that makes the audience interested in this issue?
Professional Sample SAR
Sample Analysis Format
Text: Analyzing the text is very much like doing literary analysis, which many students have done before. Use all of your tools of literary analysis, including looking at the metaphors, rhythm of sentences, construction of arguments, tone, style, and use of language. Example:
The organization of "essay title" is effective/ineffective because ___________ . The essay's opening causes the reader to ___________ . The essay's style is ___________ and the tone is shown by ___________ . The language used is___________ . The essay's argument is constructed logically/illogically by ___________. The essay is organized by ___________ (give a very brief description of the structure of the essay, perhaps telling where the description of the problem is, where claims are made, and where support is located—in which paragraphs—and why this is effective or ineffective in proving the point).
Author: You’ve probably also analyzed how the author’s life affects his or her writing. You can do the same for this sort of analysis. For example, in my sample reading the response about Michael Crichton's "Let's Stop Scaring Ourselves" article, students noted that the fact that Crichton is the author of doomsday thrillers like Andromeda Strain and Jurassic Park makes his argument that we shouldn't pay much attention to current doomsday scenarios like global warming rather ironic. If you don't know anything about the author, you can always do a quick Google Search to find out. Sample format:
The author establishes his/her authority by ___________ . The author's bias is shown in ___________ . The author assumes an audience who ___________ . He/She establishes common ground with the audience by ___________ .
Reader: You can write this section by inferring who the intended reader is, as well as looking at the text from the viewpoint of other sorts of readers. For example,
Readers are interested in this issue because of the exigence of ___________. Constraints on the reader's reaction are ___________. I think the reader would react to this argument by ___________. I think that the author's ___________ is effective. ___________ is less effective because ___________ includes ___________. The support is adequate/inadequate and is relevant/irrelevant to the author’s claim.
How to Write a Response
Generally, your response will be the end of your essay, but you may include your response throughout the paper as you select what to summarize and analyze. Your response will also be evident to the reader by the tone that you use and the words you select to talk about the article and writer. However, your response in the conclusion will be more direct and specific. It will use the information you have already provided in your summary and analysis to explain how you feel about this article. Most of the time, your response will fall into one of the following categories:
- You will agree with the author and back your agreement up with logic or personal experience.
- You will disagree with the author because of your experience or knowledge (although you may have sympathy with the author's position).
- You will agree with part of the author's points and disagree with others.
- You will agree or disagree with the author but feel that there is a more important or different point that needs to be discussed in addition to what is in the article.
How will this article fit into your own paper? How will you be able to use it?
What do you think?
Does this article persuade you?
Questions to Help You
Here are some questions you can answer to help you think about your response:
- What is your reaction to the essay?
- What common ground do you have with the author? How are your experiences the same or different from the author's and how has your experience influenced your view?
- What in the essay is new to you? Do you know of any information the article left out that is relevant to the topic?
- What in this essay made you re-think your view?
- What does this essay make you think about? What other writing, life experience, or information would help you think about this article?
- What do you like or dislike about the essay and/or the ideas in the essay?
- How much of your response is related to your personal experience? How much is related to your worldview? How is this feeling related to the information you know?
- How will this information be useful for you in writing your essay? What position does this essay support? Or where might you use this article in your essay?
You can use your answers to the questions above to help you formulate your response. Here is a sample of how you can put this together into your essay (for more sample essays, see the links above):
Before reading this article, my understanding of this topic was ___________. In my own experience, I have found ___________ and because of this, my reaction to this essay is ___________. Interestingly, I have ___________ as common ground with the author/audience. What was new to me is ___________. This essay makes me think ___________. I like/dislike ___________ in the essay. I will use this article in my research essay for ___________.
Questions & Answers
Question: I have to summarize and respond to an article. How would I start my thesis?
Answer: Your thesis is the main idea of the article and your main response to it.
Question: How can I summarize an essay?
Answer: The best way to summarize an essay is to start by quickly reading it through. After you read it once, write down what you think the main idea of the author is (or pick the one sentence which seems to tell the main point or thesis of the article). Next, read it again more slowly. This time, underline or highlight the main topic sentence in each paragraph. Then, re-write each of these sentences in their own words either on a hard copy of the essay or in a Word document. Now you can take all of those re-written topic points and use those as the basis of your summary. Re-read all of those sentences, and you should have all of the main ideas of the essay. If you realize there is something missing, then you will have to write that in. However, you aren't finished yet because your summary needs to flow like a smooth paragraph. So take what you've written and re-write it to have the sentences make sense and flow together. Use my Easy Words for Starting Sentences article to help you use the transition words that show the linking of ideas (next, furthermore, moreover, however, on the one hand, not only, but also). If you want to do a really exceptional job, once you have finished your summary, you should go back and look at the original article one last time. Compare your summary with the article and ask yourself these questions:
Have I made the main point of the article clear?
Do I explain what the author of the article wanted the reader to think, do, or believe?
Do I give all the main reasons for the author to write this article?
Question: What is a strong opening for a response essay in letter form?
Answer: After the salutation, you need to write your main thesis in a roadmap form. Usually, you either agree, disagree or agree with parts and disagree with other parts. Alternatively, your response could talk about how the text made you reflect on something in your own experience.
Question: What should the conclusion to a SAR paper be?
Answer: In a SAR paper, the conclusion should usually be your response to the article. That means that you will tell the reader what you think about it, including whether you liked it, what you learned from it, how it reminded you of something in your own experience, or how it changed your thinking.
Question: How do you write an opinion analysis?
Answer: You might want to discuss this with your instructor, but I suspect that "opinion analysis" is just a different way of saying "analysis and response." The response part is really having you give your opinion of the essay. You can do an analysis without first doing a summary. Just follow the instructions in this article. You may also want to see: How to Write an Analysis Response: https://hubpages.com/academia/How-to-Write-an-Anal...
Question: How do you write an analysis on an article that informs?
Answer: Your analysis would examine how well the analysis is done:
How well does the author explain the concepts?
Do they define terms and make sure the audience understands?
Is the order of information clear?
Is there anything missing in the explanation?
Does the information include everything needed for the audience to understand the issue or subject?
Question: How is writing a thesis different from a summary article?
Answer: A summary means you are telling the main idea of someone else's article, book, or other text. A thesis is your idea and the main point of your essay. If you are writing a summary and response paper, you will need to say what the main idea is of the article you are summarizing and then your thesis would be your response to that article. Here are some types of thesis responses you could make:
1. The article by James John is interesting and insightful, but it uses too much detail to describe each point, and I became bored and unconvinced that he had the right solution to the problem of XX.
2. James John's article was garbled and difficult to read, but I found that his main thesis got right to the point and actually gave me insights I could apply to my life in the area of XX.
3. Although I thought James John's article was somewhat simplistic and short, I found that many of his examples resonated with my own experiences and made me think about his ideas for several days, giving me insights about how I could have better responded when XX.
Question: What if there are two authors of an article or book? Do I have to use both their names or just one of them and the article or book title?
Answer: If both authors are listed on the cover, I would use both names when you first mention the article. Afterward, it would be easier to refer to them by saying "the authors" or using "the article."
Question: Can I use quotes in a main idea?
Answer: It is always better to summarize or paraphrase rather than using quotes to state the main idea of your paper or the summary. See my article on when a quotation is appropriate: https://hubpages.com/academia/Examples-of-Summary-...
Question: We have to write an analysis in 6 to 7 sentences. How can I keep my analysis that short?
Answer: You will need to focus on just a few aspects of the article and make sure the evidence for your point is included briefly in each sentence. The first sentence should be your main thesis about how the article is effective (and if applicable, what is ineffective). Use a couple of sentences to elaborate on what is effective and a couple to show what is ineffectively done. End with a conclusion of how the article is useful to readers.
Question: I have to summarize and evaluate an essay. How can I evaluate efficiently?
Answer: Read your article and before you begin your summary, make a table. On one side of the table, write out the main points of the article. On the second side, write what you think about the main points. In the middle, write what you thought about whether the author argued effectively for each point or not. That table should make the writing easier.
Question: When writing an analysis paragraph do you still use the seven sentence paragraph format?
Answer: It is always a good idea to talk to your instructor about the requirements for your particular essay. In general, an analysis paragraph can have the same format as other types of paragraphs. The first sentence would be the topic sentence and state your main analysis of the essay. That would be followed by examples from the essay to support that main point. For example, if your topic sentence stated, "The essay is effective because of the tone, word choice, and effective examples used by the author," your following sentences would explain and give examples from the essay that prove that point. Sometimes, you will include in the topic sentence what was done ineffectively, but you can also do that as a separate paragraph. The number of sentences would depend on the information you wanted to use to explain and illustrate your analysis.
Question: How can I analyze primary sources in the area of History?
Answer: You analyze primary sources in the same way that you would analyze any other text. You look at how the way it is written influences the meaning (tone, voice, word choice and examples etc.). You also would consider how the text in context with the time that it is written in comparison to our current historical and political situation.
Question: How do I write an essay on two topics that seem alike, but are different?
Answer: You are probably referring to a comparative essay when you need to explain the similarities and differences between two different topics. There are two main ways to do this
1. Talk about the similarities in one section and then the differences in another.
2. Thematically: Use different topics to organize the paper and then within each topic, discuss the similarities and differences of each of the two topics. For example, if you are discussing the similarities and differences between two types of cars, you could use the criteria of how well they drive, interior space, safety record, repair record, and choices in colors.
Question: How do you cite an article if it has multiple authors?
Answer: You can either use the first author and then add "et al." which means "and others." However, if there are just two authors, you might want to include both full names the first time you reference the article and then use just both last names in the author tags.
© 2011 Virginia Kearney
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on July 02, 2020:
Hi Deepa! I am so very glad that you are finding this helpful as you teach your children. I have over 100 articles to help teach English writing. Please come back and I hope I can help you again! Blessings to you!
Deepa on July 01, 2020:
Very Use ful .Thank you.
Deepa Immanuel on July 01, 2020:
For the first time ,I am seeing such a valuable information on Analysis of Essays.Now I find it easy to help my children in their work .Thank you so much.
Me on May 28, 2020:
Wow this article is so helpful. Thank you so much! Especially the examples and the questions were incredibly helpful.
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This has been profoundly helpful. Thanks a lot!
Ludwina on January 31, 2019:
I found it more clearly and help for the ged test
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on November 19, 2018:
Hi Anthony--I'm so glad you've found this helpful. My 100 articles on writing have been written from my experience in teaching students how to write and trying to explain more clearly than the textbook. I could have taken my articles and written my own textbook but by posting them here on HubPages, they are searchable by Google and people can find the information they need.
Anthony on November 18, 2018:
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firstname.lastname@example.org on September 30, 2018:
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ibrahima barry on April 17, 2018:
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James on March 04, 2018:
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Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on February 14, 2018:
Hi Rezvan, to prepare for your exam, you should practice following the steps I show you here and you should read all of my example articles. You can also look at my article about summary and response. You should ask your instructor whether your analysis is supposed to include a personal response. Sometimes, the "response" part is included in the analysis. If it is not, that can be a good way to start the article, by talking about your expectations before reading and then how you thought after reading. What did you think this was going to be about? Or judging from the title, what would most people think this is about? That can be a good way to introduce your paper, especially if the topic turns out to be a surprise. Another simple way is just to state the main idea of the article in one sentence. A third introduction would explain the context of the publishing of the article or the cultural circumstances that most people would know about that topic.
Rezvan on February 14, 2018:
Thank you so much for the amazing information. I have a question for you.
I have an exam in 2 days that will ask me to write to summarize and analyze" an article. I wonder how it looks like to have both a summary and analysis! I am a bit confused about how to structure it and how to start my introduction.
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on February 06, 2018:
I'm not sure how you can do a personal response without using a personal pronoun. However, if that is your assignment, you can say: This article makes the reader feel... The author is believable because.... The current situation of ..... would remind a reader that....
Somok on February 06, 2018:
I have to write a response essay today, and I cannot use personal pronoun like I, You, We, Us. I’m so confused
Imtiaz Ali on December 14, 2017:
i am very thankful to you.
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on November 15, 2017:
Hi Karen! I'm so glad that this information helped you. I hope you will share this with other students. I know that many English instructors are graduate students who are not terribly experienced teachers and have a lot of work to do in their own studies. After over 20 years of focusing on teaching writing, I wanted to share what I had learned from my students about how to write these essays more clearly and easily. Most of my information comes from working with students and analyzing their essays to see what worked best.
Karen Kenny on November 14, 2017:
Once again, thank you! I wish I would've seen these articles at the beginning of my English class! You provide the type of information that I can easily follow. I have an instructor for my class this semester that has not made herself available for classes or who bothers to answer emails or texts. Had I known about this site, I think I would've done just fine taking my class online!
Sofia on November 01, 2017:
It helped me too much ! thank you from Italy
Ashley on October 25, 2017:
I really enjoyed this page and found the examples very helpful!
ling on October 05, 2017:
Appreciated for your effort!
It does helped me a lot!
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on September 17, 2017:
Hi Cathy, I tell my students that you want to include the examples you need to make your point clear, but you don't want to summarize everything.
Cathy on September 17, 2017:
Hello, Thank you so much for your guide. Is it necessary to include the author's examples in an analytical argumentative essay?
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on August 16, 2017:
Rodsy, I'm so glad that this has helped you. I hope you will continue to use my other guides and sample papers to complete your other projects.
Rodsy Karim Taseen on August 16, 2017:
Thank you so much for making it easy. Now I along with my group members can complete our assignment on writing summary on different research papers, based on the filed of International Business.
Rory on June 18, 2017:
Thank you so much! I really appreciate the effort put into your work. :) this will really help me now and in future.
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on May 26, 2017:
Hi, Chloe! It would depend in part what sort of assignment you've been given. Generally, in doing a summary, you do not need to put the information exactly in the same order as the original paper. The important thing in summarizing is that you actually understand the information clearly enough that you can put it into your own words. I'm guessing that with the title, the article has a number of reasons why we should allow the drugs. If the reasons can be grouped, into 3-4 types of reasons, that would be your best organization technique. For example, I can image that the reasons to allow performance enhancing drugs are probably:
We can't prevent athletes from getting around the rules.
We have better athletic contests if we allow drugs.
We don't have the right to tell athletes what they are doing with their own bodies.
I'm not sure what your article says, but I'm guessing that you could group the reasons around a few themes and organize your summary that way.
Chloe on May 26, 2017:
hi there, i am doing a science report on "Why we should allow performance enhancing drugs in sport" and the article has 12 subheadings and i am supposed to summarize all of them. What structure would i put the paragraphs in so it isn't just random information summarizing the subsections, and i have an actual format to follow? Thank you :)
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on May 20, 2017:
Hi, Brad! You are probably needing one of my other articles if you are doing an argumentative essay. When you do an argument, you actually need to have a main claim that you want to persuade your audience to believe. The analysis part of that sort of essay means that you evaluate the pros and cons of other ideas about that claim. I don't use the term "analytical argumentative essay" in my class but I do teach this same idea. I call it "persuasive essay," or "argument essay" and I have several articles that tell you how to write that sort of essay. Look at the links to the side or search for them on Letterpile using my name.
brad on May 20, 2017:
Would this be considered an outline for an analytical Argumentative essay?
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on April 16, 2017:
Hi--If you are doing a summary, analysis, and response, then you do it the same as we've described here except that you would summarize the story and then analyze whether it was told effectively and finally give a response. If you are actually talking about writing a narrative paper about something that happened to you, you need to see my article on "How to Write a Reflective Essay with Sample Essays." Search for it on Letterpile or on my profile page.
cletusoe12 @gmail.com on April 16, 2017:
How can I write a story of a personal encounter in an accident. In narrative essay. Please can you give me example?
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on April 02, 2017:
Hi Mimi--In the response section, you can explain how you are going to use that article in your research paper. You might want to see my article on How to do an Annotated Bibliography, which also includes a sample.
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on April 02, 2017:
Glad this is helpful to you Flor. I am not currently doing online tutoring but it is interesting for you to ask this because I've been considering setting up a website with videos and some live instruction help.
Flor on April 02, 2017:
what a great way to explain you have used here. Are you interested in doing tutoring online? I would love to have the opportunity to be tutor by you.
Mimi on April 02, 2017:
Hello, I am actually working on three articles and my supervisor asked to make a summary including analysis.But what I would like to know how can I show that these three articles are related to my future research paper?how can I analyze them?can you please help me?
Shelbee on January 31, 2017:
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Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on December 15, 2016:
Hi Brianna--If you are doing a summary of an article, then I would do that first. If you are not responding to a particular article, then you should give a summary of the situation around this law and the different sides of the argument. Then pose a question which is interesting to you. Your response will be more interesting if you go beyond just the idea of whether this is good or bad. Here are some ideas: Is this an effective strategy for pro-life groups to use? Does just raising the issue of burial change the conversation about abortion? Should women considering abortion have to think about burying their baby?
Brianna on December 14, 2016:
How can I come up with a theme for my response paper. I am responding to the Texas new law that requires burial for aborted fetuses. Any ideas?
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on December 07, 2016:
Thanks for letting me know Seza! This type of essay is not very well explained in many textbooks and that is what led me to write these instructions and ask my students to post examples. Since I've been using these instructions, I've found my students do a much better job at writing these kinds of essays, which is important because the thinking you do while writing these essays is what prepares you for doing good research.
Seza on December 07, 2016:
This post has been of great help for me and my friends. Thank you very much.
Tessa on November 28, 2016:
Excellent lesson. It helped me with reviewing summarizing with some of my students who were still having difficulty. I especially liked the chart. However, please change adjective to adverbs.
Thanks for the information
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Very good insight on "analysis" description.
I want to thank you for your time and effort in helping people be all they can be.
Keep up the great work
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on September 28, 2016:
Thanks Singapore! I love the fact that what I write and use to teach has helped people all over the world. I'm approaching 8 million views now!
Singapore on September 28, 2016:
Thanks from Singapore! It's for literature :)
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on September 13, 2016:
Thanks Simon! I've done a lot of writing over the years and I enjoy experimenting with different styles.
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This my second semester in the university and I have to write. Analysis essay I find your site very helpful for me. Really thank you
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on May 26, 2016:
Hi Ercan! Since I started writing online in 2008, I've been amazed to see people from all over the world reading my work and being helped by the information I've developed for my students at college here in the United States. Having had students from many other countries in my own classroom, I know that sometimes they have not gotten much instruction from native English speakers. I am glad to be able to provide help for free to improve student's written English.
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Bruk on February 08, 2016:
I don't know why I should go to school. This is the right place. It's helping me in my English composition 2 class.thank you.
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on November 19, 2015:
Hi Ed, I'm not sure what your instructor means by writing with authority. They may mean they want you to quote reliable, authoritative sources. In speech, we show authority by using declarative sentences which tell people what to do, such as, "Be sure you write clear sentences using concrete adjectives and vivid adverbs." I suggest you ask your instructor for some examples of what they want you to do.
Ed on November 19, 2015:
Hello Professor Lynne. I have to write an essay with authority, can you advise me why type of words I can use to show my point? By the way the topic is dealing Information Technology.
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on June 04, 2015:
Thanks yakul for your comment. As a writer, I know I am always learning and improving too!
Matty Navarro from New Jersey on March 05, 2015:
I have to turn in a summary page for Critical Thinking. You've helped me lots!
Please follow me.
Christy Maria on January 20, 2015:
I am a student in University right now and I have to write response papers so often. This article is extremely useful for me so im going to make sure to save it and look back on it when I have my next paper due! Thankyou
Najat from Rottherdam - NL on November 04, 2014:
i like your hub, great sharing, i love the instructions
greeting from Hijama
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on October 23, 2014:
Aesta--glad to know this helped you. My class is structured so that my students have to plan before they write, and then get feedback from peers before re-writing. Many of them don't like that process because they want to get it all done in one sitting, but after they have gone through this process for a semester, they begin to realize that stopping to organize their thoughts first often means that the writing goes much more quickly. In the end, it takes less time!
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on October 22, 2014:
Enjoyed reading your hub as it is really well written and very substantial. I need to digest this information and start applying this in my work. I often just write spontaneously, no outline, and I organize this after. Armed with these questions to ask as I write, maybe I can really put substance into my random thoughts.
Lloyd Jenkins on September 22, 2014:
This was great information, it will help me in my English class this semester. Organization is key in writing a good summary and response.
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on January 29, 2014:
Organised Kaos--do you really live in Tasmania? That seems like a fairy tale place to me. Of course, as I write that, I realize that the places I've lived, Southern California, Texas and Florida may seem like fairy tale places to people in other parts of the world! Good luck on your college career. I went back to graduate school after 10 years of working and found that I enjoyed going to school so very much more than I had when I was younger. I actually enjoyed the chance to learn things. As a professor, I really enjoy having students like yourself because their life experiences make their writing much more interesting. Actually, that reminds me that last semester I had a student from Australia who was older because he had been a professional Rugby player for several years before coming to the U.S. to go to college and play American football. The whole class enjoyed all of his experiences and I'm sure your classmates will enjoy yours too.
Anne from Hobart, Tasmania ~ Australia.(The little bit broken off the bottom of AUS) on January 29, 2014:
Thanks for a great hub. Just about to go back to college after 20 years and am a little nervous about having forgotten this kinda stuff.
Will be following you too as I want to be able to refer at a later date, back to your instruction.
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on October 07, 2013:
How interesting Maddie--thanks for letting me know. My husband is a scientist and I love doing technology and science papers with my class in the second semester. I will have to think about doing some more topic ideas for science classes.
Maddie (: on October 07, 2013:
I'm doing this for science
Anarkali Suits on November 22, 2012:
“Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly -- they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.”
Avafdree on July 16, 2012:
This page is a great method to connect to others. Congratulations on a job well achieved. I am anticipating your next
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on February 22, 2012:
B. Leekley--absolutely! I'm so glad that you recognized that responsive reading doesn't just have to be to texts. Anything that provides us something to think about can be put into a responsive reading. You've reminded me that I need to add my own Hub which responded to a Harvard Study on the effect of going to 4th of July celebrations to my links.
Brian Leekley from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA on February 22, 2012:
Thank you for this interesting and helpful hub. I have bookmarked it. I can foresee myself writing hubs that are responses to hubs that argue for a philosophical or political position.
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on February 11, 2012:
I'm glad! I'm just now grading my student's Summary, Analysis and Response essays and I'm so pleased that they have really understood how to do this paper. I'm hoping my directions this semester have been clearer. We did two days of peer editing, which I think helped. This paper is similar to the Reading Response paper, and both of these Hubs are are the very top in number of hits, so I think that many people have trouble on these essays and the textbooks don't always describe them well.
mlc816 on February 11, 2012:
Many thanks Virginia..you made things a lot simpler for me!
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on January 14, 2012:
johnsdfd--good question. Yes--I should add that to the hub. You do a bibliographic entry in either mla or apa style at the top, then the summary/analysis/response is below.
htodd from United States on January 14, 2012:
Great post virginialynne..Thanks
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on January 11, 2012:
Glad I helped you nico! My class is just starting on this essay now and so I was looking at my Hubviews and very surprised to find this one had over 3,000! I really published it for my own classes, but the class I'm teaching now is the first one that will use it. Guess there are a lot of other people out there needing help!
Virginia Kearney (author) from United States on October 03, 2011:
Thanks! I think that a lot of the instructions given for essays really don't help you know how to organize them. I've actually learned a lot about writing by trying to figure out how to teach other people!
Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 16, 2011:
Well written. I like how you break everything down.