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ENG 100 - Summary Assignment (Whig)

1. Getting Started

Exclamation PointFirst Things First - Assignment Requirements

Before you begin work on any research project, examine the assignment closely for any requirements. 

Q. How long is the summary? 

Your summary should be 1 paragraph long and no longer than a single page.

Q. How many sources?

For this assignment, you only need one source (your article). You will write a summary of the article in your own words.  Be sure to highlight the main points of the article in your summary.  

Your article must come from the Gale in Context: Opposing Viewpoints Database.

Q. What kind of sources?

Your article must have 2-3 pages worth of content to summarize. Anything shorter than that is not acceptable for this assignment. You can choose an article from ONE of the following categories.

  • References
  • Magazines
  • Viewpoints/Featured Viewpoints
  • Biographies
  • Primary Sources
  • News

Q. How do you cite sources?

Use MLA format for your citation. You may want to remind yourself what information you need to create the MLA Works Cited page and in-text citations.

Q. What is due?

In addition to your summary, you must also annotate your article (highlight the sections you used for your summary) and complete your Summary Outline.

Q. When is it due?

How long do you have to work on this project? Is there one due date for everything or are there multiple due dates for different parts of the assignment?  Plan out your time, so you don't get stuck doing all the work at the last minute. Plan extra time in case you have problems or get stuck.

Q. What other requirements should you make note of? 

Are there requirements to include a certain number of quotes or paraphrases? Do you need to have a certain number of paragraphs? Do you need visuals/images? current statistics? Make note of any other requirements on the assignment sheet, and ask your instructor for clarification on any parts you're not sure about.

Selecting a Topic

The first thing you need to do before you begin a research project is to select a topic that you're going to write about. Consider the following:

Q. Do you have a choice?

You are allowed to choose any topic that interests you, as long as your article is found in the Gale in Context: Opposing Viewpoints Database.

Q. Do you have an interest?

If you have a choice on what topic you can choose, consider which one you find the most interesting.  Which topic do you think would be the easiest to research? Which topic would you have the most to say about?

Q. Are there sources?

Before you totally commit to a topic, you'll want to make sure that there are enough outside sources on the topic for your assignment. Not every topic is going to have information written about it. Newer topics or topics that aren't as well known may be harder to find sources for.  Do some searching in the library's databases to make sure there are sources, and Ask-A-Librarian to double-check if you're not sure there are enough sources for a topic you're really interested in.