Understanding SummaryWritingRhetoric and Composition 1001
The Importance of theSummaryApplicableinallfieldsofeverythingSometimesalsoreferredtoasanabstract
Criteria for an EffectiveSummary•Represents the original piece accurately and fairly•Direct and concise•Reveal the author’s main points without giving your opinionon those points•Use your own words to express the original author’s ideas•Attributive tags!!•Quotes are used sparingly, if at all•The summary is its own unique piece of writing- coherentand thorough•Properly cited
Me Talk Pretty One DayRepresenting the essay fairly•He is the protagonist– objectivefocus on the essay•Economic language: If there is aeffective way to say it…•Avoid overly descriptive language•While his writing is sarcastic andat times even culturally caustic,you don’t want your own prose tobe sarcastically written
Me Talk Pretty One DayUse your own words to convey hisideas about living in Paris andspeaking French•Distinguish between yoursummary of his ideas and hisideas by using attributive tags•ATTRIBUTIVE TAGS AREGREAT!!!•Quotations are not reallyessential and can be a hindranceto the summary
Me Talk Pretty One DayThe summary is a unified pieceof writing in its own right•Your reader will not have to referto the original piece in order to getthe gist of the essay•For your own essay in this class,you will HAVE to limit the numberof words in your summary to about200-250 words, typical of anacademic abstract•Examples of citations can befound on page 102-103 (MLA ofcourse)
In his essay, Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris sarcastically details his life in Paris anda horrible French teacher who would berate him and his fellow French-learning classmates.He talks about how cruel his teacher was, and then he talks about how her cruelty connectsto his family life in the United States as well as how learning French was like joining a gang.Obviously, Sedaris wrote this essay as a metaphor for the obstacles we all must face throughlife. While his writing style is a bit non-linear, it is apparent that a reader can recognize andsympathize with the struggles that we all face.In Me Talk Pretty One Day, originally published in a collection of essays bythat same title, David Sedaris recounts a time that he had spent learningFrench in a school in Paris. He chronicles conversations that weave hispersonal, humorously portrayed emotions with experiences that he has had inhis past, all while sympathizing with his fellow classmates during months ofFrench immersion. Throughout the essay, Sedaris constructs his Frenchteacher to be belittling and sadistic, yet toward the concluding paragraphs, hebegins to feel a sense of “great joy” toward his high immersion education, ashe has begun to understand every word that she speaks. “The world openedup” for Sedaris at this pinnacle conclusion, capturing his gratitude at thebeauty that comes with comprehension.1.2.
TO RECAPThe Basics of anEffective Summary If you’d like a littlemore DavidSedaris and histrips around theworld– copy andpaste this link:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vo98DQnvYOMk