How to Summarize and Write a Critical Response for Journals
Part I: SUMMARIZING
When you summarize, you write a general restatementof the main ideas of the original story using your own words. Therefore, the summary will be shorter than the original work becauseit will not include all the details but will highlight the main idea.
Steps in writing a summary:
1. Read the story/article as many times as necessaryto determine the main idea.
2. Look for the writer's purpose in writing.
3. Begin with one sentencenaming the writer and the story/article title.
4. Use your own words-do not copy directly from the article.
Part II: CRITICAL RESPONSE
The word "critical'! has positive as well as negative meanings. You can write a critical
that agrees entirely with the reading, or you can choose to disagree with the ideas posed by the author. In simple terms, a critical responseis your opinion about the story.
Some key phrases that you may use include:
feel that. ..
problem with. ..
everyone will agree with me, but...
I would have...
Guidelines for Journals:
1. Include the AP A citation of the book that is given in the samplejournal.
2. Your title must be: Journal #
3. The first sentence must include the author, title of the story/article, and page numbers.
4. The summary should be half a page. The critical responseshould be half a page.
5. Journal entries must be typed.
Langan,J. College Writing Skills with Readings.McGraw-Hill: New York, 2008.
In the story "Choosinga Treasurer"by Dan Smith(p. 45-48),we areto selectthe best
candidateto serveas studenttreasurerof the local university.To makethe selectionprocessfair
S\C\q\t.andunbiased,the three top candidates'identificationis not revealed.The candidateshave
submittedtheir qualificationsincluding transcripts,autobiography,and lettersof recommendation. Beforepresentingthe candidates'qualifications,the treasurer'sresponsibilities i are given. For instance,the chosentreasurermustwrite detailedmonthly reportsof all expenses by the studentgovernmentand decidehow the studentgovernmentmoneyshouldbe spent.
The threecandidatesup for electionarelabeledCandidateX, Y, andZ. CandidateX has strengthswhich include enjoying mathcourses,beingreliable,and gettingalongwell with people.However,CandidateX has only had a clericaljob andhasneverparticipatedin extracurricularactivities.CandidateY hasa strongbackgroundin extra-curricularactivities suchas cheerleading,secretaryof the accountingclub in high school,and directorof the Student
FellowshipCongregation.Unfortunately,CandidateY hashad five incompletesandthree