English | english | Anne Arundel Community College

Revised Summary Assignment

Assignment Purpose

When used as a noun, a summary is defined as “a brief statement or account of the main points of something” (Google Dictionary). Summary is foundational to academic writing one must establish common ground with readers about all texts cited in a piece of academic writing. Summary is the backbone of academic writing, which means it is a necessary skill you should develop for success in college courses. This exercise is designed to help you learn and develop your ability to write effective summaries.

Assignment Description

For this writing project, you will summarize Act I of Hamilton: An American Musical by focusing on one character’s story arc. The final draft of your Summary Assignment should have an original title, two (2) paragraphs (usually six to seven sentences in each paragraph), present tense and third-person point of view, Standardized American English, and MLA Style with a works cited.

By focusing on the narrative path of one character, you will be able to learn more about the character, the overall narrative, and the themes and motifs connected to the character. In other words, this exercise will not only help you practice your summary skills but also help you analyze the first act of the musical. You can also practice the primary characteristics valued in academic writing: precision and concision.

Summary Structure

1.  First sentence: Text title, author/composer, and publication date

2.  Second sentence: Setting of the story

3.  Third sentence: Introduction of character

4.  Rest of paragraph: Exposition (story arc/plot events)

5.  Second paragraph: Analysis (production elements, narrative and theatrical vocabularies)

Summary Assignment Requirements

1.  The submitted file must be a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) or Google doc.

2.  The document needs to follow the MLA Style formatting conventions: double spacing, Times New Roman font, 12-pt font size, standard margins of one inch, and indentation of the first line of a paragraph.

3.  The summary should be in your own words. For this assignment, avoid using the language of the author if you can.

4.  If you do use quotes from the text or reference specific musical numbers, include in-text citations that follow MLA style guidelines. See pages in Module One, From Inquiry, and the Purdue OWL for examples.

5.  Include a Works Cited entry that follows MLA style guidelines. Remember that the Works Cited should be on its own new page (but still part of the same document–do not submit a separate file for the Works Cited).

6.  Review the Summary Assignment Rubric. The rubric is the document I will use to provide feedback on grade your assignment. Rubrics are a tool that demonstrate what is being valued in the specific genre. It is a smart habit to always spend time with a rubric before and as you compose and revise a writing assignment.

Assignment Process

1.  You should have already read Act I of Hamilton: An American Musical to complete the LAP quizzes.

2.  Read Chapter 3 of From Inquiry to Academic Writing.

3.  Select a character from the first Act upon whom you would like to focus.

4.  Reread the first Act while annotating your character’s story arc. Using your literary and theatrical vocabularies, note your character’s

1.  characteristics/qualities,

2.  relationship to other characters,

3.  involvement in plot events, growth or lack thereof as the story progresses,

4.  and themes, musical motifs, symbols associated with or represented by your character.

5.  Write a crappy first draft that can include your typed notes, quotes, notes from other documents, and your uncensored thoughts, ideas and reactions. Just get words on the page.

6.  Second draft. This draft should be in paragraphs and help you understand and express your own ideas about the text. This is the writer’s draft.

7.  Revise that draft for your target readers. Revise with a focus on your reader and the qualities of precision and concision.

1.  Some useful questions to ask yourself as you write each sentence:

1.  What does my reader need to understand or know next?

1.  Does each sentence and word within each sentence advance my message to my reader?

·  In other words, does each sentence and word do a job or some kind of work toward advancing your interpretation or argument? Get rid of filler or lazy words and sentence.

8.  Ask for feedback on your draft from a writing tutor at the Virtual Writing Center, a classmate, or the professor during her scheduled Office Hours.

9.  Edit your final draft for formal style and grammar and mechanics that use the conventions of Standardized American English appropriate for academic writing. Format and edit for MLA Style standards.

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