Your essay should have three main parts:

  1. Summary: the assigned reading by, among other things, asking yourself: What are the main arguments? What is the point of the report is trying to make? What topics are covered? If someone asked what this report is about, what would you say? If someone asked what are the topics in the subject/topic are that this article discussed, what would you say? Are there vague or sweeping generalizations that aren’t backed up with evidence? Are arguments very one-sided with no acknowledged of other viewpoints?
  2. Assessment: After summarizing, it may be helpful to evaluate: What have you learned about the subject? What is (are) the problem(s)? Is there consensus/disagreement: in what areas, what about the consensus/disagreement? What areas are still being researched ? Is the information reliable? Is this source biased or objective? What is the goal of this source? Was there enough evidence offered? Explain. Is the coverage comprehensive? Explain. Is the evidence based on a few studies or many? Explain. Does the author uses a good mix of sources of information (primary and secondary)? Explain.
  3. Reflection: Once you’ve summarized and assessed, you need to ask how it fits into your research or our class. Was this source helpful in identifying issues? How does it shape your argument? How can you use this source in your research project? Has it changed how you think about your topic? Does the author offer sound reasons for reaching conclusions? How timely is the source? Some information becomes dated when new research is available, but another source can be quite sound 50 or 100 years later.

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