Reading Summaries (developing critical reading and writing skills)

Reading Summaries (developing critical reading and writing skills)

This assignment will also be used to develop a habit of critical reading that ultimately will enable critical writing skills and research. No late RS will be accepted.

Critical reading is a process of analyzing, interpreting and, sometimes, evaluating. When we read critically, we use our critical thinking skills to QUESTION both the text and our own reading of it.

here is a sample of how the reading summery needs to be done!

Reading Summaries:

Purpose: Authors put forward and establish a certain point of view through their writing. What you read might at first seem very convincing, but you as the reader, always need to actively evaluate the validity and strength of the argument being presented. In this section I ask you to briefly reflect on the author’s purpose. Write the purpose in your own words, without quotes. The following questions might help you to “find” the purpose of each reading:

Is the author defending a particular viewpoint?

Is there a particular philosophic tradition used to inform the author’s work?

For what audience is this material intended?

Strategy: Writers employ what are known as ‘textual strategies’ to convey meaning and establish credibility. In this section, please describe the primary strategy used by the author to demonstrate or support their purpose.

Examples of strategies might include: what particular narrative device is being used; statistical analysis, historical data analysis.

Summary: Briefly summarize the major conclusions drawn in the article or book.

You might simply bullet the following:

What is the main theme (thesis or argument) in the material?

What main points are used to justify or support this theme?

What explanation or evidence is used to support the main points?

Does the evidence seem well researched and accurate?

Sample Summary

William Julius Wilson “Truly Disadvantaged”

Purpose: The author attempts to explain the persistence of inner-city poverty in the aftermath of the Civil Rights Movement. He is responding both to conservative and liberal assessments of the issue. The author seems to be writing for other academics, as well as for policy-makers.

Strategy: The book uses statistical and demographic data to demonstrate key arguments. The author also reviews the statistical findings of other researchers. The arguments of the author themselves are historical (seem to put forth ideas about historical time as key to understanding.

Summary: The Truly Disadvantaged argues that conservatives fail to take into account the role of structure in framing cultural responses to poverty. On the other hand, the author argues, liberal solutions have primarily benefitted the middle-class. The author looks at various dimensions of social life to argue that the declining economic fortunes of young black men, particularly those with less education, have had devastating consequences for the black community. In particular, he focuses on declines in marriage and the rise in single-parent households and argues that changes have been driven in the declining proportion of “marriageable men” relative to women. He argues that the key problem of declining labor force participation of young black men is due to non-racial forces of deindustrialization