Journal Summarizing

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This week, you continue writing your journal entries. This journal is designed to give you practice in academic writing, which is very different from the personal essay writing that you have been practicing. Academic writing entails making a point and supporting that point with information from a reputable source. There are three ways to support a point with information from a source: quoting, paraphrasing, or summarizing. This week, you will practice summarizing a source and citing that source in your journal entry. Please be sure to read and review the “Example Journal Entry – Summarizing (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.” document, which shows how summaries can be integrated.

Note: The journal assignment should not be confused with a personal journal. This activity requires organization, effective stylistics and grammar, and proper source incorporation. It is not a free-writing or reflective writing exercise.

The personal essay we have read this week, “Consider the Lobster (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.” uses narrative and/or descriptive elements (sections 6.3 and 6.4 in Essentials of College Writing), and each has a clear purpose.

Write about one of the essays assigned in this week’s readings. In 250 to 500 words

  • State the purpose of the essay.
  • Describe one descriptive writing pattern being used in the essay (refer to section 6.4 in Essentials of College Writing).
  • Explain why you think that descriptive writing pattern is used well by the writer. Incorporate a summary from the essay and properly cite the essay.
  • Explain how you plan to use the same descriptive writing pattern in your personal essay.

As you are writing this journal entry, please pay attention to the areas that you struggled with in your “Grammar Assessment” quiz and “Practice Essay” assignment.

The following resource will assist you as you write this week’s journal:

HELPNOWlogo.png It is advised that you check your document for originality (avoiding unintentional plagiarism) by using the Turnitin program. Please view the video Using TurnItIn Through Waypoint (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. for guidance on using the Turnitin program.

When submitting your journal entry, make sure to

  • Proofread your work for errors in grammar, mechanics, and style.
  • Format the journal according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. Refer to the “APA Template” handout for guidelines on formatting a title page in APA style.
  • Provide an in-text citation for the section of the essay you quote. Refer to the Ashford Writing Center’s Comprehensive APA Reference List Models (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. for guidelines on in-text citations in APA style.
  • Provide a reference for the essay you quote. Refer to the Ashford Writing Center’s In-Text Citation Guide (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. for guidelines on citing sources in APA style.
  • Perform a word count check to make sure the journal is 250 to 500 words in length.
  • Save the document as a Microsoft Word or compatible .doc or .docx file.
  • Use a naming convention that includes your last name, week number, and the assignment number (e.g., smith_w2_a1.doc).

Guidelines for Summarizing Sources

GUIDELINES FOR SUMMARIZING SOURCES

Summarizing

Another good skill to help you incorporate research into your writing is summarizing. Summarizing is to take larger selections of text and reduce them to their basic essentials: the gist, the key ideas, the main points that are worth noting and remembering. Think of a summary as the “general idea in brief form”; it’s the distillation, condensation, or reduction of a larger work into its primary notions and main ideas.

As with directly quoting and paraphrasing, summarizing requires you to cite your sources properly to avoid “accidental” plagiarism. moreover, a summary should not change the meaning of the original source. a good summary should be a shortened version that conveys the purpose and main points of the original source.

Components of a Good Summary:

  • Write in the present tense.
  • Make sure to include the author, the year, and title of the work.
    • For Example:
      • In Pixar’s 2003 movie, Finding Nemo
      • In Stephen King’s horror book The Shining (1977),…
      • In Emily Dickinson’s poem “Because I Could Not Stop for Death (1890),”
  • Be concise: a summary should not be equal in length to the original text; it should be about 1/10 as long.
  • Include 2–3 main points of the text or work.
  • Include the conclusion or the final findings of the work.
  • Avoid using quotations. A summary is not a paraphrase or a direct quote. If you must use the author’s key words or phrases, always enclose them in quotation marks and cite.
  • Don’t put your own opinions, ideas, or interpretations into the summary. The purpose of writing a summary is to accurately represent what the author wanted to say, not to provide a critique.

When Is a Summary Useful?

You should summarize when…

  • you want to give an overview of a source’s main ideas/points;
  • you can express a source’s ideas or points in fewer words than the original text;
  • you need to give a brief synopsis of more than one source; or
  • Read through your notes from the third reading, look up the words/phrases that you do not know, and make any appropriate changes to the information you jotted down.
  • you want an authority on the topic to support your ideas.

Examples of Good and Bad Summaries

Be careful when you summarize that you avoid stating your opinion or putting a particular bias on what you write. This point is important because the goal of a summary is to be as factual as possible.
For example, here is an example of an inaccurate, opinion-laden summary about Pixar’s popular movie Finding Nemo:

So there’s a film where a man’s wife is brutally murdered by a serial killer and his son is left physically disabled. In a twist of events, the son is kidnaped and kept in a tank while his father chases the kidnapper thousands of miles with the help of a mentally challenged woman. Finding Nemo is quite the thriller.

This example is a bad summary because it is very vague, and it contains the writer’s opinion as well as twists the events of the story into something it is not. Pixar’s Finding Nemo is not a thriller or a horror story like described above—it is an animated children’s movie about fish.

Here is a better summary of Finding Nemo:

Pixar’s Finding Nemo (2003) is a story about Marlin, a clownfish, who is overly cautious with his son, Nemo, who has a damaged fin. When Nemo swims too close to the surface to prove himself, he is caught by a diver, and horrified Marlin must set out to find him. A blue reef fish named Dory, who has a really short memory, joins Marlin and together they encounter sharks, jellyfish, and a host of ocean dangers. Meanwhile, Nemo plots his escape from a dentist’s fish tank where he is being held. In the end, Marlin and his son Nemo are reunited, and they both learn about trust and what it means to be a family. (Finding Nemo, 2003)

This paragraph is a better summary than the original one because:

  • it is accurate and factual;
  • it states the main characters and events of the story;
  • it gives the reader the crucial details without giving too many details; and
  • it tells the moral of the story/the conclusion without twisting the meaning.

This summary is good because…

  • it states the author/director, the year, and the title of the work;
  • it is about 1/10 the length of the original passage;
  • it is clear and understandable to the reader;
  • it is void of any quotations or paraphrases, and it includes a parenthetical citation in correct APA format.

COMMON APA REFERENCE LIST MODELS

This guide contains examples of references in APA style. The references are grouped by category: periodicals; books and reference books; audiovisual media; and internet resources. In addition, general samples of corresponding citations are provided within each reference category.

For an example of a formatted References list, click here.

PERIODICALS

Items published on a regular basis such as journals, magazines, newspapers, and newsletters.

Reference List Format:Periodical

Author’s Last Name, Initials. (Publication Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume #(issue #), pp–pp. doi:xx.xxxxxxxxxx

If no digital object identifier (DOI) is assigned, include URL address with no ending punctuation (see example below).

Example: Journal article with DOI

Florian, R. V. (2010). Challenges for interactivist–constructivist robotics. New Ideas in Psychology, 28(3), 350–353. doi:10.1016/j.newideapsych.2009.09.009

Example: Journal article without DOI

Santovec, M. (2008). Easing the transition improves grad retention at Trinity U. Women in Higher Education, 17(10), 32. Retrieved from http://www.trinitydc.edu/education/files/2010/09/W…
Ed_Trinity_Transistions_10_08.pdf

Example:Magazine article, print

Chamberlin, J., Novotney, A., Packared, E., & Price, M. (2008, May). Enhancing worker well-being: Occupational health psychologists convene to share their research on work, stress, and health. Monitor on Psychology, 39(5), 26–29.

Example: Online magazine article

Walk, V. (2013, April). Can this woman fix Europe? Time, 181(13). Retrieved from http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2…

Example: Online newspaper article

Tobin Ramos, R. (2010, July 22). UPS profit nearly doubles in second quarter. The Atlanta Journal–Constitution. Retrieved from http://www.ajc.com

Example:Newsletter article

Burnside, P. (2010, July). Why EFTPS is a good fit for governments. FSLG Newsletter. Retrieved from http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs–tege/p4090_0710.pdf

In–text citation samples

Citing paraphrased information: Paraphrased text (Santovec, 2008).
Or: According to Santovec (2008), paraphrased text.

Citing quoted information: “Quote” (Santovec, 2008, para. 3).
Or: As stated by Santovec (2008), “Quote” (para. 3).

Citing online publications: If a page number is not available, use paragraph numbers (use the abbreviation para.). If the document includes headings but does not provide page or paragraph numbers, cite the heading and the number of the paragraph following the heading. For example, (Wilson, 2010, “Educating Adults,” para. 2).

Citing Secondary Sources: If you use a source that is cited in another source, name the original work and give a citation for the secondary source. For example, if you are reading a document authored by Fisher and Fisher that cites Darwin’s work, list the Fisher reference in the References list. In the text, use the following citation:

Darwin argued, [insert paraphrased text] (as cited in Fisher, 2005).

Or: Darwin argued, [insert “quote”] (as quoted in Fisher, 2005).

BOOKS, REFERENCE BOOKS, AND BOOK CHAPTERS

Books and reference books such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, and discipline–specific reference books. Also includes books that are published in electronic form.

Reference List Format: Book (print or electronic)

Author’s Last Name, Initials. (Publication Year). Title of book. Location: Publisher.

Author’s Last Name, Initials. (Publication Year). Title of book. Retrieved from http://www.xxxxxxx.xxx

Author’s Last Name, Initials. (Publication Year). Title of book. doi:xxxxxxx

Editor’s Last Name, Initials. (Ed.). (Publication Year). Title of book. Location: Publisher.

Example: Book, print version

Diaz–Rico, L. T. (2008). A course for teaching English learners. Boston, MA: Pearson.

Example: Book, Ashford custom edition

Ivancevich, J. M., Matteson, M. T., Bateman, T. S., Snell, S. A., Kreitner, R., & Kinicki, A. (2007). Organizational change (Ashford University ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.

Example: Book, compilation or edited

Easton, T. A. (Ed.). (2008). Clashing views on environmental issues (12th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.

Example: Book, (Constellation eBook)

Witt, G. A., & Mossler, R. A. (2010). Adult development and life assessment. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Example:Reference book, print

Costello, R. B. (Ed.). (1995). Random House Webster’s college dictionary. New York, NY: Random House.

Example:Reference book, online

Mawson, C. O. S. (Ed.). Roget’s international thesaurus of English words and phrases. Retrieved from http://www.bartleby.com/br/110.html

In-text citation samples

Citing quoted information:

“Quote” (Witt & Mossler, 2010, p. 47). Or:
As stated by Witt & Mossler (2010), “quote” (p. 47).

Citing paraphrase information:

Paraphrased text (Witt & Mossler, 2010). Or:
According to Witt & Mossler (2010), paraphrased text.

Citing electronic books:

If a page number is not available, use paragraph numbers (use the abbreviation para.). If the document includes headings but does not provide page or paragraph numbers, cite the heading and the number of the paragraph following the heading. For example, (Wilson, 2010, “Educating Adults,” para. 2).

Quoting from secondary sources:

If you use a source that is cited in another source, name the original work and give a citation for the secondary source. For example, if you are reading a document authored by Fisher and Fisher that cites Darwin’s work, list the Fisher reference in the References list. In the text, use the following citation:

Darwin argued, [insert paraphrased text] (as cited in Fisher, 2005). Or:
Darwin argued, [insert “quote”] (as quoted in Fisher, 2005).

Reference List Format:

Title of entry. (Publication Year). In Editor’s first initial, Editor’s Last Name (Ed.) Title of reference work. (xx Ed., Vol. xx, pp. xx–xx). Location: Publisher.

Title of entry. (Publication Year). In Editor’s first initial, Editor’s Last Name (Ed.) Title of reference work. (xx Ed., Vol. xx). Retrieved from http://www.xxxxxxx.xxx

If no editor is listed, place the title after the year of publication (see sample below).

Example:

Cayman Islands. (2008). The world factbook. Retrieved from http://www.bartleby.com/br/151.htm

AUDIOVISUAL MEDIA

Movies, YouTube videos, recording albums, and audio or television broadcasts.

Reference List Format: Motion Picture

Producer’s Last Name, Initials (Producer), & Director’s Last Name, Initials (Director). (Year). Title of motion picture [Motion picture]. Country of Origin: Studio.

Example: Video

Auer, J. & Looze, C. (Producers), & Looze, C. (Director). (1993). A partner to genius: Olgivanna Lloyd Wright [Video recording]. Milwaukee, WI: WMVS WMVT.

Reference List Format: YouTube

Screen name. (Year, Month Day). Title of video [Video file]. Retrieved from http://youtube/xxx.com

Example:YouTube video

EnglishTeacherEmma. (2013, January 30). 5 tips to improve your writing [Video file]. Retrieved from

Reference List Format: Music recording

Writer’s Last Name, Initials. (Copyright year). Title of song [Recorded by Artist Name if different from writer]. On Title of album [recording medium: CD, record, cassette, etc.]. Location: Label. (Recording date if different from copyright).

Example: Music recording

Lang, K. D. (2008). Shadow and the frame. On Watershed [CD]. New York, NY: Nonesuch Records.

Example:Podcast

Van Nuys, D. (Producer). (2007, December 19). Shrink rap radio [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.shrinkrapradio.com/

In-text citation example: Video

Paraphrased text (Auer & Looze, 1993). Or:

As described in the video, A Partner to Genius: Olgivanna Lloyd Wright, (Auer & Looze, 1993), paraphrased text.

Example: Single episode from a television series

Egan, D. (Writer), & Alexander, J. (Director). (2005). Failure to communicate [Television series episode]. In D. Shore (Executive producer), House. New York, NY: Fox Broadcasting.

ADDITIONAL INTERNET SOURCES

Example: Blog post

PZ Myers. (2007, January 22). The unfortunate prerequisites and consequences of partitioning your mind [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/01/the_unf…

Example:Website, corporate author

U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2008). Police and detectives. Retrieved from http://bls.gov/oco/pdf/ocos160.pdf

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