For the next four weeks, you’ll work on taking your academic writing style to a more authoritative and concise level. This is the most tedious part of the course, but it’s quite manageable. The first couple of summaries are the most challenging as you learn to rethink grammatically. Then, once you ‘get it,’ you ‘get it’ and it becomes much easier. These assignments will result in a writing style that becomes noticeably different in four weeks.
The assignment instructions are as follows:
- Compose a summary of the various Lessons assigned in Williams’ and Colombs’ text Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace, 10th Edition without the use of a single form of the verb “to be” (is, are, was, were, am, etc.).
The summaries must adhere to the following parameters:
- Do not use “to be” verbs (use Microsoft Word’s search tool to find these and eliminate them from your summary).
- The summary must be 350-400 words.
- No block quotes.
- Do not quote more than 3-4 words, and only KEY terms at that. PARAPHRASE the author.
- Focus on the author’s (Williams) philosophy of writing and the advice he provides readers as your discussion emphasis. Make these about him. (This will get you into the practice of writing behind your sources since your sources are your authority in research writing, not you.)
- Cover the entire lesson in your summary. Half the lesson = half a grade. You will have to be judicious in determining what matters most to include in the summary.
- Provide a one to two sentence overall summary of the lesson at the beginning of your first paragraph.
Format each summary as follows:
- First and last name and page number in the top-right corner of the header (not the text area, the actual header)
- 1″ margins on all sides
- Lesson name as title
- Cite each reference of the text with parentheses (page number only)
- Double space the text
- Indent all paragraphs 1/2″ (paragraphs = 5-7 sentences)