English 102


Locate and evaluate sources using databases
Incorporate source ideas using a summary and a personal response
Document using MLA formatted Works Cited page

In this assignment, you will research and summarize two articles on recycling: one that you think your opponent would find most convincing; and another that you personally find most convincing. You’ll also get to explore whether you have an easier time being neutral when you agree or disagree with what you are summarizing.

You will get a chance to respond to both articles, but it is important that you separate your summary from your response: In other words, you need to represent both articles fairly and neutrally before you respond to them.

Finally, for this assignment you will practice in-text citations, signal phrases, and create Works Cited page entries.

Suggested length: three paragraphs of approximately 600 words total.

To do this assignment, complete the following steps:

1. Review the MLA Lesson offered earlier this week.

2. Identify a likely opponent.

To do that go back to the list of “imaginary friends” in the PowerPoint presentation also attached here Imaginary_Friends.docx Imaginary_Friends.docx – Alternative Formats

– Alternative Formats
Choose an imaginary friend who will likely have the position on recycling that is opposite of yours. You may rely on the earlier Discussion assignment, or you may choose a different opponent.

3. Use a database to locate an article on recycling that represents a position of your opponent.

Follow the Library Resources link on your course navigation panel. Use one of the databases or search engines recommended on the Research Help page, for example Opposing Viewpoints in Context, to locate the article.

4. Summarize the article.

Remember that a summary needs to be objective, so, even though the article you are summarizing disagrees with your own opinion, you still need to explain what it says in a neutral, unbiased way. Don’t forget to include signal phrases (“Miley writes that…” or “Macklin defends the view that…”) to make it clear to readers that you are giving an author’s opinion, not your own. You can download this worksheet worksheet – Alternative Formats

to get you started and then develop your summary to 7-10 sentences. For additional help with summary writing, see pages 313-315 and 322-323 in your textbook.
5. Find an article that represents your own point of view on recycling and summarize it in a second well-developed paragraph. Again, stay objective.

6. In the third paragraph, explain which of the two articles in your opinion has more effective argumentation and why.

Be wary of your bias – we tend to find the argument we agree with more convincing than an argument defending a position we disagree with. Is your opinion of the article effectiveness influenced by your bias, or do you find the argumentation (structure, evidence, appeals, etc) objectively stronger? You can also comment on the weaknesses of another article that explain why you did not find it effective. In the same paragraph, briefly explain which of the two articles you had a harder time writing objectively about.

7. Review your summaries for unintentional plagiarism.

Review videos on MLA in-text citations and Works Cited (MLA Lesson) and MLA pages in the textbook – Chapter 10. Look for missing signal phrases or citations, missing quotes, or a paraphrase that is too close to the original text. Also, compare your own in-text citations to the examples (in the videos, tutorials, and the textbook) to be sure the in-text formatting is correct.

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