Paper 1: Critical Summary
North Seattle Community College
Write a critical summary of Noel Carroll’s essay, entitled “Fantastic Biologies and the Structures of Horrific
● About 750 words, with properly formatted works cited entries.
● Due: 01/17/2013, uploaded to Canvas.
● No Late Assignments.
A critical summary is simply a summary of and response to a text. In a critical summary a writer provides the
reader with a comprehensive overview (summary, paraphrase, quotations) of a text and then responds to that
text by providing their own opinion of the text’s argument. A critical summary essentially follows the exact
structure at the heart of academic writing: they say (summary) and then I say (a response).
You should use multiple templates from the readings to help you summarize, quote, paraphrase, and respond.
The structure of this essay should follow the “They Say/I Say” model. Here is how the paper should be
● Introduction to the paper: what is this paper about, not what is Carroll’s work about.
○ An introduction should tell your reader what your paper is about. You should assume that prior to
starting your paper, your reader had no idea what the topic of your paper was.
● They Say: A comprehensive blended summary of Carroll’s work.
○ With a summary overview, moments of paraphrase and quotation, all properly cited.
● I Say: a direct response to Carroll’s work in which you state where you agree/disagree with his work.
○ You should bring in other textual examples (movies, books, video games) etc. to help you form your
● A conclusion.
DEPARTMENT OUTLINED TASKS FOR THE PAPER
● Read assigned analytical or academic text actively and closely.
● Identify its purpose(s) and distill its central ideas/argument into a summary written mostly in student’s
● Organize and signpost the summary with students’ own readers in mind using ample attribution
phrases and transitional signals to help readers note and digest the writer’s unfolding argument(s).
● Using the MLA in-text citation system, weave in an occasional blended quotation or quoted clauses to
tie summary closely to text and to give readers a taste of the writer’s voice.
DEPARTMENT’S PURPOSE OF THE ASSIGNMENT● Insist students distinguish between ideas in the text and their own response to or attitudes about these
● Help students identify the purpose(s) of, and pinpoint and trace the central argument(s) of, a text
● Help students distinguish between naming topics the writer covers and writing what the writer actually
asserts about these topics
● Help students improve accuracy and precision while representing and conveying another writer’s ideas
in their own words
● Help students improve in condensing, in sentence combining, and in economy at the sentence level to
make good use of the limited space that summaries allow
● Help students practice appropriate paraphrasing and occasional judicious integration of quotation in