Academic Journal Summary and Analysis
Academic writing is a conversation. In any academic discipline, you will encounter this. When you approach a topic, you are entering a discussion among scholars, and your research should reflect where your contribution fits within that conversation. You will select a work of literature and write a essay that presents the work of a peer-reviewed critical article about that work. A peer-reviewed article is published in a professional academic journal, and it has gone through an editorial process in which scholars evaluate the article’s quality before publishing it.
Notice how scholars use close reading of a text to help readers understand points. We are going to really dig into this with the other essay on close reading.
· To engage academic discourse
· To understand argument and how writers position ideas (“they say”)
· To respond to writers/thinkers in an academic context (“I say”)
· To practice MLA citation and quotation
Introduction: Your introduction must name the title and author of the work that you are studying and introduce the structure of the essay that follows. How does the sources amplify your understanding of the literary text? In other words, what kind of conversation is this scholar having on the topic, how do you gage the quality of the argument? Your thesis statement will be a claim about the criticism of the work, not the literary text itself.
Summary: In the second paragraph, summarize the author’s argument. Give the reader a sense of the whole text and a clear and fair understanding of the argument.
Discussion of the main points of the argument: Quote and paraphrase from the literary text and from the critical article. Discuss the value (or not) of the author’s approach to making his/her argument.
Assessment: Discuss your reaction and assessment of the article. If you liked it, showcase how the article opened up your understanding of the story. If you didn’t like it, suggest points that the author should have considered. Did the author fail to quote any relevant passages from the story or would you have included any textual evidence in the essay that was not present?
Forecast: What questions/ideas stem from your reading of the article? What new ideas or research would you do to create your own essay? Use your reading of the story and the journal article to help you push into new questions/ideas.
Conclusion: While your body paragraphs discuss the value of each individual source, your conclusion should tie your ideas together and comment on your final assessment of the journal article.
Texts for this assignment: Articles are posted as PDFs below. You can pick which one you want to work with.
- 5 pages, double spaced
- One primary (the literary text) and one secondary source (journal article)
- MLA-style formatting and documentation
- 12-pt. Times New Roman font