You will write FIVE (5) one-page summaries of the readings, each corresponding to one class’s materials. You must write one summary for one day’s readings within each of the five themes. This gives you some flexibility over which topics to write your summary, but you must submit your summary before the start of the class you are summarizing. These summaries will allow you to demonstrate your general understanding of the materials, explain and illustrate key concepts, and practice good writing skills.
Each summary should consist of two parts:
A. Explain, in your own words, part or all of a reading in one paragraph. How much of the reading you attempt to explain or summarize may depend on the type of reading. For example, a textbook chapter may cover multiple themes, so you may want to concentrate on a section of the chapter rather than try to encompass everything (unless you can draw some overarching themes that tie it all together). Alternatively, a more focused reading may concentrate on a singular point. Regardless, this summary should have a main topic sentence and supporting sentences with evidence that back up your main topic sentence.
B. In a second paragraph, illustrate the reading section with an example from recent or current events. This example should differ from example(s) given in the reading. Similar to above, be sure the paragraph includes a topic sentence with supporting statements.
Thus, looking for example at the first reading, Norton 2009 Ch. 1, you could:
– Decide to discuss an overarching theme: for example, looking at what the core objects of interest of Geography have been over the centuries, what has changed and what has remained the same, and relating this to issues you have seen in the news recently.
– Focus on a section or concept: for example, you could discuss the evolution of the idea of landscape and explore that evolution from the point of view of a landscape you know.
– You must write one summary per theme, on one piece of reading of your choice – a total of 5. We will keep the best 4 grades.
– Explain the reading (the whole piece or a section of it) in your own words.
– Illustrate it with a relevant example that is familiar to you.
Format requirements: One page, single spaced, 12-pt font, normal margins (1 inch). Include your name, your student ID, the course name, and the title of the reading on the top of the sheet.
Note: While we don’t prohibit the use of outside sources (for example to explore a concept or an example), our intention is for you to write these summaries based on the readings alone. It may be helpful to reference a newspaper or other article to document your illustrative current event. In any case, outside source used must be formally cited in the text and a proper bibliography given on a second page. Also note that your work may be checked for plagiarism with text matching software within MyCourses.
Assessment: Only the highest FOUR (4) summary grades will count toward your final grade, with each worth 5% (4×5% = 20%). Thus, if you write all 5 summaries, we will take your 4 best scores; if you only write 4 summaries, then those 4 are your final score. If you only submit 3 summaries, we will take those three plus a zero score for the 4th summary as your final score. Due to the flexible nature of these summaries, there are no make-up summaries.
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