Rhetorical Analysis and Summary Exercise

Read “How a National Food Policy Could Save Millions of American Lives.” As you read, make marks in the margin or on a separate piece of paper when you notice aspects of the article that you find interesting or surprising.

Part 1 (101 Review):

Once you have finished reading and taking notes, right a short (minimum 400 words) response of your initial impressions. Include rhetorical analysis: What kind of purpose do you believe the authors had for writing this essay? How do you know? What kinds of choices do the authors make that help you come to this conclusion? Who is the audience for this article? How do you know?

Part 2 (Summary):

Write a 250-word summary of “How a National Food Policy Could Save Millions of American Lives.” Your summary should:

  • Demonstrate a strong understanding of the authors’ ideas using your own words
  • Describe the authors’ moves in the article, not plot points
  • Focus on key points, not details
  • Remain objective, avoiding first person (“I”) and second person (“You”)

Begin your summary by using the author’s last name and a verb, such as “Bittman, et al, believe that…” or later, “The authors claim that…”

Part 3 (Response):

Write a brief (200 words), informal, and clear response to the authors’ ideas. You could disagree with the author (and explain why), agree partially (and explain why), agree fully and expand on what the authors say with your own ideas, etc. It is acceptable but not necessary to use the first person in your response. For example, you might begin your response with, “I agree with the authors, but they fail to consider…”

Come to class ready to discuss this assignment and the reading.

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