Revision: summary / response essay


A Note on Revision

Now that you’ve written the first draft of the Summary / Response Essay, this assignment asks you to revise that essay. Drafting and revision are important stages of the writing process. As our textbook notes, revision allows you to “fill in gaps and improve your writing and thinking” (Bullock et al. 341). Revising helps you to produce your best possible writing. See pages 350-53 for more information about revising your writing.

Due Date

Submit your revision to this assignment space as a Word document by 11:59pm Friday, 5/22. If you don’t have Word on your computer, you can access it on the Office 365 account given to you by the college


Format your essay using MLA style guidelines in 12-point type, use Times New Roman font, and use MLA citations. See pages 586-87 of our textbook for more information about formatting a paper using MLA style. See pages 588-96 for an example of an essay formatted in MLA style. 


700-1000 words (MLA headings and works cited lists are excluded from the word count) 


The assignment calls for you to use critical reading and writing skills. These skills are necessary for conducting academic research and other professional research. The ability to comprehend information and assess the merits of its presentation is important in all professions.

Assignment Guidelines

You must offer a summary of and response to David Byrne’s “Eliminating the Human.” (Links to an external site.) Your task is to accurately present Byrne’s argument and support. Then you must offer your critical response to his argument. Do you agree with him? Why or why not? (It is possible to partially agree with someone.)

Conduct some research using the internet or the library’s databases, and draw on at least one outside source to support your response (you may use more than one outside source). Doing a bit of research should help broaden your perspective on the topic and bolster the substance of your response. 

Follow the guidelines for constructing your Summary / Response on pages 33-44 in your textbook. Make sure your essay draft includes the following elements (see pages 42-43):

  • a clearly identified author and title
  • a concise summary of the text
  • an explicit response
  •  support for your response

Use the organizational strategy on page 44 listed as “[Summary, followed by a response].” Organize your essay as follows:

Paragraph 1: Introduce the text and summarize it in one 5-8 sentence paragraph.

Paragraph 2: State your thesis (this is the thesis or main point of your response, and this paragraph will likely be short, maybe a single sentence).

Paragraphs 3, 4, 5 (or More): Respond to the text: what it says, how it’s written, and/or how you react. Your response should consist of at least three (3) body paragraphs, and each of these body paragraphs should be 5-8 sentences. Incorporate at least one outside source in one or more of these response paragraphs.

Concluding Paragraph: Conclude by summing up your response and its implications.

Essay Checklist


  • Accurate interpretation and summary of Byrne’s article
  • Accurate interpretation and incorporation of source texts
  • Thesis that makes a precise claim
  • Direct quotations and examples from sources
  • Conclusion that sums up the response and its implications to your audience (your audience consists of other students in this class)

Body Paragraphs

  • Unified and cohesive paragraphs
  • Topic sentences (precise and limiting sub-claims)
  • Logical transitions between paragraphs
  • Concise sentences free from grammar and punctuation errors


  • 12-point type
  • Times New Roman (or equivalent)
  • MLA format (heading, parenthetical quotations, works cited page)
  • Relevant title (you must craft a title that succinctly indicates the content of your essay)
  • Indent the first line of each paragraph
  • Left-justified (do not center or right-justify your text)


This essay revision can earn between 0-100 points and counts as 10% of the course grade. Check the grading rubric (Links to an external site.) in Turnitin for more information on grading.

A Few Writing Resources You May Find Useful

Quotation tips: (Links to an external site.)

Purdue Owl (grammar/MLA/general writing tips): (Links to an external site.)

Title punctuation: (Links to an external site.)

(Scroll up this page for the essay instructions.)

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